Effecting Real Change

Posted on April 24, 2012 by

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The beauty of this chat is that there is a base starting point where we recognize social media is far more than Twitter and Facebook. We do not only talk ‘tips and tricks’ we also talk purpose and intention followed up by best practice and use case.

This series on social change is gold because it goes beyond cause marketing. At its root we are addressing a topic that has been heightened by the rapid increase in social participation and connectivity. When we talk about a community on the other side of the world, we are no longer talking about them in isolation, we are connected to them, either directly through social tools, or because members of that community now live next door to us. I am a Zimbabwean but I live in the UK and work in the US. Look at the recent Koni debate. We have educated, connected Ugandans living in the US who can react to half-truths and posturing.

We are living in a world where the appeals to emotion in causes no longer have the effect they did. We are all mini philanthropists who want to direct our giving. Real change is the end game, not guilt giving.

However, for real change to happen it is seldom the case that spontaneous collective action will bring about change. It often needs to be directed, or there needs to be a catalyst. We also need to know that collective action does not always necessarily result in effective change or lead to truth. The recent example of rumors about Mugabe’s impending death are a case in point. The absence of new input or substance fueled speculation and rumor vs added value and credible information.

With this in mind, let’s leave aside the ‘appeals for cash’ side and concentrate on how an organization can empower real change through using social tools.

Q1: What is your starting point? If you are attempting to effect change, where do you begin?

Q2: What voice does your audience have in the process of change?

Q3: Are there any best practices you can suggest to empower change?

Q4: What are the risks involved with seeking change and and what action can an organization take to protect against them?

Photo by Alasdair Munn. All rights reserved

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