Avaaz: Leveraging the Internet to Promote Global Activism

The internet has facilitated interactions among hundreds of millions of people. According to Statista, there were over 3.5 billion people on the internet in 2017. Many people have devised various ways of benefitting from the enormous number of internet users, but Avaaz—a civic organization—is out to assist internet users in promoting global activism.

Avaaz, popularly known as the world’s most extensive and most efficient online activist network, was founded in 2007, with a mission to empower millions of people to take action on pressing issues afflicting humanity. Such issues include climate change, corruption, conflict, poverty, etc. It is through empowering as many people as possible that institutions and leaders will be held accountable. Avaaz is present in over 194 countries, resulting in over 46 million members.

Avaaz’s online presence is beyond reproach. Through the group’s website, members and non-members can initiate petition (s). While the tool used to create petitions is available for all and sundry, Avaaz has mechanisms that are used to determine whether a petition meets the standards of the group or not. When Avaaz’s team of specialist receives a potential petition, they send out tester emails to 10 thousand Avaaz’s members. The tester emails are meant to seek the opinions of the members regarding the petition in question. If the petition receives substantial support, all Avaaz’s members are requested to participate in it.

Avaaz does not shy away from documenting its success. The group’s website is littered with its achievements, ranging from challenging Monsanto, spearheading discussions around climate change, and fostering global support for refugees. Other Avaaz’s accomplishments include keeping the internet free and open for all, initiating oceans conservation measures, and urging Brazilians to rise against runway corruption in their country.

The U.S-based Avaaz was established in 2007, through the concerted efforts of various organizations and professionals. Res Publica, MoveOn.org, and Service Employees International are among Avaaz’s founding organizations. Avaaz is currently under the leadership of Ricken Patel, who is also the founding partner of the group.