Now & Next: Future of Engagement


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This report highlights the ten most important frontiers that will define the future of engagement for marketers, entrepreneurs and changemakers: Crowdfunding, Behavior Change Games, Collaborative Social Innovation, Grassroots Change Movements, Co-Creation Communities, Social Curation, Transmedia Storytelling, Collective Intelligence, Social Live Experiences and Collaborative Consumption.

In our individual chapters on the ten frontiers, we start by describing why they are important and how they work; we then examine web platforms and brand programs that point to the future (that is already here); then finish by identifying some of the most important features of that future, with our recommendations on how to benefit from them.

Now & Next: Future of Engagement is also available as a Kindle eBook and will soon be available as an interactive iPad app. Do subscribe to our email newsletter to receive an invite to download a free copy of the iPad app.

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Now & Next: Future of Engagement

  1. 1. Annual Report 100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects on social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship on the MSLGROUP Insights Network. Every week, we pick up one project and curate the conversations around it — on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself but also on the broader social web — into a weekly insights report. Every quarter, we compile these insights, along with original research and insights from the MSLGROUP global network, into the People’s Insights Quarterly Magazine. We have synthesized the insights from our year-long endeavor throughout 2012 to provide foresights for business leaders and changemakers — in the ten-part People’s Insights Annual Report titled Now & Next: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement. People’s Insights In 2013, we continue to track inspiring projects at the intersection of social data, crowdsourcing and storytelling, with a focus on projects that are shaping the Future of Citizenship. Do subscribe to receive our weekly insights reports, quarterly magazines, and annual reports, and do share your tips and comments with us at @PeoplesLab on Twitter. People’s Insights weekly report People’s Insights quarterly magazines People’s Insights Annual Report
  2. 2. Foreword by Olivier Fleurot 04 Introduction by Pascal Beucler 05 #1. Crowdfunding 10 52 #6. Social Curation #2. Behavior Change Games 17 62 #7. Transmedia Storytelling #3. Collaborative Social Innovation 24 69 #8. Collective Intelligence #9. Social Live Experiences 77 #4. Grassroots Change Movements 32 #10. Collaborative Consumption 8544 #5. Co-creation Communities Executive Summary by Gaurav Mishra and Nidhi Makhija 07 Inside Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement
  3. 3. Annual Report Olivier Fleurot, Chief Executive Officer, MSLGROUP Faced with the huge transformations created by the digital and social revolution, all businesses and organizations need to rethink how to engage with their stakeholders. We aim to be our clients most trusted advisors in this fast-changing and increasingly complex world, by helping them navigate it and create unique value in it. For this to happen, we first need to demonstrate a deep understanding of the new dynamics at work in the conversation economy and articulate a compelling vision for the future of engagement. I believe that you’ll find that our report on the future of engagement does both. I hope that you will enjoy reading this report and share your own thoughts with us, so that, together, we can really reinvent the future of engagement. Throughout 2012, more than a hundred of our planners have been tracking and monitoring new and inspiring web platforms and brand programs in the areas of social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship, under the leadership of Pascal Beucler, our Chief Strategy Officer. We are delighted to share with you the results of this massive undertaking, our Now & Next: Future of Engagement report. It highlights what we think are the ten most important frontiers that will define the future of engagement for marketers and entrepreneurs. As I mentioned during the recent Investor Day organized by Publicis Groupe in London, we, at MSLGROUP, are dedicated to inventing the future of communication and engagement. In this report, we recognize that “the future is already here, it is just not very evenly distributed” (as William Gibson said), and showcase the web platforms and brand programs that point to the future, so that we might co- create it with our clients. Foreword
  4. 4. 5 Pascal Beucler, Senior Vice-President & Chief Strategy Officer, MSLGROUP Our Now & Next: Future of Engagement report identifies the ten most important frontiers that will define the future of engagement in our Social Age: Crowdfunding, Behavior Change Games, Collaborative Social Innovation, Grassroots Change Movements, Co-creation Communities, Social Curation, Transmedia Storytelling, Collective Intelligence, Social Live Experiences and Collaborative Consumption. As trusted advisers to our clients around the globe, we’re committed to helping them navigate the complexity of today and prepare themselves for the even higher complexity of tomorrow. To do this well, we need to live in two modes at all times: the now and the next. We need to acknowledge the trends that are already here and we need to anticipate the groundswells that are on the horizon. Introduction The future doesn’t fit in the containers or mindset of the past.
  5. 5. Annual Report In short, we need to find a way to synthesize powerful insights into valuable foresights. Our approach is to crowdsource the web platforms and brand programs in the areas of social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship that are pointing to the future of engagement, find the interconnections between them, identify the patterns they form, then extrapolate these patterns into the future. Over more than a year, we have studied hundreds of web platforms and brand programs and synthesized them into the ten frontiers for the future of engagement. Here are the most important patterns we see across these ten frontiers: • It’s a People’s World: Entrepreneurs and changemakers, not organizations and corporations, are creating the future of engagement (crowdfunding, collaborative consumption). The consequence is that organizations must learn best practices from entrepreneurs and changemakers, and adapt them to their own engagement efforts. • It’s a Purpose-led World: Engagement is increasingly being ignited by a shared purpose and a sense of citizenship (grassroots change movements, collaborative social innovation). There’s an urgent need for organizations to collaboratively redefine what they stand for and design purpose-inspired platforms and programs. • It’s a Boundless World: Engagement is increasingly unbound by channel. Media organizations are often in the forefront of digital media innovation (transmedia storytelling, social curation, social live experiences). Corporations must follow their lead and create platforms and programs that are truly unbound by channel. • It’s a Social World: The shared purpose that fuels engagement is often a societal purpose – like sustainability, wellness and learning – (crowdfunding, grassroots change movements, collaborative social innovation), but also self-interest and self-improvement (behavior change games, collaborative consumption). Corporations need to tap into both these motivations. • It’s a Complex World: While entrepreneurs, changemakers and media organizations are creating long term platforms, corporations often limit themselves to creating short-term programs that are easier to fit into the framework of a campaign. Corporations must learn the skills and mindset needed to create long-term platforms. • It’s a Demanding World: Media organizations and corporations are beginning to acquire innovative startups to engage people in more meaningful ways (behavior change games, collective intelligence, collaborative consumption). Corporations will increasingly need to behave like venture capitalists, with a portfolio of investments in the future. • It’s a Fragmented World: Entrepreneurs are creating specialized software solutions to help organizations engage people using specific tools, in specific verticals. Such engagement solutions will become even more niche, even as bigger players try to position their engagement solutions as more integrated. • It’s a Global World: The platforms and programs that point to the future of engagement are originating not only in the US, but from all over the world, including Europe, Asia and Latin America, with the Nordics contributing a disproportionate share of path- breaking projects. Welcome to our brave new world! It’s not an easy world to navigate, but it’s a Darwinian one, in which competition is open to all, and where the best will dominate. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all our planners around the globe who have shared their insights on the MSLGROUP Insights Network, with a very special mention for our colleagues Gaurav Mishra and Nidhi Makhija, who have synthesized these insights into foresights.
  6. 6. 7 We are delighted to share our report titled Now & Next: Future of Engagement. The report highlights the ten most important frontiers that will define the future of engagement for marketers, entrepreneurs and changemakers: Crowdfunding, Behavior Change Games, Collaborative Social Innovation, Grassroots Change Movements, Co-creation Communities, Social Curation, Transmedia Storytelling, Collective Intelligence, Social Live Experiences and Collaborative Consumption. #1. Crowdfunding: inspiring people to collectively fund projects they are passionate about and help bring them to life. #2. Behavior Change Games: using game design technique and the power of communities to motivate people to achieve challenging tasks in the real world. #3. Collaborative Social Innovation: synthesizing community contributions to co- create innovative and sustainable solutions around a shared purpose. #4. Grassroots Change Movements: inspiring people to act as change agents in a way that their actions can be aggregated or coordinated, leading to significant impact and meaningful change. #5. Co-creation Communities: synthesizing community contributions to create new artifacts including books, movies, music, art, software, products and solutions. #6. Social Curation: aggregating, organizing and sharing content created by others to add context, narrative and meaning to it. #7. Transmedia Storytelling: sharing interlocking parts of a storyworlds on different media channels to create an immersive experience and drive participation, action and loyalty. Nidhi Makhija, Manager - Insights, MSLGROUP Gaurav Mishra, Asia VP of Insights, Innovation & Social, MSLGROUP Executive Summary Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement
  7. 7. Annual Report #8. Collective Intelligence: synthesizing search, social and sensor data streams into insights about our behaviors in relation to relevant others to guide smarter actions. #9. Social Live Experiences: blending technology, community and location to create immersive experiences that blur the boundaries between online and offline. #10. Collaborative Consumption: Using technology and community to enable people to share, sell, rent, swap, barter and gift spaces, products, services and experiences. Synthesizing Insights into Foresights Throughout 2012, 100+ planners on MSLGROUP’s Insights Network have been tracking inspiring web platforms and brand programs at the intersection of social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship. Every week, we picked up one project and curated the conversations around it — on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself but also on the broader social web — into a weekly insights report. Every quarter, we compiled these insights, along with original research and insights from the MSLGROUP global network, into the People’s Insights Quarterly Magazine. Now, we have synthesized the insights from our year-long endeavor in future scanning as foresights into the future of engagement, in the form of this report. We believe, like William Gibson that, “the future is already here; it’s just not very evenly distributed.” So, innovative web platforms in the areas of social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship point towards interesting possibilities for brands programs that leverage similar models to engage people. In turn, the web platforms and brands programs of today give us clues to the future of engagement tomorrow. In our individual reports on the ten frontiers that will define the future of engagement, we start by describing why they are important and how they work; we then examine web platforms and brand programs that point to the future (that is already here); then finish by identifying some of the most important features of that future, with our recommendations on how to benefit from them. Synthesizing Insights into Foresights We have not only synthesized insights from hundreds of web platforms and brand programs into the ten frontiers for the future of engagement, but also identified the most important patterns that cut across these ten frontiers: 1. Inspiration from Everyone People -- citizens and consumers, changemakers and entrepreneurs, artists and hackers – are creating the future of engagement, not organizations and corporations. So, organizations can learn best practices from entrepreneurs and changemakers and adapt them in their own engagement efforts. Consider collaborative consumption, where corporations (like automobile manufacturers) are trying to adapt their product-centric ownership- driven business models to compete with the service-centric access-driven startups (like car- sharing and ride-sharing services) that are creating the sharing economy. 2. Shared Purpose and Self-Improvement Source: egorick on Flickr Source: camdiluv on Flickr The shared purpose that fuels engagement is either a sense of citizenship, or a desire for self-improvement. Sustainability, wellness and learning are the three most powerful areas not only for grassroots change movements and collaborative social innovation, but also for behavior change games.
