September 28, 2011

How social media is advancing social change

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Still frame shot of Social Good Summit video by Epipheo Studios


Outtakes from Mashable’s Social Good Summit

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, brands, foundations, educators, social media managers

Guest post by Jereme Bivins
Social Media Manager, The Foundation Center
Jereme BivinsThere was no shortage of optimism, technology, and inspiring panelists and speakers at the Social Good Summit sponsored by Mashable, the UN Foundation, Ericsson and the 92nd Street Y last week. Topics ranged from the future of media, with media mogul Ted Turner, to a thoughtful conversation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the introduction of Skype for Education.

But no conference sponsored by Mashable would be complete without an analysis of the state of social media and the future of the online space for the social sector. Among the many lessons learned at the summit, some mantras echoed more resolute than others, particularly the increased emphasis governments, NGOs, nonprofits and individual activists are placing on social strategies to advance their missions.

“No longer is wealth and celebrity needed to achieve meaningful social change.”

According to Alec J. Ross, the Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, social media has fueled the “devolution of power from hierarchies to citizens,” a point underscored by the ongoing Arab Spring. With access to mobile phones and social media, governments and citizens are more closely connected. Where once a government official would entertain an audience only with his country’s affluent elites, now wealth is no longer a prerequisite to power. Continue reading

August 3, 2009

All about Geeks for Good

All about the Summer of Social Good from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaDid you know that this is the first Global Geek Week (Aug. 2-8)? It’s a way to promote the use of social media for the social good — which also happens to be identical to the mission of

On Twitter, go to the hashtag #geeks4good to see conversations around the topic. The new GlobalGeekWeek site showcases “an entire week dedicated to all that is Geek & giving back!” One cool feature: a Twittervision interactive map that tracks posts about geeks4good from around the world (new version of Flash required, I think).

I caught up with Shira Lazar, the TV/Web personality/journalist and founder of the Society for Geek Advancement, in LA to talk about Global Geek Week and how it fits into the Summer of Social Good (also at, which runs through Aug. 28. (And here’s Adam Hirsch of Mashable’s post on Global Geek Week.) Shira has been working with Mashable in raising awareness about charitable causes and how social media can be used for the social good.

“We’re encouraging the geek community around the globe to come together for social good,” she says.

oxfamSpecifically, you can donate $20 (or more or less) to four worthy charities: Oxfam America to fight hunger, WWF to protect the environment, the Humane Society to protect animals and Livestrong to fight cancer.

And don’t forget about the weeklong YouTube video competition. Just talk about what you’re doing to support a social cause (or how you’d like to help) by submitting your geek-inspired video to the Global Geek Week YouTube Group by midnight PT Thursday. The winner will get two round-trip tickets to anywhere Virgin America flies, with free wi-fi. The judges — Guy Kawasaki, Shira Lazar, Hank Green of Vlogbrothers, Marina Orlova of TooHotForWords, puzzle champion Wei-Hwa Huang and Lisa Donovan aka LisaNova — will pick and announce the winners at noon Friday.

Continue reading