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Digital Activism: Technology Efforts Inspiring Social Change Offline

In the wake of the controversial KONY2012 video and its related drama and theatrics, I was left feeling somewhat jaded about the power of the digital to affect meaningful and tangible change on the ground (offline).

Surely, a successful deployment of technology for social good can offer us more than a soap opera like media frenzy. Can the success of such efforts be measured beyond YouTube views and money raised?

I decided to channel my post KONY2012 digital skepticism into a search for concrete examples where the power of technology was affecting real change in the lives of people in local communities, especially those communities and people that have the most need.

So how was digital technology educating and sharing knowledge, and more importantly transforming lives?

Well, how about like this:

  • 15K Youth and Community Leaders Trained
  • 76K People Reached by Community Advocates
  • 240 Million Exposed to a Multimedia Campaign
  • 7.5 Million “Sensitized” by a Video Van

Watch this video for an example that walks the walk:

In 2008 Breakthrough India launched Bell Bajao! (Ring the Bell), a national level campaign in India asking communities to join to end violence against women. Truly amazing is how the campaign has involved men and young boys to end the violence against and transform attitudes about women. Not a common approach or an easy feat.

Bell Bajao has become a peer leader in raising this issue on the Internet through the use of multimedia, hosting survivor stories on a blog, celebrity endorsements, map for social change, social media engagement, training toolkits, information and community stories of change.

More related campaign videos can be found on Breakthrough’s YouTube page.

Give us your take on effective digital activism. What works? What doesn’t? Share other inspiring examples. Use #digitalactivism on Twitter.

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