  8. 8. 9 These areas don’t only have the best alignment between societal impact and financial impact, but also the strongest linkage between personal actions and a community multiplier effect. Corporations need to tap into both these motivations, design purpose-inspired platforms and programs, and leverage networked technologies to engage people. 3. Brands as Media Platforms Source: triplefivedrew on Flickr Media organizations are far from dead; instead, they are almost always in the forefront of digital media innovation, especially in areas like transmedia storytelling, social curation and social live experiences, often in partnership with social networking platforms. While corporations have aspirations to become owned media platforms, they often limit themselves to creating short-term programs that fit more easily into the tried and tested framework of a campaign (with the exception of Nike with Nike+). If corporations wish to catch up with social networking startups and media organizations, they must learn the skills and mindset needed to create long-term platforms. 4. Corporations as Venture Capitalists creating niche social platforms to connect people in innovative ways and specialized software solutions, often in specific verticals, to help organizations engage people with in more meaningful ways. Media organizations and corporations are beginning to partner with, invest in and acquire innovative startups in order to future-proof their engagement strategy. This is most visible in areas like behavior change games, collaborative social innovation, collective intelligence and collaborative consumption. Corporations will increasingly need to behave like venture capitalists, with a portfolio of investments, with short-term, medium-term and long-term technology horizons. 5. Inspiration from Everywhere Source: werkunz on Flickr The platforms and programs that point to the future of engagement are originating not only in the US, but from all over the world, including Europe, Asia and Latin America, with the Nordics contributing a disproportionate share of path- breaking projects. This means that US-based organizations must plan to not only replicate their US engagement strategy in other markets, but also learn from innovations in other markets. In particular, European markets are taking the lead in areas like collaborative consumption and social live experiences, which need dense urban centers to be successful. In addition, big emerging markets like China, India and Brazil are producing innovations that are often amongst the best examples in their categories anywhere in the world. As you read our reports on each of the ten frontiers, do consider how your organization might benefit from them, using the lens of these five important patterns. We hope that our report will both provide inspiration and guide action, as you continue your journey to create the future of engagement. Source: gsfc on Flickr Even as the large social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Sina and Tencent are consolidating their strength, entrepreneurs are
  9. 9. Annual Report 1. CROWDFUNDING
  10. 10. 11 What is Crowdfunding? Crowdfunding involves people coming together to collectively fund projects they are passionate about and help bring them to life. Crowdfunding has been used to support a wide variety of projects, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, political campaigns, startups, art (music, movies and books), game development, scientific research and causes. In return, funders receive a reward, which might include a product, a customized experience, equity or simply recognition, depending on the type of project. Microlending platforms like Kiva (video), peer-to- peer lending platforms like Prosper and micro- donation platforms like DonorsChoose (video) can be considered to be predecessors to crowdfunding platforms. However, crowdfunding in its present form can be traced to the inception of platforms like indiegogo (video) in 2008 and Kickstarter (video) in 2009, both of which connect people to creative projects in need of funds. It entered mainstream consciousness in 2012, when several projects on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms raised more than $1 million each – and up to $10 million – in funding. These include technology gadgets like e-paper watch Pebble; a music record and tour by Amanda Palmer; gaming projects like gaming console Ouya; and even a community center in Glyncoch, Wales. The success of such crowdfunding projects shows that people are willing to offer financial support to people and projects they believe in, and has created a new model for artists and entrepreneurs to fund their projects. Source: p22earl on Flickr How Does Crowdfunding Work? On most crowdfunding platforms, a creator (an individual or a group) pitches a project to the community and asks for small amounts of funding. Then, the creator and the community promote the project on the crowdfunding platform, on the social web, and in mainstream media, to gather support for the project, and help it reach the funding goal within a specified duration. Successful creators often have a clear plan for completing their project and a public history of successfully completing similar projects, backed up by links to project website and personal social network profiles. By launching the crowdfunding project in public, creators back up their projects with their reputations. Most backers support crowdfunding projects based on trust, to help their friends or public figures they have long admired create something meaningful. Others are inspired by the newness of the idea or the rewards promised by the project, such as backstage passes for a concert or being included in a film’s credits. Yet others are attracted to the idea of co-creating the project, by having insider access to updates and the ability to contribute their own ideas to it. Crowdfunding platforms offer creators more than just money. They also help creators test their ideas in public, build a strong community that supports them and spreads the word, and gain visibility on the platform itself, on social networks, blogs and sometimes even newspapers and television. People and brands put their money where their mouse is.
  11. 11. Annual Report View the full infographic at View the full infographic at View the full infographic at As Stephan Angoulvant, design director at texting printing company Lumi, shared: “For us, Kickstarter has been a powerful tool to connect with a community passionate about our work, to help us collect critical insight, and to provide a time line that helps us organize our activities as we grow our project.” Platforms offer one of two funding models: ‘all or nothing’ in which the creator only gets the funds if the project reaches the funding goal, and ‘keep it all’ in which the creator gets whatever amount the project has raised, irrespective of whether it has met the funding goal. Over time, three distinct models of crowdfunding have emerged, focused on donations, lending and investments. As crowdfunding becomes mainstream, we are beginning to see niche crowdfunding platforms targeting specific geographies, funding models and types of projects. Pozible (video), Zeczec and WeFund focus on diverse projects in Australia, Taiwan and the U.K. respectively. ArtistShare (video) focuses on music projects, CrowdRise (video) and Razoo (video) on non- profits, LoudSauce (video) on meaningful ads, GiveForward (video) on patients, GoFundMe (video) on personal projects, SpaceHive (video) on public spaces, Credibles (video) on food businesses, and Crowdfunder (video) and CrowdCube (video) on startups. Crowdfunding for Brands Several brands have used crowdfunding principles in their programs to connect their fans with worthy projects and non-profits (targeting backers), and to encourage fans to start their own projects and catalyze positive change (targeting creators). In the most popular model, brands ask their employees, customers or fans to vote for eligible non-profits to receive philanthropic grants. Many brands also enable the community members to directly back the non-profits by volunteering or donating money. Several brands have launched recurring programs that follow this model, which include Chase Community Giving (video), American Express Members Project (video), and Starbucks Vote.Give.Grow. In another popular model, brands ask their fans to act as changemakers by creating their own projects and gathering support from their networks to qualify for funding. Not only do these projects receive funding, but also visibility from the brand and its community members, and support from the brand and its employees to realize and scale the idea. Branded programs that follow this model include the Pepsi Refresh Project (video), Benetton’s Unemployee of the Year (video) and Mahindra Group’s Spark the Rise (video). Both of these types of crowdfunding programs tap into the same dynamics as the crowdfunding platforms. Brands provide change makers and non-profits the opportunity to connect with a larger community, and offer their fans a range of projects that match their passions. Changemakers and non-profits activate their networks to support the Crowdfunding
  12. 12. 13 projects, and keep backers engaged with updates on progress during the fundraising period. The brand provides credibility and visibility, beyond funding. Finally, brands rely on the wisdom of crowds to identify projects to fund, and fans feel affinity not only for their favorite projects, but also for the brand for creating the platform to support them. Crowdfunding case studies Throughout the year, we have tracked the conversations around a number of crowdfunding platforms and branded crowdfunding programs in our weekly insights reports and quarterly magazines; here are a few highlights. Crowdfunding platform: Kickstarter Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare Source: Kickstarter is the largest U.S. crowdfunding platform, empowering artists and engineers to raise funds from individuals. Mike Bulajewski, a user experience designer, described Kickstarter as: “A place where artists and engineers can connect with the people in direct peer-to-peer relationships who aren’t just buying entertainment, they’re helping make dreams a reality.” Kickstarter focuses on funding of creative projects and fills a gap that was created by the slow economy and budget slashes. As journalist James Reed observed in the music industry: “As the music industry’s financial resources continue to crumble, more independent musicians are turning to fans to directly finance work that might not otherwise get done.” This need has helped fuel the growth and success of Kickstarter. Journalist Patricia Cohen noted: “[Kickstarter] recently boasted that it expected to raise $150 million in contributions in 2012. By comparison, the National Endowment for the Arts, noted Yancey Strickler, one of Kickstarter’s founders, has a budget of $146 million.” Kickstarter follows the ‘all or nothing’ funding model, in which only projects that have successfully met their funding goals – approximately 43% of all Kickstarter projects – receive funds. Kickstarter believes this model “protects everyone involved,” as projects with insufficient budgets are less likely to succeed. Since 2009, Kickstarter has helped raise more than $250 million for more than 24,000 projects. Crowdfunding platform: LoudSauce Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare Source: LoudSauce is a crowdfunding platform that funds advertising for social good. The platform offers people a unique opportunity to broadcast messages that can help society. As social activist Jeremy Williams commented: “Most of us can’t afford a billboard. But if we got together with like-minded people and each chipped in a bit, perhaps we could use just a small part of the advertising network for something positive.” This opportunity helps non-profits and organizations reach larger crowds and create larger networks of like-minded people. Blogger Beth Buczynski observed: “Most of these [social media] outlets require people to “opt in” to receive updates and invites. This means that for the most part, organizations with the ability to catalyze social and environmental change end up preaching to the choir.”
