One of the highlights of Progress 2015 was Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman’s keynote address on Building 21st Century Movements. Watch the full video here.
Taren challenged us to be technological innovators and to bring our movements and social change work to the cutting edge of the current century. She gives examples from the 1965 Bloody Sunday March in Selma, Alabama where people marched to protest against the police brutality that killed protester Jimmy Lee Jackson. The police brutality was not new but for the first time people across the country would see photos and video of the brutality from their lounge room. People descended on Selma and Martin Luther King lead several more marches which eventually forced the hand of President Lyndon Johnston and galvanised the country around police brutality.
In 2015, Taren noted how Black Lives Matter had exploded in the months prior and that was due in part to video technology. Most people in America now have a video camera on them at all times. This wasn’t true of a few years ago. Police have been attacking non-violent protesters for ever but never before have we been able to capture this for people to watch all over the world.
The key message is that social change is driven by technology. Technology is disruptive and it is actually disrupting social change itself. The way social change happens is itself changing.
Continue watching to hear more examples from the Abolition of the Slave Trade, Global Youth Climate Movement and SumOfUs.
Taren is the Senior Product Manager at Change.org and also works as an independent consultant with a variety of organisations. She is the founder and was the executive director until 2016 of corporate watchdog. She has experience with online organising on four continents and at the global level, including at SumOfUs, MoveOn.org, Avaaz, GetUp, and the AFL-CIO. She was born in Australia, currently lives in San Francisco and enjoys reading science fiction and playing ultimate frisbee for fun.
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