Community Blog

In the coming months, we will be aggregating some of the best posts from North America’s social tech leaders.

Ricken Patel's STT Keynote Address - Highlights

Ricken Patel is the founder and Executive Director of, the world’s largest online advocacy organization with 3.3 million active members (320,000 in Canada) just over one year into its life. Avaaz recently ran the fastest growing petition of all time, gathering 1.5 million signatures over Spring 2008 in support of Tibetan independence. Avaaz is also recognized for its now-famous campaign at the 2007 Bali climate change talks, which mobilized over 300,000 people in 72 hours.

What is Web2.0 & What Does It Mean to Your Organization?

Web 2.0 carries a vast potential to transform social change organizations and galvanize supporters into meaningful actions. But to enable that potential, organizations need to commit to a shift in values and culture that can as big as the their work on the ground.

Kris Krug of Raincity Studios and Beca Econoupoulos of Greanpeace provided some key tips for organizations during the 2008 STT.

It's All About the Numbers

Of course, social change and social media is not 'all about the numbers'. One of the defining qualities of the web2.0 world is its power to break free from the dehumanizing numbers game of one-way communications and embrace a genuine dialogue between you and your audience.

That aside, anyone who has fought the hard battle of culture change that's often necessary with open communications knows that the process can be much easier when you can show that the numbers work in your favour.

Opening Up Leadership at Open Everything

Since its inception in 2001, Web of Change has evolved from a yearly retreat to a series of community building conferences organized by Communicopia. Web of Change brings together tech-savvy social change leaders to hone their skills, connect with other leaders, and refresh their passion for work, change, and innovation.

The Open Everything Wiki

Keeping to the spirit of the event, the Open Everything Retreat at Hollyhock utilized an event wiki to make all resources about travel, attendees, sessions and agendas availabe to all. The wiki continues to be available at

The Evolution of Open - Notes from Open Everything

graph on openness

Day 1 of Open Everything at Hollyhock has passed and I’m now up far too late blogging about it.

Numerous insights, but possibly the most interesting occurred during the spectrogram exericse where we asked participants to physically locate themselves along an axis (in our case a piece of tape along the floor) in response to questions we asked them.

STT 2008 Was a Great Success


After months of preparation and anticipation, the first Social Tech Training — an innovative collaboration between Web of Change and MaRS — has come and gone. Read on for some thoughts about the event, and see as well Jason's post about bigger themes that emerged, if you're curious.

It's Not About the Web :: Learnings from the STT

Last week we convened Canada's first ever intensive web training event for the social change sector. Called the Social Tech Training, the event was a collaboration between Web of Change, a series of events owned by the community but managed by Communicopia, and the social innovation group at MaRS, a new player in the Canadian social entrepreneurship scene. 

Avaaz Founder Confirmed to Speak

We're very excited to announce that we've confirmed Ricken Patel as our keynote speaker for the Social Tech Training. Ricken is the co-founder of Avaaz – the world's largest global online advocacy organization.

The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism

I spotted this over at WorldChanging a couple days ago – an interesting article by Ethan Zuckerman, based on a presentation he recently gave at ETech. It's long, but this first part summed up the phenomenon of user-generated content, and why it matters, nicely. This is an evo/revolution of the web that no one is denying anymore.

Session Notes: If You Build It, They Might Not Come

Lead by Eric Squair and Cristen Perks

Values Based Project Management - Flipchart Photos

See the attached file for photos of the flipcharts from Rob Purdie's session on Values Based Project Management. 

Session Notes: Beyond the Click of a Mouse

We have to step back to look at what gets people engaged and what starts them down this path. The internet is now our tool to find people but that is tapping into the stuff we all mentioned only on a cursory level. Most of what gets people involved is a major inter- personal interaction. How do we come as close as possible to get people to face to face.

Session Notes: Online Collaboration - Quantifying the Problem, Designing a Solution

Collaboration implies very different things to people in the room. For some it means getting work done together for others it implies power sharing in decision making. For the facilitator, collaboration implies that we have an equal opportunity to influence each other.

Session Notes: Constituent Relationship Management as Strategy - Moving from Lists

Led by Jon Stahl and Tate Hausman

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