  13. 13. Annual Report Source: Source: “Way to go, Chase- it is refreshing to see a “big faceless corporation” making things right. Thanks for looking out for the little guys!” However, the need to campaign for votes and compete with other charities has led to much debate amongst non-profits about the return on investment of participating in such programs. As consultant Carrie Hirmer commented: “For us, being in one of these contest-type grants has been a wonderful thing so far. It may not work as well for some organizations. It has helped increase awareness of the need for our project and has served as a door-opener, so to speak, for relationships that will last long after the contest ends.” This type of program also requires constant campaign management and proactive communication with audiences. B.L. Ochman, a consultant and contributor to, who has written about this program at length, considers Chase Community Giving to be: “a model of what — and what not — to do in a corporate philanthropy campaign.” Branded crowdfunding program: Benetton Unemployee of the Year Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare In 2012 Benetton’s Unemployee of the Year gave €500,000 to 100 projects to celebrate young people’s ingenuity, creativity, and ability to create new ways of addressing the problem of unemployment. While the platform may not have an immediate impact on traditional media buying and advertising, it is finding support from both consumers and advertisers. As advertiser Michael Caissie commented: “I work in advertising and my goal is to make a more human way of communication and this concept of ideas coming from the public is almost to me revolutionary.” Branded crowdfunding program: Chase Community Giving Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare Since 2009, Chase Community Giving has donated more than $28 million to more than 500 charities by asking its employees and customers to first nominate eligible charities, then asking its 3.8 million fans on Facebook to vote for their favorite charities. The four-year program has contributed much learning to Chase’s internal giving strategy. As Samantha Smith, journalist at NY Times said: “JPMorgan Chase’s goal with the above contribution is to continuously engage communities that care and are knowledgeable on change in the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s giving strategy.” The program has also helped spread the word about Chase’s philanthropic efforts and shape people’s opinion about the brand. As Julie Brown commented on Facebook: Crowdfunding
  14. 14. 15 Source: Source: Involving customers also complemented Starbucks’ contribution to non-profits. As Starbucks customer Suzanne C commented: “This seems like a good way for SB to not only donate funds to a non-profit but to also raise awareness for the non-profits that are out there!” In return, customers feel a sense of pride for contributing to worthy causes and a sense of affinity for Starbucks for making it happen. As Starbucks customer Sarah commented: “Feels good to patronize a company that is philanthropically minded.” Branded crowdfunding program: Mahindra Spark the Rise Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare In 2012 and 2013, Mahindra Group is giving grants of $1 million to 96 ideas and projects that can drive positive change in India under its Spark the Rise program. Mahindra also connects change makers with each other and mentors, to help create an ecosystem for social innovation in India. While Benetton is famous for highlighting social issues in its advertising, this campaign marks the brand’s first effort to support these issues financially. As Stuart Elliott, columnist at NY Times wrote: “For almost as long, critics have dismissed the [Benetton] ads as exploitative because they do not offer solutions to the problems or assistance to the causes that could use financial help. Now, however, Benetton is going to put some money where its mouth is.” Youth unemployment is a cause that has a large passionate following globally, and the program has inspired widespread coverage of the issue and participation from 42,266 unemployed young people. As NYTimes reader DJ noted: “Every little bit helps when you have no job at all." The €5,000 grants and the relevance of the cause will help Benetton build a deeper relationship with the youth market. As Adweek blogger Tim Nudd wrote: “They may be less provocative than last year’s, but perhaps they’ll make a more lasting difference in the lives of the target market.” Branded crowdfunding program: Starbucks Vote.Give.Grow Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare In 2012, Starbucks Vote.Give.Grow gave $4 million to 124 local non-profit organizations based on votes from My Starbucks Rewards card- members. The program created an opportunity for Starbucks to involve brand loyalists in its corporate purpose. As social do-gooder Tara Nami commented: “One of the focus areas of the Starbucks Foundation is helping the communities in which they operate, and during the month of April… we, the people, get to help them decide where and to whom it goes to in our very own communities.”
  15. 15. Annual Report We also expect some niche crowdfunding platforms to focus on connecting brands with creators and backers. Projeggt (video) in Spain is trying to promote a model where brands sponsor projects in return for custom rewards from creators. Already, we are seeing examples of brands, organizations and celebrities supporting projects on crowdfunding platforms. For instance, Mozilla Firefox is offering matching grants at Crowdrise. Some brands will go further and create their own crowdfunding platforms, and ask their community members to fund projects and non-profits on a matching grant basis, not only through virtual actions such as voting. However, as branded crowdfunding programs become mainstream, and their novelty wears off, we expect that they will become more focused, with a stronger alignment between the brand’s purpose and the type of projects or non-profits it funds. The program is a demonstration of Mahindra Group’s commitment to its corporate philosophy ‘Rise.’ Ad veteran Ramesh Narayan commented: “Mahindra is making a statement it is committed to helping India, and backing it with action. [Spark the Rise] is an eloquent statement of its positioning, unlike a mere advertising campaign that says the company is committed to some cause or the other.” The initiative taps into the passions of the Indian crowds, as former ad-man Lakshmipathy Bhat pointed out: “The ‘rallying cry’ of Rise and the call to action of ‘Spark the Rise’ couldn’t have come at a better time – there are heroes emerging from every walk of life and being egged on by the general public.” As consumers evolve in the digital age, it is important for brands to be seen as authentic and socially responsible. Narayan commented: “As consumers get younger and more aware, these will be increasingly important critical factors affecting choice." The Future of Crowdfunding In the near future, we expect equity-based crowdfunding platforms to become a popular way to fund startups across the world, as financial regulation is modified to allow allocation of equity against crowdfunding. Such models already work in markets like the UK. We also expect consolidation amongst the larger crowdfunding platforms, as large crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and indiegogo become truly global through organic growth, acquisitions and partnerships. For instance, indiegogo is already investing in supporting projects by creators from across the world and building a strong global network of partners, and Kickstarter has already expanded to the UK. In parallel, we expect even more niche crowdfunding platforms that focus on an under- served segment or geography, as white label crowdfunding software like Launcht, Hayduke, Invested In, CrowdForce and Catarse become more powerful. Crowdfunding
  17. 17. Annual Report What are Behavior Change Games? Behavior Change Games use game design elements and the power of communities to motivate people to achieve challenging tasks in the real world. Behavior change games have been used to enable people to lead a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, recover from illness and injury, manage time and money, learn new skills, and engage with political and social causes. The rise of behavior change games can be tracked to three changes in how people play games. First, social games on Facebook have widened the appeal of games beyond the video gaming niche of kids and young adults. For instance, Zynga’s Farmville (video) had more than 83 million monthly active users at its peak. Second, marketers, entrepreneurs and change makers have adapted game design principles in contexts other than entertainment, to design marketing and loyalty programs, social networks and training software, and serious games for social impact. For instance, location-based social network Foursquare (video), which uses gamification to make “checking-in” more fun, crossed 25 million users in September 2012. And, third, the explosion in personal, social and location data has led to the popularity of the quantified self movement, enabling Source: nanpalmero on flickr people to track and change their behaviors. For instance, 10 million people use personal finance management service (video) to track over $80 billion in credit and debit transactions and almost $1 trillion in loans and assets. Behavior change games use the power of games, networks and data to help people create meaningful change. In 2012, a number of niche behavior change games emerged across a diverse range of topics. Quentiq (video), FitBit (video), Nexercise (video), Health rageous (video), Hotseat, Jawbone UP (video), Striiv (video) and Zamzee (video) help people track their workouts and activity automatically. Fitocracy, Super Better (video), Habitual, SlimKicker, Hubbub (video), HealthMonth, Mindbloom (video), Healthy Heroes (video) and Goalpost help people become healthier and develop good habits. Practically Green, Recycle Bank (video) and OPower (video) help people adopt a greener lifestyle and save electricity. Mint (video) and Pay off (video) help people manage their finances and debt. Urgent Evoke (video) and World Without Oil (video) educate people about social issues and encourage them to contribute to solutions. Code Academy and DuoLingo (video) help people master a programming language, or learn French. Epic Win (video) and The Email Game (video) help people increase their productivity and complete tasks or clear their email inbox. Finally, Goodify (video), Keas (video), Shape Up and Youtopia (video) are focused on organizations and schools, and help them motivate employees and students to volunteer or get fit. Some of these behavior change games have also created social impact at scale. Shape Up has helped 700,000 people lose 1 million pounds, PayOff has helped members pay off $41 million of debt, and OPower has helped people reduce energy consumption by 1.6 billion kilowatt hours and save $179 million on electricity bills. People use the power of games, networks and data to change their behavior Behaviour Change Games
  18. 18. 19 Source: latddotcom on flickr Click to watch: Jane McGonigal at TED 2010 Source: hyerdashery on flickr The success of behavior change games shows that people can change deeply entrenched behaviors and form lasting good habits, if they are able to break up big challenges into small goals, receive feedback on their progress, and tap into their networks for support. This is not surprising. Game researcher Jane Mc Gonigal, who is also the author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World explains why such games work: “Gamers spend on average 80% of their time failing in game worlds, but instead of giving up, they stick with the difficult challenge and use the feedback of the game to get better. With some effort, we can learn to apply this resilience to the real-world challenges we face.” How do Behavior Change Games work? Most behavior change games include four game design mechanisms: setting goals and missions, tracking progress, receiving incentives, and receiving support. The first step in most behavior change games involves setting a goal and missions, quests or challenges to achieve the goal. Players have missions assigned to them, choose from a set of pre-configured missions, or create their own missions. Missions range in difficulty, and new players are encouraged to start with easier missions before proceeding to more difficult ones. On Mint (video) and Payoff (video), typical goals include paying off a credit card debt or buying a house, while on Fitocracy and Super Better (video) typical missions include eating healthier or working out. Most behavior change games track progress by asking players to complete virtual tasks (Urgent Evoke (video), World Without Oil (video), Code Academy and DuoLingo (video)) or self-report on their progress (Recycle Bank (video), Fitocracy and Super Better (video)), while some automatically track data through sensors and feeds (Quentiq (video), Nexercise (video), Zamzee (video), OPower (video), Mint (video) and Payoff (video)). Most games use
