Online political movement hits 15 million
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