Can we really change the world with selfies, hashtags and vlogs?
Real, long lasting change requires education, dialogue, sacrifice and years of struggle.
But digital tools can definitely help! Better yet, they are key.
Human rights abusers are ahead of us, using digital tools to spread false information, silence dissent, amplify hate speech and put rights defenders at risk. The same tools, however, can help us document abuse, expose violations, and make our case loud and clear in a way that the will of the people cannot be ignored any longer.
We believe that if we, the people, embrace technology, make it our own and use it for good, that we can have an impact unlike anything the world has ever seen before.
But we have to get better at this. Waaay better.
We have to get organised. So let’s get specific.
#Raise your game.
Let’s not forget that our strength lies in numbers. There are plenty of people out there who care as much as you do about your cause. Whether you want to rid the oceans of plastic, curb racism or end child labour, by sharing your story on social media (and #tagging it) you can and you probably will find people who want to work with you. Raise awareness by raising your game.
Build a team.
Build a team of like-minded darers and connect. Share a Dropbox, a Google-drive, get on Skype, set up a Slack account to get organised, build your strategy and start building a following online.
Get real: nothing is free.
Need funding for your campaign? Don’t be afraid to ask. For every person who gets annoyed at you, a hundred will admire your action and stand ready to support.
'Caring = sharing' is sooo 2008.
The challenge before you is not to get people’s attention, but to get them involved and move them up the ladder of engagement. ‘Caring = sharing’ isn't enough. It's boring, actually. So, learn about your following. Who are they? How old are they? Where do they live? What are their ideas? Talk to them and get them to share their experiences and skills with you.
Conversations in the comments section are just the beginning. Get together if you can. Build a bond. Organise an event. Invite your neighbours, friends -other darers- and if some of your followers live far away, let them tune in through Facetime. Events are powerful moments. They are full of energy and releasing that energy all at once to achieve a certain goal, can be incredibly powerful.
Be a force to be reckoned with.
You want to pressure your local lawmaker? Get everyone to e-mail, call, message, post and speak up at once. And don’t take no for an answer. Record the process. Are greedy corporations ignoring you or being rude, post it online, tag them, and see how fast they can move to avoid a PR-crisis. 😉
Now we're talking.
And this is just one way. Social media is on fire and everyone knows it. But there is so much more out there, which we, the people, have barely begun to touch.
No, it is not just for bitcoin-lovers.
It’s a technology that has a lot of different uses. Because of how it works, it could help certify that a video, image or digital document existed at a given time. An app like VideoVault, for instance, can provide videos - potentially containing evidence of human rights abuses - with a trusted time stamp, stored forever on the blockchain.
Today, blockchain-based systems may still be complicated, but so was the Internet only a few decades ago. Over time, we are going to see this technology open up to the mainstream and if we get on board fast enough, we can up our game like never before.
And we haven’t even begun to talk about exciting technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Open Hardware, Sensors and Drones.
Chances are you know someone who is ALL ABOUT TECH. Get together with them, get creative, work together and find out how you can use technology to drive change. If you’re wondering where to start, join the conversation here.