Social Media to the Rescue?

I’m BACK……What do you mean you didn’t noticed I left? Okay, I will ignore that comment for now….FYI, I was on sabbatical for two months, which is a great perk from Intel; so now that I’m refreshed and re-energized, I have some input for this blog.

Last week I attended the SAP SAPPHIRE conference in Orlando. Intel was there at the request of SAP’s CSR VP, James Farrar. James had organized a team of people representing business, consulting, NGOs, etc., to discuss how social media or web 2.0 can potentially have a huge impact on environmental issues such as sustainability, climate change, etc., and on the world’s social challenges, such as poverty, education, etc. The web as we know has the unprecedented ability to connect people and drive collective behavior.

These emerging social media tools could dramatically affect the way people and communities organize, support causes, interact with corporations; etc. Below are a few webs sites we discussed that are working in this area:

www.Carrotmob.org

Have you heard of a Buy-cott? We have all heard of boycotts, but this concept is leveraging the power of money to get a company to do good things, using a carrot versus a stick. This group organized consumers in San Francisco to buy out everything in a small community store because the store had committed to use a percentage of the profit to decrease their carbon footprint by retrofitting or replacing old equipment. It’s a nascent group but a very interesting concept–uniting the power of consumers to reward companies for good behavior.

www.kiva.org

This site allows you and me to get directly into the microfinance business. It’s the world’s first person-person micro-lending web-site that allows individuals to lend directly to entrepreneurs in the developing world.

www.Donorschoose.org

This group, which has actually been around for awhile, provides a simple way to give students the resources they need and that public schools often cannot provide. At this web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn.

One Response to Social Media to the Rescue?

  1. Sharon Greenfield says:

    Glad you’re back Gary!
    Thanks for showcasing kiva.org, I really like them a lot. I’ll check out the other two also.
    Thanks for reporting from the conference; I’m glad SAP is embracing the social aspect of the web.