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