Social Activism - a #SXSW session overview

You’ve all seen social movements for good- ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - need I say more?

Derrick Feldman, avid researcher and President of Acheive (a millenial project), gives us the run-down. There are three primary roles in a social movement:

  1. Owners - these people really “own” the cause or message. It becomes intrinsic to their being
  2. Believers - are committed to the issue, and usually get others to participate
  3. Belongers - these guys go with the flow because it “seemed like a good idea at the time” - livin’ in the now :)

The way that you inspire groups of people is incredibly important to success. May I introduce, the power of “you”.

Bad: “Will you help us do XYZ”

Good: “You are imperative to make XYZ possible.”

But, it’s also, it’s not about you. :) “You” meaning the corporation, foundation, non-profit, etc. - This version of “you” should take a secondary role to the cause and movement itself.

4 Phases of Social Good

  1. Build a group of believers
  2. People will take action together - don’t limit them with red tape. (blah)
  3. The Pinnacle! Yippie you’re a movement (psst this could take 2–3 years)
  4. Sustaining the movement

And last but not least, the ferocious leaders behind these movements:

  1. The come from the people, and they are the people - you can’t fake authenticity!
  2. Remove yourself - don’t control the path and progression
  3. Have an outcome - can the people really change something?
  4. Ignore Technology - Be a storyteller first, then use the technology only because you have to help people connect easier.
  5. Build Believers
  6. Be Authentic
  7. Connect via Empathy
  8. Make it about others

Let the people take your cause to the world!

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