Author: MobLab Team

Spark Summit explores potential for volunteer platforms

Insights, People Lead

Nabuur.com is a volunteer platform created in 2001 with a belief that in order to bring human ingenuity to bear one needs community. Founded by Siegfried Woldhek, a former director of the Dutch branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the site was designed to link neighbors (online volunteers) with villages (local communities) in Africa, Asia and Latin America, creating direct connections between individuals outside of large institutions like WWF. More than 30,000 members have participated over the years, forming new relationships across the globe and sharing knowledge that’s led to new schools, community-based education models, a hospital in Zambia, Internet cafes and farmers adopting permaculture approaches. When the site ran out of funding in 2009, the platform was turned over to volunteers to manage. While usage has dropped dramatically, and building long-term engagement was always a major challenge, in the past two weeks 150 people have logged onto Nabuur, and 50 per cent were returning users. Thinking of the future of Nabuur, and how new platforms and models can connect citizens horizontally, Nabuur director Pelle Aardema was one of 15 leaders to take part in a half-day Mob Lab meeting exploring best practices and challenges to volunteer platforms. Called a Spark Summit, the event was organized by Anna Keenan, movement building and climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace International, and Michael Silberman, global director of the Digital Mobilisation...

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Greenpeace Compass involves supporters in setting priorities

People Lead

There were some new voices at this year’s annual Greenpeace planning meeting, where a global network of leaders, scientists and activists convened to vote on top priorities for the following year. Using an innovative tool called Greenpeace Compass, Greenpeace was able to conduct market research with 400 of its community supporters, sharing this feedback and ideas during the planning meeting. “The purpose of the project was to give supporters a seat at the table at the biggest planning meeting we have,” explains Martin Lloyd, Greenpeace International’s marketing and communications manager, who worked on Greenpeace Compass. “The feedback from this community was delivered to the meeting and met with great enthusiasm, and that’s the first step to operationalizing it.” The new tool is the latest move by Greenpeace to find ways to engage its supporters more deeply in the organization. Starting two months ago, Greenpeace Compass invited people who receive Greenpeace e-mails, volunteers and donors to join Greenpeace Compass and help plan the organization’s future. Of the 1,200 people who signed up, 400 people were active participants taking part in the online community through activities like brainstorms, debates and live online workshops. Participants were asked to spend at least 15 minutes per week on the site, and Martin estimates the collective time spent on Greenpeace Compass to be 700 hours. “You start to get idea that there is a lot...

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Games summit taps developers' passion for saving the planet

Insights

When Greenpeace International communications manager Jessica Wilson shared her passion for working on the Save the Arctic campaign with nearly 25 web developers at a recent Games Summit in Berlin, Greenpeace global innovation manager Ingo Boltz noticed a shift in the room. Suddenly, the web developers who gave up their weekend for the games jam were “fired up” and excited to begin prototyping potential games that could help more people understand the need to prevent drilling for oil in the arctic. For Ingo, the moment reinforced the power of open events like the games summit, which invited anyone interested in...

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Twitter protest hits streets in Germany

Case Studies

A new Twitter tool developed by Greenpeace Germany is giving online protests some legs. The tool displays users’ tweets on a large LED screen, and when held in front of high-profile areas and corporations, draws public interest and media attention. Benjamin Borgerding, who works in Greenpeace Germany’s web communications, says while the team developed the tool in 2009, its most recent Twitter protest targeting Shell has been its most successful campaign yet. Planting the screen on top of a large trailer at one of the most prominent Shell gas stations in Hamburg, Greenpeace Germany and other Greenpeace offices rallied...

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How collaboration made investment treaty a national issue in Canada

Case Studies

Canada’s government had the power to ratify the Canada-China investment treaty last Friday — but they didn’t — and a massive wave of citizen outrage may be the reason. The proposed treaty called the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) was introduced to parliament only three weeks ago, with the majority Conservative government not allowing Parliament or the provinces an opportunity to debate what some are calling the biggest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). When several nonprofits, Leadnow and Sum of Us heard about FIPA, which was not covered in the mainstream...

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