On­line po­lit­i­cal move­ment hits 15 mil­lion

Element - - World -

Avaaz – the global web move­ment bring­ing peo­ple-pow­ered pol­i­tics to de­ci­sion-mak­ers the world over – re­cently hit 15 mil­lion mem­bers. In do­ing so it has be­come the largest on­line po­lit­i­cal move­ment ever. In just the last six months, it has fought bat­tles to lobby in­ter­net leg­is­la­tion, cre­ate the world’s largest marine re­serve net­work, pro­tect the Brazil­ian rain­for­est and sup­port the Syr­ian democ­racy move­ment.

Avaaz — mean­ing “voice” in sev­eral Euro­pean, Mid­dle Eastern and Asian lan­guages — launched in 2007 with the demo­cratic mis­sion to or­gan­ise cit­i­zens of all nations to pe­ti­tion for var­i­ous causes.

Its ex­pan­sion has seen it now cam­paign in 15 lan­guages, served by a core team on six con­ti­nents and thou­sands of vol­un­teers.

Each year, Avaaz sets over­all pri­or­i­ties through allmem­ber polls and cam­paign ideas are polled and tested weekly to 10,000-mem­ber ran­dom sam­ples — and only ini­tia­tives that find a strong re­sponse are taken to scale. Cam­paigns that do reach the full mem­ber­ship are then su­per-charged by, of­ten, hun­dreds of thou­sands of Avaaz mem­bers tak­ing part within days or even hours.

Ricken Pa­tel, the co-founder of Avaaz, de­scribes it thus to the Guardian news­pa­per: Avaaz is “clos­ing the gap be­tween the world we have and the world we want.

“We’ve al­ways found that cit­i­zens can come to­gether around sen­si­ble so­lu­tions to these prob­lems.”

Avaaz "cli­mate aliens" protest at the Barcelona cli­mate talks. AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.