Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Change native to the digital world

(photo by kjarrett, Flickr, Creative Commons)

I'm looking for examples of social change organizations that are totally native to the digital world. They were created in and around digital tools and they use these tools to manage their work, communication, programs, fund development - everything. The prevalence of these tools shaped the way the organization's founders defined the problem they hope to influence or the solutions they seek to spread. The organizations would not exist if it weren't for mobile or Internet-based tools that are free or cheap to use, readily available and familiar.

Here is what I've tracked so far. Please grow this list by adding those you know in the comments. I also welcome improvements of my working definition of "native to the digital world." Thanks.


Anonymous said...

FrontlineSMS, FrontlineSMS:Medic, and The Extraordinaries come to mind. I'm sure there are others..

Lucy Bernholz said...

Great additions - thanks. I should probably upload most of the entrants in the last four N2 conference challenges....


JD Lasica said...

Socialbrite.org, which we're just about to announce. Social tools for social change.

Tommer Peterson said...




rachel said...

Volunteer Match, Grist, FarmsReach

Matt S said...

+1 for most of the netsquared challenge projects (or at least those that exist and aren't just proposals). http://netsquared.org/challenges.

one of these, ClickDiagnostics, jumps to mind - http://www.clickdiagnostics.com/. It was part of the USAID Challenge.

Excited to see what the final list looks like!

Lee Fox said...


Launching this summer, KooDooZ™ celebrates youth leadership and encourages teen activists to channel their passions into real-world achievements. Partnering organizations (non-profits, schools, youth groups, student ministries, community clubs, etc) leverage KooDooZ™ for the purpose of getting youth engagement alongside their cause. Teens use KooDooZ as a tool to earn sponsorship dollars from their friends and family for each challenge they take on. These monies can be allocated for personal rewards and/or to benefit non-profits in the form of micro-donations. Inherent within KooDooZ™ is the concept of having fun alongside learning, social entrepreneurship and service to communities.

Layla said...

Eyes of the World Media Group

Layla said...

Eyes of the World Media Group

Robin Browne said...

Rabble.ca up here in Canada is a great example. It's a great, progressive online news source that is, and continues to be, a social media early adopter.

Anonymous said...



Lucy Bernholz said...

Everyone - Wow! thanks for building this list. Keep 'em coming and I'll compile and post anew. (shh, don't tell anyone I stopped by, I'm on vacation)

Lucy Bernholz said...

Sent to me in emails from several people -



Evonne Heyning (aka In Kenzo in Second Life) is doing amazing social
justice work under a number of nonprofit entities. Here's machinima
(virtual world film) she did to capture an inworld forum about Camp
Darfur that was held in Second Life: http://blip.tv/file/146779.

And here is a machinima about Camp Darfur itself. It features Evonne,
who helped build Camp Darfur along with five others:

She's a real visionary doing great work. Her latest real world and SL
activity is Lightning Temple: http://lightningtemple.wetpaint.com/

Megan Keane said...

I second the Lightning Temple recommendation! There's also some amazing digital native orgs. doing exciting work in Second Life to help people with disabilities. Virtual Ability (also the winner of the Linden Prize) and Virtual Guidedog

Unknown said...

Hi Lucy!

We officially re-launched Zoosa this week at www.zoosa.org as a single destination for all social enterprise resources: news, blogs, tweets, jobs, & professional skills-based volunteer opportunities.

Thanks to our partners, we already have 700+ social enterprise news items, 500+ actions/ideas, and 900+ job opportunities / volunteer projects in the education, clean-tech, health care, and non-profit sectors!

I hope you're enjoying vacation -- won't tell anyone you stopped by ;-)


Ariel Beery said...

PresenTense: www.presentense.org -- started as an all-volunteer magazine in the Jewish community focusing on innovation and creativity, all built remotely online, and grew into an international grassroots venture aimed at growing the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

Sheethal Shobowale said...

Vittana - They bring student loans to the developing world through the power of person-to-person micro-lending.


Molly Mayfield Barbee said...

Hi Lucy!

Peace X Peace was created in 2003 to bring the voices of those most marginalized and affected by conflict--women--into peace processes. The internet is what makes that mission possible. Please check out www.peacexpeace.org and if I can be of any assistance, don't hesitate to contact me: molly@peacexpeace.org.

I'm interested to know the results of your survey!

Unknown said...

Sunlight Foundation, MySociety (UK)

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Virgance (1BOG, GreenOptions Media and Carrotmob) http://www.virgance.com/

bethp said...

http://www.firstgiving.com--online fundraising for nonprofits
http://www.justgiving.com (in the UK)

http://www.volunteerspot.com--online volunteer organization tools

See also Social Action's list of 50+ platforms that fit your criteria!

Anonymous said...

For your digital list? I’m not sure they’re intentional change makers, but increased collaborations is a change, for sure.

Lucy Bernholz said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your additions - I'll compile and pull into list for main blog post

In meantime, 2 more




Unknown said...

Hi Lucy, www.socential.org , you might remember talking about it in Paris in April. Best, Linus

Monica said...

I really appreciate you for all the valuable information that you are providing us through your blog.

Evonne @ Amoration said...

Amazing what you'll find when you google yourself! Lucy, I love your insights, we spoke briefly at NTEN as I grilled you during the Cloud Philanthropy dialogue (the most intriguing conversation of that event for me, very indepth). I'm interested in compassion through the clouds, the echoes of connection and how we relate to one another in the digital landscape, both in virtual worlds and together face to face....we're creating family programs on these topics that extend from virtual back to real world solutions.

Feel free to connect @amoration anywhere on the web if you'd like to explore more of the potential of these spaces as effciency tools and social change networks. There are thousands of people in niche areas who have hit on various keys to the virtual castle.

Evonne ~In Kenzo~ Heyning