How Avaaz Created a New Model of Activism

Avaaz, based off of the Persian word “avaz,” which, when translated, means voice or musical composition, is a online political activism platform that operates globally. Avaaz is widely considered by most mainstream news outlets as the single largest and most potent and impactful activist website currently on the web. The websites number of active contributors tends to back up this claim as they have approximately 45 million + members all across the globe, and that number is only rising and quite rapidly and what Avaaz knows.

One of the things which makes Avaaz so unique as a political activism platform is the fact that it is completely independent from corporate or foundation interests which might otherwise sway the site’s campaigns in particularly self-serving ways. Rather than utilize the resources of already financially solvent political powers, Avaaz instead opts to keep everything completely grassroots, with all of their power and influence stemming from their vociferous and dedicated member base of regular individuals who are opposed to political corruption. Given that the organization is strongly dedicated to democratic reforms and the idea that a government should serve its people rather than the other way around, they operate by a egalitarian model of census taking utilizing email newsletters and sampling polls to vote on which issues the site should focus in on and their Linkedin.

What this means is that, even though most of the Avaaz membership has no direct control over what is put on the site itself, every member has a say in what should be prioritized and how the group should move forward with any given issue. It is this democratic census taking that remains one of the centerpieces to Avaaz’s commitment to it’s principals of democratic majority rule, and thus, their tremendous success and more information click here.

More Visit: http://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/avaaz/

George Soros and His Commitment to Generosity

As an investor, George Soros has a deep understanding of markets as well as human patterns of behavior. He knows how markets move and understands the political, social and cultural factors that underlie those movements. Considering that he has spent over half of his 85 years on the planet intuiting markets and human behavior, his awareness of, and his concern for, political and social movements is hardly a surprise. Combine that with his background of growing up in Nazi-occupied Hungary and it is clear that Soros is committed to backing democratic organizations that are concerned with human rights and immigration.

According to the Washington Times, Soros has contributed funding to a wide range of organizations. Some of these organizations are formal while others are self-described grass-roots organizations. During the Ferguson protest, the Times note that many activists and protesters were funded by Soros.

Read more: https://www.project-syndicate.org/columnist/george-soros

A close look at the Washington Times’ piece reveals that in many instances the funding was indirect. Soros contributes portions of his substantial wealth to organizations that distribute monies to smaller organizations. Some of the smaller organizations receive diluted portions of Soros financing that are combined with other donations or fundraising dollars. This is important to acknowledge because, in practice, philanthropists have little say in where their donations ultimately go. If the philanthropist does not like the outcome of their donations then they cease giving. Which is, according to Politico, exactly what Soros did after Kerry’s loss to Bush in 2004.

While activists from across the nation descended on Ferguson and while the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum, George Soros continued giving to organizations that promote police accountability and give voice to those who are underrepresented. Ferguson was a touchstone event, one that magnified issues Soros was already attuned to and issues he hoped his generosity could help resolve. To say that Soros funded the Ferguson protests is a bit of a stretch. Soros was already deeply committed to the issues at the heart of the protests. Organizations who had long enjoyed his support, whether directly or indirectly, mobilized around the event. His contributions and the events in Ferguson were a perfect storm of factors but neither was entirely dependent on the other. Visit this site to know more at opensocietyfoundations.org.

The final assessment reveals Soros’ ability to judge human behavior and key in on world events. Whether through investing wisely in markets or investing brilliantly in the people who push forward his beliefs in equality, George Soros is capable of staying one step ahead of cultural movements and shifts. He has done so for many years, even in his later ones. Read his profile at Business Insider.

Thor Halvorssen Uses Film to Spread Messages about Human Rights Advocacy

Thor Halvorssen is all things human rights. The man lives, eats and sleeps human rights activism. He has served in a variety of executive positions for groups seeking equality, justice and the protection of human rights. These groups include the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the Children’s Peace Movement and his own Human Rights Foundation. There seems to be no end to his energy when it comes to human rights advocacy.

But his activism spills over into other media. The 40-year-old founder of the Human Rights Foundation has been heavily involved in the film industry. Each one of the films that he has been a part of has advocated for human rights in some form or another.

Take the film Freedom’s Fury, for instance. The film told the story of the popular uprising against the human rights violating Hungarian government in 1956. The film debuted at the Tribeca film Festival and was co-produced by Lucy Liu and Quentin Tarantino. That is quite a lot of star power for a human rights activist to be involved with.

Thor Halvorssen was also involved in a film called Hammer & Tickle. The title of the film is a play on the old Soviet Union flag that included a hammer and sickle. The film explored the revolutionary power of humor under the Communist rule of the Soviet Union. The citizens of Russia used humor as a way to communicate how they really felt about their government. Revolutionaries also used jokes in order to pass on coded messages to each other. It is quite an interesting film and can serve as an educational film for those looking to start their own revolution inside their own countries.

The Singing Revolution is a film that the human rights activist was involved with in Estonia. It chronicled the struggle for Estonia to claim independence from the Soviet Union. Upon its debut in Estonia, it received a 15-minute standing ovation and remains the most popular film in the country.

Thor Halvorssen really takes is human rights advocacy seriously, and he wants to inspire others through the medium of film, contact him.