  19. 19. Annual Report points, rankings, levels and leader boards to help players measure their progress and compare their performance to friends, similar others, and other players. For instance, OPower compares players’ energy consumption to that of their neighbors and Mint compares peoples’ spending habits across categories such as coffee, phone bills and gas. These benchmarks help players re- evaluate their missions and encourage a healthy sense of competition, both to beat their own best performance and that of their friends. Players receive incentives when they accomplish tasks such as completing their profile, inviting friends, sharing their progress, or achieving a milestone. Incentives range from rewards like points, virtual goods and unlocked content; recognition through badges, levels, titles and special privileges; and in some cases real-life prizes including cash prizes ( and holidays packages (Recycle Bank). Incentives are effective in attracting first-time players, helping them get started and creating fun and excitement. After they are hooked and begin to successfully complete missions, players receive the ultimate incentive to keep playing – they see a change in their behavior and experience a sense of pride and self-empowerment. Most behavior games are intrinsically social in nature. They encourage players to share their performance with their social networks and connect them to other people who have struggled with or overcome similar challenges. These communities of friends and like-minded strangers offer players support, encouragement, advice and, when needed, a good dose of peer pressure. In some games, friends have specific roles to play; for instance, in Super Better, players invite allies to create special missions for them, while in Urgent Evoke, players give power votes and act as mentors for others. Behavior change games work best when they are designed with wonder, playfulness and storytelling at their core. In spite of the hype around gamification and the success of white label gamification solutions like Badgeville (video), Bunchball (video), and BigDoor, it’s not enough to just add community or game elements to boring tasks. Game researcher Nicole Lazzaro explains why we play games: “Wonder, one of the strongest emotions of game design, rivets player attention and unleashes powerful neurochemicals that facilitate learning. At the heart of every intellectual pursuit, at the root of nearly all engagement, wonder keeps players coming back.” Game researcher Raph Koster argues in his book Theory of Fun for Game Design that games and stories have a complimentary role: “Games tend to be experiential teaching; stories teach vicariously. Games are good at objectification; stories are good at empathy. Games tend to quantize, reduce, and classify; stories tend to blur, deepen, and make subtle distinctions. Games are external – they are about people’s actions; stories are internal – they are about people’s emotions and thoughts.” Behavior Change Games for Brands Brands are beginning to create their own behavior change games, as marketing campaigns, smart phone or social apps and even sensor-enabled products, to help people change their behavior in an area that is aligned with the brand purpose. Several brands are adding game elements or even creating social games to deepen engagement with their grassroots change movement campaigns. These are typically short term contests, tied to marketing campaigns or important events, with prizes for participation. For example, MTV created the MTV Fantasy Election (video) to educate and engage young voters around the 2012 U.S. elections. Players created teams of politicians and gained or lost points based on their team’s performance on five criteria — civility, transparency, honesty, engagement and public opinion — calculated by using data from social networks and non-partisan civil society organizations. Other brands are creating smart phone or social network applications that enable consumers to sign up for challenges, self-report on their progress, and get the support of their friends to stay fit. For example, GE has created a series of social apps including HealthyShare (video) andFit Friendzy (video) as part of its Healthy magination (video) initiative to help players stay fit. Finally, sports and fitness brands are creating sensor-enabled products and creating games and communities around them to enable people to automatically track their personal data and use it to change their behaviors. Nike with Nike+ has been an early leader in creating a behavior change game ecosystem, including the Nike+ community, Nike+ iPhone and Android apps (video) and several Nike+ products including the Nike FuelBand (video). Since 2006, Nike has Behaviour Change Games
  20. 20. 21 motivated its community of 7 million people to achieve 13 million daily fitness goals, run 733 million miles, and burn 27 billion calories. Now, Adidas is trying to replicate its success with miCoach (video). Behavior Change Games case studies Throughout the year, we have tracked the conversations around a number of behavior change platforms and branded behavior change programs in our weekly insights reports and quarterly magazines; here are a few highlights. Web platform: SuperBetter Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare Source: Source: Launched in 2012, Super Better is a super-hero themed online game that helps people improve their resilience, meet their health goals, recover from illness or injury, and have fun along the way. The game packages everyday occurrences into elements of a super-hero story and offers a new perspective to solving daily challenges. For instance, obstacles are ‘bad guys’ or ‘villains’ that need to be defeated in order to win. As one player commented: “The very idea has changed the way I approach work – as a challenge to defeat and earn my reward (pride).” As part of the story, players choose personas for themselves. Personas can be based on real or fictional heroes and help motivate players to achieve goals they previously considered impossible. As SuperBetter player Courtney Sloan commented: “The gaming aspect allowed me to step away from myself and do things not because I wanted to, but because my hero self would not take no for an answer. She had the willpower, so would I.” To educate and engage 18-29 year olds around the 2012 U.S. elections, MTV launched Fantasy Election – a game in which players create teams of politicians and gain or lose points based on the politicians’ real-life behavior. For instance, politicians received points for engaging with their constituency on social networks or in a town hall, and lost points for inaccurate statements and uncivil advertising. Players who selected SuperBetter relies on the power of its community to help motivate people. Players are encouraged to invite family and friends, or other members of the SuperBetter community, to become their “allies.” Allies keep players motivated with words of encouragement and by creating new quests for them. Alex Goldman reflected: “I suppose this is a bit of a no-brainer, but I was shocked at how motivating it was to have other people designing quests for me. The quests I created for myself seemed so pedestrian by comparison." As success stories begin to emerge, acupuncture student Jason Lay commented: “I see healthcare professionals of different strokes being very interested in SuperBetter. The potential for hands-off delivery and training of health-promoting habits and attitudes is tremendous using this gaming model.” SuperBetter has over 100,000 members and people have used the game to meet health challenges ranging from sleeping disorders, obesity and self-confidence issues, and even to meet ‘life challenges’ such as completing a novel. Branded program: MTV Fantasy Election Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare
  21. 21. Annual Report “good” politicians scored more points, climbed the leader board and increased their chances of winning prizes. TIME journalist Keith Wagstaff noted: “The idea is that while Millennials might not venture to a host of dry political sites to keep track of which politicians are disclosing funding sources and making false claims, they might pay attention if their Fantasy Election team loses points — especially if those points can lead to prizes like a trip for four to the Video Music Awards.” MTV offered a total of 3,022 prizes ranging from $5 gift cards to an all expense paid trip for four to the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards to keep people engaged during the two month campaign. The game also gives political issues a much needed layer of fun. As blogger Gary Henkle noted: “Fantasy Election ‘12 can definitely be used as a tool by student activists to bring their disengaged friends on board. For any friend who says “I want to be more involved, but I don’t know how this works,” this game makes discovery of the political process more fun than a didactic civics lesson, and as mentioned brings awareness in less time.” MTV Fantasy Election replaces MTV’s 20- year “Choose or Lose” election slogan with a campaign more suited for today’s youth. As Keith Wagstaff said: “The days of simply prompting young people to vote from a rock concert are over; twenty- somethings expect everything to be online — and that includes political engagement.” Branded product Nike FuelBand Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare Source: In 2012, Nike introduced the Nike Fuel Band – a wearable product that measures people’s daily activities and work outs in a virtual metric called NikeFuel. People can view their performance data on their smart phones or the Nike+ website and can compare results and NikeFuel earned with friends and members of the 7 million strong Nike+ community. Nike targets the “everyday athlete” with the FuelBand. As journalist Jessica Stanley observed: “Just Do It’ is one of the best positioning statements in the world, but customers started to change. Don’t just say it, help us.” The FuelBand does this by re-positioning everyday activities and chores as a sport, measuring people’s daily activities and rewarding them for doing more. The concept of instant feedback immediately appealed to self-trackers, like Jenna Wortham, who commented: “From the moment I wrapped the band around my wrist, I was enamored with the idea of a device that could help me collect data about my habits and behavior, so that I could try to improve them.” Ever present on the wrists of the owner, the FuelBand displays the amount of NikeFuel earned for the day, and motivates people to meet their daily goal. MSLGROUP’s Gaurav Mishra talks about how the NikeFuel band has helped him become more active: “I am a big believer in breaking down a large challenge into small challenges and ticking them off in public. I remember that the year I first bought a Nike+ shoe was the year I ran most regularly. The instant feedback and the sense of progress were almost addictive. Then, I lost the sensor, and lost my stride. I bought a NikeFuel band a few weeks back and I have seen my activity levels go up significantly since then. Instead of taking a taxi, I walk 3+ km to work, both ways, and I am planning to buy a bike for the weekends. I even created a goal on Nike Plus to finish 2012 active.” Another FuelBand user Alyson Shontell wrote: “The mix of guilt and competition the FuelBand makes you feel pushes you to make healthier decisions.” The Nike FuelBand is the latest addition to Nike’s suite of fitness tracking products, all of which Behaviour Change Games
