September 8, 2016

    Beyond Petitions: The Next Generation of Online Civic Participation [Video]

    Petition sites like and Avaaz have shown that millions of citizens can change outcomes in global affairs through petitions. But few global challenges can be reduced to a time-limited campaign that either succeeds or fails.

    To move online collaboration from the margins to the centre of world politics we need campaigns in which citizens participate more deeply and continuously. If the Facebooks of this world have found out how to motivate billions to engage online, not-for-profits can as well. Combine social algorithms on user behaviour, machine learning, and robust security into one collaborative platform and you could turn distributed action into a tool to address the thorniest of the world’s problems. Ben Rowswell outlines a plan┬áto create such a platform to save lives in Syria.