For the last decade, North American based political activism was energized by the rise of citizen media. Political blogs and Meetups helped make Howard Dean a contender for the Democratic nomination. Social media, email, and microblogging shaped political conversations during Barack Obama’s historic run for President. While mobile tools played a supporting role to the campaigns and social platforms behind these movements, we’re only beginning to see mobile become a central force for political activism and self-expression.
But for activists in the developing world, the landscape is dramatically different.
The cost and ubiquity of cell phones have made mobile technology the most important technological development in the last decade. With incredible constraints on technology, access and agency, international activists have leveraged mobile to organize and social media to amplify their voices. It’s a field that is growing at an incredible rate; by the end of 2013 analysts say we’ll be living in a majority smartphone world.
It’s okay to be equally frightened and excited by that prediction. I know I am.
So how can we learn from the process international activists have honed for the last decade to to drive change in our communities today? And with the cutting-edge mobile tech and app culture we are privileged to access, how we push for mobile programs within our organizations that honor our base?
To help answer those questions “The Revolution Will Be Mobilized” will break down two components to using mobile tech to drive social change: process and scope.
As we define whom we’re reaching (scope) and how (process) we want to organize, let’s use this forum to learn from one another and see what comes next.
When you’re developing a mobile program it’s important to define how do you get from here to there? We’ll be examining how to define a process from user experience perspective with cases and examples.
Mobile programs cannot be all things to all people. In the scope component, we’ll be defining how to determine the extent of your mobile outreach and audience. With that scope, it is clearly to curate an actionable experience.
We’ll examine how mobile is transforming both how we organize and ultimately how we power our changemakers, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy protests.