  22. 22. 23 incorporate some elements of games, networks and data to help people achieve their fitness goals. The Future of Behavior Change Games We believe that we are only beginning to understand the potential of behavior change games to create meaningful change for individuals, communities and the world, and also their many risks. In the future, behavior change games that tap into the power of games, networks and data will become pervasive across business, civil society and government organizations and permeate all aspects of society. Game designer Jesse Schell, who is the author of the classic The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, predicts in his visions of game pocalypse talk: “Games and real life are reaching out to each other with such force that we might come to a condition of “gamepocalypse—-where every second of your life you’re playing a game in some way.” Click to watch: Jesse Schell’s Visions of Gamepocalypse talk at The Long Now Foundation Click to watch: Zappos + SuperBetter We expect the gamification enterprise solutions ecosystem to mature, and new startups to focus on niches like governance and public services, health and wellness, environment and sustainability, and education and learning. For instance, UBoost offers gamification solutions tailored for education and health. We expect behavior change games to also become more focused on specific demographics, diseases or habits, to create customized experiences and close-knit communities. For instance, Goalpost has created a 12-week game to help people quit smoking and Zamzee (video) focuses on helping teens become more active. Specifically, we expect healthcare and insurance companies to work with governments to explore behavior change games as cost-effective ways to manage, treat and prevent long-term illness such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. As Dustin DiTommaso, VP of Experience Design at Mad*Pow, said: “Each year, billions of dollars are spent to move our behaviors in a healthier direction to avert crisis such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other costly and painful afflictions. Leveraging the motivational dynamics of game play to energize and sustain people through behavior change is a challenging yet profound solution.” We expect to see a new generation of innovative sensor-based gadgets designed to track data and trigger behavior change in niche areas. Products like the Withings blood pressure monitor, FitBit Aria Wi-Fi scale (video), MyZeo sleep manager (video) and Changers solar charger (video) are early examples of this trend. We expect brands to create their own behavior change game ecosystems, like Nike did with Nike Plus, or acquire innovative startups that integrate the power of game, network and data, like Intuit did with Mint (video). Other brands will sponsor third party behavior change games and make them available for employees and associates like Aetna did with Mindbloom Life Game (video). We also expect more brands to partner with games to create dedicated versions for their employees, like Zappos did with SuperBetter. Zappos was a development partner with of SuperBetter from the game's inception, and Zappos employees were the first to use SuperBetter to achieve their health goals. Finally, we expect more start ups like Goodify (video), Keas (video), Shape Up and Youtopia (video) to offer solutions for companies to inspire employees and engage them around health and wellness, and social service, and we expect these startups to specialize around narrow niches.
  23. 23. Annual Report
  24. 24. 25 What is Collaborative Social Innovation? Source: thinkpublic on Flickr Organizations and people co-design innovative and sustainable solutions to create shared value. Click to watch: OpenIDEO by IDEO Collaborative social innovation initiatives involve businesses, governments, non-profits and change makers coming together to co-create innovative and sustainable solutions around a shared purpose. Such initiatives typically focus on the areas that have the highest potential to create shared value: environment, energy and sustainability; health, wellness and nutrition; education, learning and capability building; and governance, public services and public spaces. Change makers are typically rewarded with prize money, recognition, funding or support; organizations find solutions to important challenges; and society at large benefits from the innovative solutions. The rise of collaborative social innovation can be attributed to three broad trends. First, businesses, governments and non-profits are realizing the importance of multi-stakeholder social innovation solutions that create shared value, especially in the context of engaging Gen Ys. Second, organizations like the XPrize Foundation, which have a long history of creating “large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions” to solve problems that are important for society, are learning how to reach new groups of innovators from across the world, thanks to the internet. Third, networks like TED, PopTech, Echoing Green, Ashoka and StartingBloc are connecting young change makers and showcasing their work, through conferences, challenges and fellowships, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. As a result, we are seeing a number of platforms focusing on different aspects of collaborative social innovation. Open IDEO (video) by design and innovation consultancy IDEO has partnered with businesses, governments, and non-profits to create a series of collaborative social innovation challenges. ChallengePost, MindMixer (video), Ashoka Change makers (video) and One Billion Minds are other third-party collaborative social innovation platforms which enable organizations to create challenges for the public. ChallengePost focuses on open government challenges and MindMixer encourages civic engagement, while Ashoka Change makers and One Billion Minds feature a wide range of social innovation challenges. Other platforms, like MIT Center for Collective Intelligence’s Climate CoLab project, are focused on a single topic, like climate change.
  25. 25. Annual Report Click to watch: Ashoka Change makers Source: grafixer on Flickr How does Collaborative Social Innovation work? Open government is another important area for collaborative social innovation. In the US,, which is built on Challenge Post, has created a series of open government challenges for federal, state and local agencies, while encourages developers to build applications using its public data sets and showcases the best applications. In parallel, organizations like Sunlight Foundation and Code for America are helping create the ecosystem to enable collaborative social innovation. In the UK, SparkCentral is a government collaborative social innovation platform that aims to “build partnerships across the public, private and voluntary sectors to deliver more for less.” In Finland, Open Ministry is a legislation crowdsourcing platform that enables Finnish citizens to propose new laws to the parliament. Some of these collaborative social innovation platforms have had significant impact. For instance, Ashoka Change makers has channeled $600 million in funding to more than 10,000 social innovators, through more than 50 challenges, with the help of more than 500,000 community members. The success of collaborative social innovation initiatives shows that organizations and people are capable of co-creating innovative solutions to complex problems, and has created a new model Collaborative social innovation platforms are typically a hybrid of three models: innovation challenges, innovation ecosystems, and open data platforms. Most online collaborative social innovation initiatives follow a contest model in which an organization posts a challenge on a platform and invites individuals, groups of individuals or other organizations to submit innovations. These innovations can be at any stage of completion, ranging from ideas or sketches to full-blown business proposals to products, services or technologies that already exist at a smaller scale. Some platforms include a structured design thinking approach with inspiration, concepting, evaluation and collaboration phases (OpenIDEO), while others break up the challenge into what, where and who elements (Climate CoLab). Some platforms match community members with challenges based on interest (ChallengePost) while other motivate community members by using game mechanics like a design quotient score (OpenIDEO). for change makers to showcase their innovations, for governments and foundations to find solutions to societal issues and for businesses to realize sustainable growth. Like MIT’s Thomas W. Malone says: “We want to create more intelligent organizations, more intelligent businesses, more intelligent governments, more intelligent societies. As all the people and computers on our planet get more and more closely connected, it’s becoming increasingly useful to think of all the people and computers on the planet as a kind of global brain.” Collaborative Social Innovation
  26. 26. 27 Click to watch: GE Ecomagination Challenge Other social innovation challenges don’t have a direct impact on the company’s business, but do strengthen the company’s reputation by strengthening its association with social innovation. In many such initiatives, companies partner with educational institutions or non- profit organizations and target students and young innovators. Dell Social Innovation Challenge (video), HP Social Innovation Relay, Citi Innovation Challenge, Sony Open Planet Ideas (video#!), Toyota Ideas for Good (video), Samsung Solve for Tomorrow (video), Intel Innovators (video),Sygenta Thought for Food Challenge (video, McKinsey Social Innovation Video Contest and Dell Go Green Challenge (on MSLGROUP’s People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform) are good examples. Some companies commit to long-term social innovation challenge platforms, with the intention of creating an ecosystem to connect change makers and build capabilities. For Innovations are judged either quantitatively according to a set of scoring criteria or qualitatively by a panel of judges typically made up of experts, specialists and members of the funding committee. In some cases, community members must vote on ideas to increase their chances of appearing before the judges. Winning innovators are rewarded with either cash prizes (ChallengePost, Ashoka Change makers) or with recognition and satisfaction that they have helped contribute to social good (OpenIDEO, Open Ministry). Some of these innovation challenge platforms are designed primarily as destination communities (OpenIDEO, One Billion Minds), while others offer white label options to enable organizations to create their own standalone challenge platforms (ChallengePost, MindMixer). For some platforms, like Ashoka Change makers, the innovation challenges are a small part of the overall innovation ecosystem, which includes community, capability building and funding. For other platforms, like, the innovation challenges serve the purpose of connecting government agencies who can share public data with change makers and developers who can build applications on top of this data to improve how these agencies deliver public services. In essence, all collaborative social innovation platforms are designed around four dynamics: connect, catalyze, crystallize, and celebrate. First, platforms need to connect stakeholders so that they have a context to engage with the organization and with each other. Then, platforms need to catalyze interactions so that new ideas and projects can emerge organically. Next, platforms need to synthesize these ideas into solutions that benefit from and build upon the best ideas. Finally, platforms need to celebrate the most powerful or popular ideas, actions and stories by highlighting them. Collaborative Social Innovation for Brands Just like third-party collaborative social innovation platforms, branded collaborative social innovation platforms are typically a hybrid of three models: innovation challenges, innovation ecosystems, and open data platforms. The most popular model for brands is innovation challenges, or contests to crowdsource social innovation solutions. Several brands have launched social innovation challenges, both as part of their citizenship strategy, to fund, inspire and connect social innovators (Mahindra Spark the Rise, Dell Social Innovation Challenge) and also as part of their business strategy, to co-create innovative and sustainable solutions that create shared value (GE Ecomagination Challenge, GE Healthymagination Challenge (video)). Social innovation challenges that are part of a company’s business strategy usually benefit the change-maker or innovator, the business itself and society at large. In such programs, the brand is usually looking to invest in or acquire the innovation, or promote it by supporting it with its business scale. For instance, since the launch of the GE Ecomagination Challenge (video) to find innovations in energy and sustainability, GE has committed $134 million to 22 investments and commercial partnerships, granted $1.1 million in seed funding to early stage companies and entrepreneurs, and acquired one of the businesses that entered the challenge.
