7 Lessons for Building Movement (for AMA Hawaii Chapter)


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Presentation to the American Marketing Association, Hawaii Chapter, September, 2013.

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  • We have members from every zipcode in Hawaii as well as Hawaii ex pats/supports as members from every state/U.S. territory. Our model is based on transparency. Every member’s profile is public including their commitments and actions.
  • Three important notes on our mission statement:
    1. Our means: a movement that uses the lessons of island living, built by members who are willing to make personal change a first step toward social change
    2. Our ends: communities around the world that are defined by their environmental sustainability, social compassion, and local economic resilience – in short, human-scale communities that have reconnected people to production, to the land, and to each other.
    3. The bottom line: people modeling island living for an increasingly island-like world
  • With very limited resources, we use a combination of old-fashioned community organizing and web 2.0 tools to replicate this experience at scale, and build a movement. We do traditional outreach through workshops with schools, churches, civic groups, companies, labor unions and more. Each workshop/presentation makes the case for how island strengths can drive a movement toward sustainability, compassion, and local resilience in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. Each session ends with a call to join this movement by declaring a personal commitment to action and “signing your name to it” by leaving your contact information along with documentation of your commitment. Upon committing, a person becomes a member of Kanu and gains access to online tools and an online community that help make other aspects of the experience scalable…
  • Everything starts with a personal commitment to change. Once online, a member can choose from dozens of commitments authored by other members. One click on the button to the left of a commitment adds you to the “count” of people who’ve made that pledge, and adds the commitment to your publicly-displayed basket of commitments (see next slides). Some commitments are relatively simple, and have gathered thousands of members. Others are more challenging and have fewer than a dozen committed. Each commitment is aligned with the purpose of building more sustainable, compassionate, and resilient communities.
  • Each member also gets a personal profile page, which displays their commitments publicly. Members get reminders about their commitments, can post progress updates that get shared with friends they designate (like an online support group), and can share content about themselves via this profile space. We’re not aiming to compete with Myspace or Facebook – rather, we are trying to use the tools of online communities to allow people to declare their commitments publicly (which we found to be a powerful experience), hold each other accountable, and lead each other by example.
    Any member can also form a group – for your school, company, club, team, etc. Each group gets its own group page where the commitments and impacts of group members are displayed separately. This tool makes it easy for a company to say that “our 145 employees have made the following 10 commitments related to conserving water, and collectively save X million gallons of water per year.” A group can promote certain commitments of its choosing and take a leadership role, engage constituents (like employees, customers, students, alumni, etc.) to get involved, and branding itself with commitments and causes. Group pages also allow for discussion and blogging within the group.
  • As an organization, Kanu Hawai‘i is officially just over one year old. Our online tools/community and offline outreach were launched in earnest in February of 2008 (they were in beta with a small cadre of testers before that). Since February, nearly 6,000 members have joined. Naturally, the membership is concentrated in Hawai‘i, but members from more than 200 communities on the U.S. mainland and 12 different countries have also signed on – pledging to live ‘island style’ wherever they are. The membership is growing exponentially, with the current rate of new members approaching 700 per month.
    We operate with a staff of just 3 people and do all of our outreach, web-engineering, content development, and organizing ourselves and with the help of our members.
  • We have members from every zipcode in Hawaii as well as Hawaii ex pats/supports as members from every state/U.S. territory. Our model is based on transparency. Every member’s profile is public including their commitments and actions.
  • 7 Lessons for Building Movement (for AMA Hawaii Chapter)

    1. 1. 7 Tips for Building Movement
    2. 2. Why “movement”? Premises: 1. a movement is a cultural trend ignited by voluntary, “bottom up” action 2. social media makes movement-building essential in brand management 3. every product or company has passionate evangelists who can spark movement around it
    3. 3. About Kanu Hawaii
    4. 4. About Kanu Hawaii: Mission Build social movement for sustainable, compassionate, resilient communities rooted in personal commitments to change. www.kanuhawaii.org
    5. 5. Grassroots Organizing Online Tools & Community www.kanuhawaii.org
    6. 6. …make a commitment “I will…” www.kanuhawaii.org
    7. 7. …journal your progress www.kanuhawaii.org
    8. 8. …a global community of islanders. www.kanuhawaii.org
    9. 9. …a global community of islanders. www.kanuhawaii.org
    10. 10. We will…eat 100% home grown in September
    11. 11. We will…cut our electricity and gasoline use by 25% in July
    12. 12. We will…reach “3 doors down” and build community with our neighbors
    13. 13. We will…register, inform, and turnout new voters
    14. 14. …striving to be an island model for an island world. www.kanuhawaii.org
    15. 15. …striving to be an island model for an island world. community.charterforcompassion.org
    16. 16. …striving to be an island model for an island world. www.911day.org
    17. 17. 7 (hopefully non-obvious) tips for movement building
    18. 18. 1 Movements begin with values that need expression
    19. 19. 2 Build a lattice (not a ladder) of engagement
    20. 20. 3 Identify, equip, and recognize evangelists
    21. 21. 4 Listen and follow-up to build trust and engagement
    22. 22. 5 Collect images and stories that illustrate your values
    23. 23. 6 You can’t buy movement Incentives got us 500 new contacts at a cost of < $0.05 per contact… …but their ongoing response rate was 2% vs. 15% for others. Note: We saw the same effect when we tried to pay evangelists
    24. 24. 7 Clearly define the roles of online and offline Online: (1) broadcast images and stories (2) measure engagement levels (3) identify new evangelists (4) “drum beat” maintains engagement Offline: (1) inspire the evangelists (2) build teams (3) create movement images and stories
    25. 25. 2 40 3,000 26,000 90% staff volunteers offline contacts unique visitors turnout rate
    26. 26. I will…