Posted by: cindystephenson | October 1, 2009

Joe Solomon: Using Online Connections to Address Offline Issues

Local and global community organizer Joe Solomon‘s message to Victoria BC’s Social Media Club:

Use your online connections to address big real-life offline issues.

He titled his presentation, Movement Building in a Connected Age. You can view a clip of it here, courtesy of fellow Victoria blogger, Mat Wright.

During Joe’s presentation, he shared numerous examples of people coming together across boundaries, to use the web for social change. A true community organizer and facilitator, he encouraged members of the audience to share local successes as well.

Here are three examples of global movements that Joe shared with us:



Net Squared works by mobilizing individuals and communities, providing web based tools, and awarding financial support to leverage social action. The result? Local chapters in 50+ cities around the globe, and hundreds of social action projects.

Joe talked about how easy it was to start up the Vancouver chapter, largely because of the support from the global  NetSquared group – something he also emphasized was “critical to success”.

Every movement has a champion, and NetSquared’s is Amy Sample Ward. Based in London, Amy’s title is Global Community Builder. She blogs at Nonprofit Tech. Follow her on Twitter at @amyrsward.

350 [dot] org

On Oct 24, 2009, hundreds of organizations around the world will host events to focus attention on the need for a global climate movement. Scientists say that if we want to avoid runaway climate change, CO2 levels in the atmosphere should not go above 350 parts per million – yet we’re already at 385.92 and climbing.  Thus the urgency.

To help build the hype and focus conversation on the web around this topic, bloggers are also invited to blog about climate change on October 15 – Blog Action Day ’09 – I’ll be doing that and invite you to as well.

Change Camp

change camp

ChangeCamp brings together citizens, policy-makers, technologists, design-thinkers, change agents and members of the media face-to-face to answer one question: “How do we re-imagine government and citizenship in the age of participation?”

Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver have hosted Change Camps. Two more are slated this fall: Edmonton (October 17/09) and Halifax (December 5/09).

What about Victoria?  Joe asked me that question when several of us met at a tweetup the morning following his presentation (I know – we’re keen!) And yes, there’s definitely interest in doing one here, so you may hear more on that front.

Joe’s key message: The issues of our time need movements – Join a Movement or Start a Movement.

Panel Discussion:

We ended our session with a panel discussion on how local nonprofits are using social media to advance their cause:


SocialMediaClub-EngageJoe 028a

One of the event organizers Janis La Couvee (@lacouvee) and Joe Solomon (@engageJoe)

Panel members:

SocialMediaClub-EngageJoe 018a

Janis La Couvee, Mat Wright (@matvic) , Joe Solomon, Deb Morse, Lori Elder (@volvicbc)

Next meeting of Social Media Club:

Christopher Trotier is coming from Vancouver to speak on “Social Bookmarking Concepts” and “Digg”.

  • Tuesday October 27, 2009,
  • Ambrosia Conference and Event Centre, 638 Fisgard Street

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