  27. 27. Annual Report Collaborative Social Innovation Case Studies Throughout the year, we have tracked the conversations around a number of behavior change platforms and branded behavior change programs in our weekly insights reports and quarterly magazines; here are a few highlights. Web platform: Open Ministry Source: In March 2012, the Finland Citizens’ Initiative Act went into effect, giving citizens the right to propose legislation to the Finnish Parliament, provided 50,000 citizens of voting age support the idea within six months. To facilitate this, a group of non-profit entrepreneurs launched web platform Open Ministry through which citizens can propose and vote on new legislature online. Several banks and telecom providers have supported this platform by providing free access to their verification APIs. Journalist Susan Fourtané welcomed the move: “Today, companies are crowdsourcing everything from designs of cars to marketing slogans. Why shouldn’t governments follow suit?” Indeed, people too are interested in collaborating over legislature. Joonas Pekkanen, founder of Open Ministry, wrote: “Citizens have begun to call for a more open, transparent and participatory western democracy in place of the old rigid system.” instance, both Mahindra Spark the Rise (video) and Pepsi Refresh Project (video) ran for two years and created significant impact. We have covered both these initiatives in our Future of Engagement report on Crowdfunding as examples of crowdfunding programs focused on creators. Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group, talked about the role of such initiatives: “The way companies build brands has evolved. In version 2.0, we saw companies come in with a larger purpose and meaning, beyond the business. Now, we are trying to build a 21st century corporation, by energizing people and giving them a core purpose to be part of.” Some of these social innovation ecosystems take the shape of public-private partnerships that bring together stakeholders from business, government, academia and civil society to institutionalize social innovation. For instance, Walmart has created 14 Sustainable Value Networks since 2005 to bring together diverse stakeholders to develop solutions to fulfill Walmart’s commitment towards renewable energy, zero waste and sustainable products. IBM launched the Smarter Cities Challenge (video) to collaborate with local governments and co-fund technology-based solutions to city-specific urban challenges. HP launched the Catalyst Initiative to collaborate with educators in finding innovative solutions to enhance student literacy in STEM subjects. In other collaborative social innovation initiatives, companies create open networks to share intellectual property and know- how, and encourage stakeholders to build upon it. As an example, to realize its vision of sustainable “considered design”, Nike created the GreenXchange (video) in 2009 as an open platform for companies and people to share green intellectual property, processes and ideas. Michael Dell, CEO and Chairman of Dell, sums up the opportunity this positive multi-stakeholder approach opens up for all of us: “The new engine of innovation driven by collaboration, openness, stewardship and the power of the social web gives all of us an opportunity to drive even more rapid, meaningful change across global institutions.” Collaborative Social Innovation
  28. 28. 29 Click to watch: Intel Innovators In early 2012, Intel gave $300,000 to youth innovators who presented ideas on how they would change the world through technology, as part of the Intel Innovators contest. The contest helped youth innovators gain attention not only from the industry, but also from their close and extended networks. Pascal Wagner, a participant in the contest, reflected on how the experience led him to reach out to his extended network for support and become more vocal about his project: “While walking around my college campus, I had over 20 different people stop me asking me about Wordio and the competition – most of them had not known that I was working on this project for the last four months.” A unique aspect of Intel Innovators is the use of gamification to involve people who weren’t participating directly in the contest. Rooshabh Doshi, member of the MSLGROUP’s Insights Network, noted: “Making fans who invest the most amount of social capital on participants, ‘Top Fans’ and allowing them to be a part of ‘The Battleground’ to award an idea $50,000, gives them an immense feeling of belonging at the end of the day… It’s a win-win for fans as well as participants at the end of the day.” Intel Innovators was a part of Intel “Innovators of Tomorrow” branding campaign and demonstrated the commitment of the company to fostering innovation among young entrepreneurs. Noah Kerner, CEO of Noise, the agency behind the campaign, said: “[Start ups] can raise money from funds like GE’s 200MM Ecoimagination Challenge or programs like Intel Innovators, which we created in part to give young entrepreneurs access to funding that they might not otherwise have. In the future, there will be an increasing number of opportunities like this so young entrepreneurs can get more creative about how they raise money and smarter about how much equity they give up.” David Meyer, a writer at, attributed the success of the initiative to Finland’s culture of openness and history of collaboration between citizens and the government, and noted the global significance of the Open Ministry project: “Nordic countries tend to have relatively close societies where people are enthusiastic about pitching into civic life… Tech-driven democracy fans in other countries may not find the environment as conducive to crowdsourced legislation right now, but on the other hand they just got themselves a model to study.” In October 2012, the first citizen-proposed law, a ban on fur farming, entered Parliament with the support of 55,000 citizens. Branded program: Intel Innovators Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare
  29. 29. Annual Report Source: Source: Click to watch: Dell Social Innovation Challenge Since 2007, the Dell Social Innovation Challenge has inspired 15,000 students from 105 countries to share 4,500 proposals to tackle the world’s problems and has empowered them with access to peers, mentors and faculty members and $450,000 in funding. Dell has also committed to investing a further $5 million to engage more students every year. The Dell Social Innovation Challenge has acted as an incubator for several promising start ups, and has helped entrepreneurs boost their skills, networks and marketability. Katherine Bascom, who was part of the 2010 winning team Shining Hope for Communities, said: “Since we’ve won [the challenge], we’ve raised $1.2 million from funders like Echo in Green, Newman’s Own Foundation and several other small family foundations. We’ve been featured in New York Times, Vogue Magazine and Fast Company and other media outlets.” Suzi Sosa, a Dell employee and contributor to Forbes BrandVoice highlighted the importance and rise of ‘systems innovations’, a trend emerging in the social entrepreneurship industry as well as in the Dell Social Innovation Challenge: “Though not always as simple or sexy as product innovations, systems innovations are critical for our planet. The world’s most urgent problems remain unsolved because they are tied to broken systems that no single product can remedy.” “The winners of this year’s Dell Social Innovation Challenge created two systems innovations that not only have the potential to impact the lives of millions, but also reflect an important and exciting trend for social entrepreneurship worldwide.” The Dell Social Innovation Challenge community has 230,000 members. Nearly 500 employees have participated in challenge as mentors or judges. Branded program: Mahindra Spark the Rise Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare Branded program: Dell Social Innovation Challenge Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare Collaborative Social Innovation
  30. 30. 31 Click to watch: Mahindra Spark the Rise ChallengePost and MindMixer, which are focused on social innovation and civic engagement. Mature organizations will need to go beyond platforms and commit to long-term public- private partnerships that create strong multi- stakeholder ecosystems to scale both the engagement in such initiatives and the impact of the innovations that result from them (Dell Social Innovation Challenge, IBM Smarter Cities Solutions). Specifically, we expect educational institutions to become more proactive in both partnering with other organizations to co-create collaborative social innovation initiatives targeted at students, and find innovative ways to bring such initiatives into the classroom (OpenIDEO University Toolkit, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow). Even as more corporations create branding- driven collaborative social innovation challenges, we expect more Fortune 500 firms to follow GE’s example and create challenges which have a direct business impact, by investing in the winning innovations, or using their business clout to scale them. As open government data and application programming interfaces (APIs) become that norm, we expect many more governments to open up civic data and invite developers to build applications on top of them. We also expect some non-profits and corporations to experiment with this model and share data or intellectual property in an open network so that third party developers can build social innovation applications on them. In a TED Talk, former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Beth Noveck said: “If we want to see the hopeful, exciting kinds of innovations in clean energy and education and development, if we want to see those adopted and scaled, we must all participate. Open up institutions and let the nutrients flow throughout our culture to create open institutions, a stronger democracy, a better tomorrow.” Finally, as organizations become better at designing and measuring collaborative social innovation initiatives, we will see them investing heavily to replicate pilot innovations across markets and scale their impact (Walmart Sustainable Value Networks). In 2012 and 2013, India’s Mahindra Group is giving grants of $1 million to 96 ideas and projects that can drive positive change in India under its Spark the Rise program. Mahindra also connects change makers with each other and mentors, to help create an ecosystem for social innovation in India. The program is a demonstration of Mahindra Group’s commitment to its corporate philosophy ‘Rise.’ Ad veteran Ramesh Narayan commented: “Mahindra is making a statement it is committed to helping India, and backing it with action. [Spark the Rise] is an eloquent statement of its positioning, unlike a mere advertising campaign that says the company is committed to some cause or the other.” Former ad-man Lakshmipathy Bhat noted the need for companies to embrace purpose-driven campaigns like Spark the Rise: “Consumers are a lot more wary of advertising claims. They also have access to information on the internet which allow them to form a considered opinion about a brand and not just depend on what the advertising says. So in a way, companies can be ‘caught out’ if they were to merely pay lip service to a claim… In this context, the Mahindra Group initiative, Rise is commendable.” The Future of Collaborative Social Innovation In the near future, we expect collaborative social innovation to become the norm both for corporations creating innovations that create shared value and governments and change makers designing solutions for social good. Even as white label open innovation platforms like BrightIdea and People’s Lab mature, we will see more specialized platforms like
