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Another arugment for microphilanthropy: social media allows us to see patterns by sylvng

A while back I wrote a post about why microphilanthropy works; small actions can be transformational, and small actions have been made mainstream through social media. Today, from Net Change Week’s website, I discovered a video of Ric Young giving a talk about social innovation. Ric is a member of Ecotrust Canada’s board of directors and President of E.Y.E, a Toronto-based agency specializing in strategies that promote social change. In the talk, Ric mentions the value of social media beyond just being a tactical tool for mobilizing social change: social media allows us to see the patterns of how people move and affect each other.

As a business intelligence freak, I couldn’t agree more. There are hundreds of theories out there on mob mentality, on how social movements start, on network effects and how people relate to each other – essentially on how change takes place. Take The Tipping Point, for example. And for once, we are in a world where all of these effects can be monitored and measured digitally, thanks to social networks. If Second Life has enabled scientists to study the spread of disesases from person to person in a way that wasn’t available before, I’m positive that social media will enable social innovators to discover so much more about what really triggers and sustains lasting social change.  The more data we have, the more we’ll be able to refine our techniques and strategies for solving some of the world’s most complex problems.

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