FORGE: Social Media for Social Change www.FORGEnow.org Presented at #net2Tokyo on 26 November 2009 by: Kjerstin Erickson, Founder & CEO Nicholas Talarico, President of the Board
Once Upon a Time…
Like a Good Girl…
But life was about to change…
In an unequal world… Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. - Martin Luther King
And the foundations for FORGE were set in motion…
FORGE believes that refugees can be a strategic key to ending the cycle of war & poverty. =
FORGE believes that in order to build permanent stability, victims of war must be empowered to create and lead their own recovery initiatives.
FORGE projects are developed in the community, by the community, and for the community.
FORGE projects are predominantly funded by visitors to www.FORGEnow.org where projects are posted and frequently updated with struggles and triumphs.
We were a normal, midsized, and stable organization until late 2008, when adversity thrust us into action that resulted in a case study in social media.
Radical Transparency: a novel approach to adversity
At the end of 2008… =
People are amazed… er… INTERESTED…
…because it’s a good story: A central protagonist Drama, crisis, and real consequences Open controversy
…and because it reflects FORGE’s true values: Openness Constant self-reflection Action based on what we learn
…and the story gets picked up.
In the end…
Lessons for Social Media • Engage in two-way CONVERSATION • Display your VALUES • Be OPEN about your strengths & weaknesses
FORGE’s Social Media Strategy www.FORGEnow.org
3 Secrets of Effective Use of Social Media Promote your VALUES rather than your product Represent your beliefs through what you highlight & discuss Spend more time talking about others than about yourself Be personal – what are your values outside of work?
3 Secrets of Effective Use of Social Media Have a POINT OF VIEW that others can clearly identify. Take stands on contentious issues Promote opinion pieces that match your organization’s philosophies Engage with the leading bloggers in your space
3 Secrets of Effective Use of Social Media Be a SEEKER, not an expert. Engage with your audience on equal footing Pose questions as often as you answer them Be forthright with your chal enges and quandaries
A day of Thanksgiving… “ It’s not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, that is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” -W.T. Purkiser
“If we ignore the plight of the refugees or the burden of the countries which have received them, I fear we will pay a heavy toll in renewed violence… Conditions must be created urgently to allow the refugees to go back and live in peace and tolerance in their own country….”
“…I wish to call on you to join hands in the building of a world in which less people will be forced to flee, and in which refugees are protected until they can safely return home one day.” -- Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1990-2000