  31. 31. Annual Report 4. GRASSROOTS CHANGE MOVEMENTS
  32. 32. 33 What are Grassroots Change Movements? Source: untitlism on Flickr Brands and people act together around a shared purpose to create meaningful change. Grassroots change movements involve a large numbers of people acting as change agents, in their own lives or in their communities, in a way that their actions can be aggregated or coordinated, leading to significant impact and meaningful change. Grassroots change movements might be catalyzed and managed by organizations, including corporations, or they might be sparked by an event and spontaneously spread through the initiative of volunteers. Many grassroots change movements are political and focus on issues like human rights, freedom of expression and economic equality. Now, many organizations are applying a similar approach to catalyze behavior change and create shared value in the areas of environment, energy and sustainability; health, wellness and nutrition; education, learning and capability building; and happiness, kindness and human potential. Grassroots change movements have moved into the mainstream due to four important dynamics. First, people have new types of power: to access information, connect with each other, express their opinions, and change the course of public debate. Second, people don’t trust organizations; in fact, trust in all organizations is at an all-time low across the world, and people believe that they themselves can drive real change, not governments or corporations. Third, people are searching for meaningful connections with communities around a shared purpose; they expect organizations to enable such connections, and are willing to reward organizations who do. Finally, the scale of social networks (Facebook has one billion members globally), the ease of one-click sharing via Facebook Likes and Twitter Retweets, and the virality of popularity-driven activity streams have made it easy for people, especially Gen Y, to participate in and help spread such movements. Unilever CEO Paul Polman succinctly summed up the power of social movements and their importance for corporations: “If [social media activists] can bring down the Egyptian regime in a few weeks, they can bring us down in nanoseconds.” We have seen a number of grassroots change movements, in which social media has played an important role. Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street (video), India Against Corruption, Spain’s 15-M (video) and Mexico’s Yo Soy 132 (video) focused on economic equality and political regime change. Kony2012 (video) and Free Pussy Riot (video) focused on human rights in Uganda and Russia. WWF’s Earth Hour (video) and 350 (video) focus on climate change. It Gets Better (video) and All Out (video) focus on LGBT issues. Bono’s ONE (video) and RED (video) fight poverty and AIDS in Africa. Movember (video) rallies people around men’s health, Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Day (video) promotes anti-consumerism, Free Hugs Campaign (video) encourages human kindness and Startup Weekend supports entrepreneurship.
  33. 33. Annual Report We have also seen an ecosystem of dedicated platforms and products to support such movements. (video), (video), Care2 (video) and Causes (video) are amongst the leading platforms for changemakers to start and support petitions, raise and donate funds, recruit and volunteer, and create and share content, each with several million members. Edward Norton’s Crowdrise (video) partners with celebrities to raise funds for non-profits. eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll’sParticipant Media and Take Part use socially conscious movies like An Inconvenient Truth, Contagion and Food Inc to promote social actions. Agencies like Blue State Digital, Purpose and GoodCorps exclusively focus on creating social movements, while organizations like New Organizing Institute help build capabilities for grassroots organizers. Finally, changemakers use platforms like Meetup, UStream and Kickstarter (video) to organize events, livestream video or raise funds. Click to watch: 350 Click to watch: Participant Media/ Take Part Click to watch: Movember – Fundraising Tips Some grassroots change movements have achieved significant impact. The Arab Spring movement led to a series of regime changes across the Middle East. The Occupy movement and Take the Square movements have spread to over 100 cities in the United States and over 1500 cities globally. 1.1 million people worldwide registered for the Movember movement in 2012 and raised $135 million for men’s health. The success of such grassroots change movements shows that people have the desire and the tools to participate and act to drive change around a shared purpose they are passionate about. How Do Grassroots Change Movements Work? Grassroots change movements typically involve four change drivers: a shared purpose to inspire people, an ongoing platform to organize people, a series of interconnected programs to energize people, and stories to spark participation and action. Almost all grassroots change movements have a strong shared purpose. Often, the purpose is to oppose a harmful practice, prevent a negative outcome, or fight to protect something, but movements focused on positive outcomes also work (Free Hugs Campaign (video)). Often, movements are initiated by an individual, a small group, or an organization, and then carried forward by volunteers and supporters. Many movement organizers provide ‘how-to’ guides to show supporters how to get involved (Earth Hour (video), It Gets Better (video)). The best movements create a ladder of engagement for supporters, to first get them involved with simple actions like signing petitions, voting for causes, or sharing content; then get them more engaged by asking them to share personal stories, donate money, buy merchandise, or volunteer time; and finally convert them into partners by inspiring them to recruit supporters, raise funds, or organize local events. Some movement platforms also use gamification features, like points and leaderboards, to move supporters up the ladder of engagement. (Movember (video)). Grassroots Change Movements
  34. 34. 35 Click to watch: All Out Click to watch: Earth Hour I Will If You Will Click to watch: Free Hugs Campaign Even writer Evgeny Morozov, who rails against “slacktivism” in his book Net Delusion recognizes the value of this approach: “Create diverse, distinctive, and non-trivial tasks; your supporters can do more than just click “send to all” button” all day. Facebook could actually be a boon for those organizing a campaign; they just need to figure out a way in which to capitalize on identity aspiration of “slacktivists” by giving them interesting and meaningful tasks that could then be evaluated.” If a movement becomes successful, the original leaders find ways to spread the movement across the world, while maintaining its original spirit (Adbusters/ Occupy). Many movement organizers also create guides to help volunteers organize local chapters or events (How to Occupy, Earth Hour, 350, Startup Weekend). Some organizers create interactive maps, so that supporters can easily find local chapters (Earth Hour, 350, Take the Square). Movement platforms can be designed to have ongoing engagement, like an online community or a physical space, or periodical engagement, like an annual event or an annual contest (Movember, Earth Hour). The most successful movements keep supporters engaged through a series of interconnected programs (350 2010 summary, 350 2011 summary, Kony MOVE:DC, Kony Cover the Night) and a stream of stories, often shared by the community members themselves (We Are the 99%, It Gets Better). Sometimes, these programs result in offshoot projects that spread the movement to new constituents or in new directions (Occupy Network). Often, other organizations join in a movement and create their own offshoot projects, helping the movement grow (Amnesty International Free Pussy Riot Map). Many movement organizers proactively seek the support of celebrities to gain more visibility. Invisible Children asked supporters to email or tweet to specific celebrities whose support could spread their message. Earth Hour partnered with celebrities to create the I Will If You Will campaign. Grassroots Change Movements for Brands Brands are realizing the power of grassroots change movements and creating movement marketing initiatives to benefit from them. Scott Goodson, author of the movement marketing book Uprisingsummarizes how movement marketing works: Finally, stories and content play a big role in sparking a wave of sharing and participation, which help movements go viral and achieve results. For instance, the Kony2012 video has received 95 millions views on YouTube and attracted global attention to the Kony 2012 campaign. The Free Hugs Campaign video has received 74 million views. The original It Gets Better video has received more than 2 million views and the response videos have more than 50 million views collectively.
