Avaaz, a Global Network for Positive Change

Whether it’s smartphones or the Internet, technology today links almost everyone on Earth. One group has used that interdependence to try and make the world a better place for all. Avaaz, an international activist organization, uses an expansive network of digitally connected members around the globe to raise awareness about issues affecting some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Founded in 2007 by Ricken Patel, who was called “the global leader of online protest” by the Guardian, Avaaz’s name comes from an Indo-European word for “voice”. Avaaz uses the collective voice of its more than 44 million members in almost all of the world’s countries to direct public and media attention to issues, contact politicians and lawmakers, and even organize protests and marches. Oppressive governments, corrupt corporations and hate groups have all been challenged by Avaaz members worldwide. Besides raising awareness and demonstrating, Avaaz also takes action to help. Avaaz’s network of members has raised millions in emergency aid for cyclone victims in Burma and earthquake survivors in Nepal in a matter of hours, thanks to the power of the Internet. Along with issues affecting people, Avaaz also prioritizes saving the planet. Avaaz has been involved in a number of ecological causes, like rallying for an end to whaling and protecting coral reefs. In Borneo, thousands of Avaaz members raised money to purchase hundreds of acres of rain forest, while in Europe a massive Avaaz campaign played a part in passing a ban on a dangerous bee-killing pesticide. By allowing users to create and organize online petitions and donate with the click of a button, Avaaz has made taking action and making a difference accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.2

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