Time capsule thoughts on rapidly changing role of NGOs in change-making; on successful “engagement” [vid]

What am I most inspired by these days? That’s the question the staff of Hollyhock threw my way while we enjoyed their edenic retreat center on Cortes Island — once again the setting for our annual Web of Change conference in September.

Here’s my answer, which feels particularly bound to this moment in time, immediately on the heels of the Arab Spring and on the cusp of the Occupy movement going to scale. 

And Jason Mogus (Communicopia), our founder, had some really smart things to say about opportunities for new thinking and radical digital approaches in the face of major recent setbacks:

Finally, the real prize. Charles Tsai wisely asked several participants and colleagues to give us a sense of what successful supporter engagement meant to them, and he captures some great quotes and thoughts from some brilliant minds in this video for the Knight Foundation:

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Adventures in Online Organizing: Grt ask for distributed film screenings from Invisible Children

I’ve been inspired by the work that Invisible Children is doing for some time now — the integration of their online communications (heavily film) and their organizing is stellar. Maybe my top NGO crush (tied with 350.org).

I just rec’d this email asking supporters — primarily students on campuses — to book a screening for this upcoming Congo Tour movie.

They included this video appeal, which i thought was a great example of using a personal voice to make a compelling ask and tell a memorable story at the same time. The guy in the video is literally finishing the edits of the film that you’ll be able to show your community, and the ask is dead simple — sign up to host just one screening. Very simple. And at the same time it teases out one of the stories from the film.

Here it is — more cause-orientated films should follow this model, so many seem to miss the mark in generating word of mouth:

Introducing: The Congo Tour from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.