  35. 35. Annual Report “You start by identifying a powerful idea on the rise in culture. You then join, fuel and add real tangible value to the idea through innovative marketing and social media. People who share the passion for the idea join the cause. And rally others to get involved too. And so, a movement is born, which smart brands can profit from.” Brands can engage in grassroots change movements at many levels, starting with participating in existing movements, then creating their own campaigns around purpose and participation, and finally catalyzing and committing to long-term movements. Many brands start by participating in or partnering with movements that resonate with their values, and encouraging their employees to participate. For instance, Gap (video) and Google (video) encouraged their LGTB employees to create videos to participate in the It Gets Better movement. Several brands have supported the Earth Hour and (RED) movements, and some have played significant roles in promoting these. For instance, Starbucks with its annual {RED) programs (2008 video, 2009 video, 2010 video) has raised more than $10 million for the (RED) Global Fund. Click to watch: Starbucks RED Some brands create short-term campaigns around purpose and participation, but stop short of committing to them long enough to turn them into movements (GE Celebrate What Works). Sometimes, these short-term campaigns are a part of long-term purpose-led programs (GE Ecomagination Tag Your Green (video). Brands that have committed to long-term movement marketing initiatives can take three distinct routes. They can rally people to support a cause or raise funds for it; they can inspire people to change their own behavior in a way that adds up to meaningful change; and, they can create ecosystems to support changemakers who are creating change in their own communities. Some brands see movement marketing as an extension of cause marketing, and create campaigns that rally support for a cause. Here, brands typically partner with a non-profit and make a donation to it, often based on sales or community participation, but also create content that inspires community members to pledge support, share their own stories and spread the word. For instance, Google Take Action (video) rallied people to pledge their support for a free and open web. Aircel Save Our Tigers (video) catalyzed a public debate in India to protect tigers. Brand crowdfunding programs, like Chase Community Giving (video), American Express Members Project (video), and Starbucks Vote. Give.Grow, that ask community members to support non-profits by volunteering or donating money can also be included in this category. Increasingly, brands are creating movements marketing campaigns that focus on inspiring people to change their own behavior, and aggregating these actions so that they add up to meaningful change. For instance, P&G’s Secret Mean Stinks (video) aims to end girl-to-girl bullying and inspire girls to gang up for good and be nice to each other. Sometimes, these behavior changes movements can be fun and whimsical. For instance, Doritos in Argentina created a movement to bring slow dancing back (video). Some brands create an annual event to focus their effort to bring about behavior change. For instance, American Express’ Small Business Saturday encourages Americans to shop at independent stores, each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving (2010 video, 2011 video, 2012 video). Other brands create a series of interconnected behavior change campaigns around their shared purpose, or Social Heartbeat. For instance, over the years, Starbucks has created a series of movement marketing campaigns in the US, which link back to its shared purpose of being the “third place” and nurturing community values (vote in the 2008 elections, pledge 5 hours of volunteer time, change local communities, bring your own tumblr, help create jobs). Tata Tea Jaago Re in India has created campaigns to inspired people to register to vote, volunteer for causes and spread positivity. MSLGROUP has helped Alpenliebe inspire millions of young people in China to share, appreciate and engage in everyday acts of kindness, through a movement marketing campaign that is now entering its third year. Some of these behavior change movements can also be seen as behavior change games. For Grassroots Change Movements
  36. 36. 37 Source: instance, Nike has created a series of campaigns, increasingly around Nike Plus and Nike Fuel (video), which use gamification features like challenges and levels to inspire people to become more active (Nike Global Game on World, Nike Hong Kong Make It Count, Nike Mexico Bid Your Sweat, Nike Global Missions). Finally, some brands are creating long-term platforms, with the intention of creating an ecosystem to connect changemakers and build capabilities. These platforms provide the tools and the enabling ecosystem for people to act as change agents in their own communities. Often, these platforms ask community members to create their own grassroots change projects and activate their networks to get funding and scale their projects. For instance, both Mahindra Spark the Rise (video) and Pepsi Refresh Project (video) created platforms to support changemakers that created significant impact. We have covered both these initiatives in our Future of Engagement reports on crowdfunding and collaborative social innovation. In summary, brands can create a campaign around purpose and participation, but it becomes a movement only if people make it their own. For movement marketing to work, the brand needs to think of itself as a custodian of the movement, not its owner; it needs to nurture the movement over multiple years, but also create the space for it to become bigger than the brand itself. If a brand tries to control the movement, and keep it on message, the movement is likely to be stillborn, or die a slow death. Grassroots Change Movements Case Studies Throughout the year, we have tracked the conversations around a number of grassroots change movements and branded programs in our weekly insights reports and quarterly magazines; here are a few highlights. In March 2012, non-profit Invisible Children released a 30 minute documentary that sparked a grassroots change movement to make indicted war criminal Joseph Kony famous and pressurize policy makers to call for his arrest. The documentary broke records by topping 100 million views in just six days. Social Media strategist Calum Brannan shared his views on why the video went viral: “Viewers are shown ‘Share’ buttons in the first few seconds almost subliminally, now I’m not a psychologist, but one could hazard a guess this helps plant that seed. This video is emotive, its a roller-coaster of happy to sad to shock. Film maker Russell invites the viewer to participate in an experiment, and the use of the word ‘We’ and ‘Us’ instantly builds a sense of community and is very personal. The end of the video provides clear instructions on how you can help, leading with financial ones first, then powerfully suggests that the least you can do is ‘Share’ the video.” People were directed to the Kony 2012 website and given specific calls to action to spread the word, sign a pledge, buy Kony 2012 actions kits, donate money and send messages to lawmakers and celebrities, including Bill Clinton, Justin Grassroots change movement: Kony2012 Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare
  37. 37. Annual Report Click to watch: KONY 2012: What’s Next Bieber and Oprah, asking them to tweet on #StopKony and retweet other #StopKony tweets. Many celebrities responded to these messages, including Oprah who tweeted: “Thanks tweeps for sending me info about ending #LRAviolence. I am aware. Have supported with $’s and voice and will not stop. #KONY2012.” The Kony2012 campaign inspired many to think deeply and share their opinions, thereby flooding their social network streams with KONY 2012 content and building momentum of the movement. Science and technology writer Peter Murray wrote: “Not only is the video being viewed like crazy, but people are posting their own clips and commentary. In this new age of interactive media, viewers are investing their own time to record and upload their own thoughts. As I write, 278 video clips have been uploaded to the KONY 2012 YouTube video campaign. As of the 200th video, their average length was six minutes.” Ashraf Engineer, member of the MSLGROUP Insights Network commented: “For me, the root of the campaign’s success lay in its calls-to-action. People want to be involved, to feel that they are making a difference. It was by giving viewers a sense of participation that the campaign went viral. This is an important lesson for marketers too. Involvement spells success.” Inivisible Children, organizer of the Kony 2012 movement, continues to engage its network of supporters with follow up programs and specific calls to action to attend conferences and rallies, share photos on Instagram with #move:dc, message politicians who have not yet confirmed their support and buy merchandise on their web platform. Grassroots change movement: Free Pussy Riot Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare Supporters wearing the balaclava, the symbol of the movement, at the Russian Consulate in New York City, via In March 2012, supporters of Russian feminist punk-rock band and anti-Putin activist group Pussy Riot initiated the Free Pussy Riot movement to protest the detention of three band members and to attract international intervention. The remaining band members created as the central platform of the movement, where they shared news updates and progress, including live tweets from the court house, in multiple languages; and directed people to fundraising campaigns (FundRazr), online petitions (,, and events such as the Global Day of Solidarity which took place in 74 cities across the world. The organizers also recruited support from organizations such as Amnesty International and The Voice Project, and musicians and artists, each of whom created programs at the grassroots level. For instance, The Voice Project encouraged people to buy merchandise on CafePress, musicians and poets organized fundraising events such as readings and benefit concerts, rapper Peaches created a music video, Paul McCartney tweeted his support to his 1 million followers, Madonna wore a balaclava (the symbol of the movement) and addressed the issue at her concert in Moscow, and Amnesty International urged people to write to Russian officials and share photos of themselves wearing balaclavas. Tom Watson, a journalist at Forbes, pointed out that the movement went viral because it involved niche communities who shared the same passions: Grassroots Change Movements
  38. 38. 39 Click to watch: Free Pussy Riot – The Guardian’s video montage Source: “Like the Occupy movement, it involved a small group that magnified its attention through other nodes: Amnesty International, feminist bloggers, the foreign policy press, and a vast mob of supporters on Twitter and Facebook.” Suzanne Nossel, Executive director, Amnesty International USA, pointed out that the balaclava and the image of the Pussy Riot activists has also helped the cause attract attention not only from musicians and activists, but also the media: “Observers have chalked up Pussy Riot’s prominence to the group’s provocative name and the band members’ adroit use of historical images with a ’90s era Riot Grrl style.” Content too played a large role in attracting attention and keeping people motivated. For instance, A few hours after the three women were sentenced to three years imprisonment, the remaining group members released a new single, Putin Lights a Fire. This song was picked up by The Guardian who used it to create a video montage with multimedia from the trial and fan protests. This in turn was published in sites including the Huffington Post, thereby reaching a larger audience. Blogger Courtney Fowler noted: “So what does Pussy Riot teach us? It indeed has shown us what is possible in an interconnected world. It shows us how successfully a protest movement can employ the internet to spread their message globally.” Grassroots change movement: It Gets Better Project Read the full case study on our blog or on Slideshare In response to a rise of gay youth bullying and suicides in the U.S., Dan Savage and Terry Miller created the It Gets Better Project, a purpose- inspired movement that solicits personal stories from LGBT adults and allies to let LGBT teens know that life gets better. Social media and YouTube gave the co-founders the opportunity to reach out to supporters and LGBT teens across the globe with their message in real-time and without the need of seeking approvals or spending money. In an interview with ABC News, Dan Savage co-founder of the It Gets Better Project said: “It occurred to me that we can talk to these kids now. We don’t have to wait for an invitation or permission to reach out to them using social media and YouTube.” They posted their video a week after a controversial suicide, at a time when the LGBT community and legislators were paying attention to the cause. As Heidi Massey, a non-profit new media consultant said: “The timing was perfect. It was so relevant to what was going on.” Since its launch in September 2010, more than 50,000 stories and messages of support have been shared on YouTube from LGBT adults and allies including celebrities Barack Obama, and companies including Gap and Google. The videos have collectively been viewed more than 50 million times. Journalist Ivor Tossel pointed out why so many adults connected to the concept of sharing their story: