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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 6th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

“Avaaz” means “Voice” in many Asian, Middle Eastern and Eastern European languages.

 www.AVAAZ.org – The World In Action -7,222,100 actions taken since it was established January   2007.

In just one year, Avaaz has grown to over 3.2 million members in every nation of the world.
Avaaz.org is a new global web movement with a simple democratic mission: to close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want.

Across the world, most people want stronger protections for the environment, greater respect for human rights, and concerted efforts to end poverty, corruption and war. Yet globalization faces a huge democratic deficit as international decisions are shaped by political elites and unaccountable corporations — not the views and values of the world’s people.

Technology and the internet have allowed citizens to connect and mobilize like never before. The rise of a new model of internet-driven, people-powered politics is changing countries from Australia to the Philippines to the United States. Avaaz takes this model global, connecting people across borders to bring people powered politics to international decision-making.

Coming together in this way, Avaaz has become a   community of people from all nations, backgrounds, and ages brought together by our care for the world, and a desire to do what we can to make it a better place.
In just one year, Avaaz has grown to over 3.2 million members in every nation of the world.

The core of this model of organizing is the email list, operated in 13 languages. By signing up to receive the alerts, you are rapidly alerted to urgent global issues and opportunities to achieve change. Avaaz members respond by rapidly combining the small amounts of time or money they can give into a powerful collective force. In just hours we can send hundreds of thousands of messages to political leaders telling them to save a crucial summit on climate change , hold hundreds of rallies across the world calling for action to prevent a genocide, or donate hundreds of thousands of euros, dollars and yen to support nonviolent protest in Burma. Their web gives the list of campaigns and impacts in 2007.

In just one year AVAAZ has begun to make a real impact on global politics. The Economist writes that Avaaz is poised to deliver “a deafening wake up call” to world leaders, the Indian Express welcomes “the biggest web campaigner across the world” and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore says “Avaaz is inspiring, and has already begun to make a difference.”

This weekend AVAAZ has taken a full page add in The Financial Times in which African leaders: Mandela, Koroma, Tutu, Merafhe, Mwanawama, Johnson-Sirleaf call for the non-recognition of Mugabe’s Presidency of Zimbabwe. It also notes that todate only Sudan and Iran have recognized the Zimbabwe power-grab as legitimate government.

AVAAZ says: After a terror campaign and a sham ‘election’ Robert Mugabe has declared himself President of Zimbabwe. The country is in crisis and its fate depends on talks between Mugabe and the winner of the first round election — Morgan Tsvangirai.

If Governments from around the world do not recognise Mugabe, his position will be weakened, and he could be pressured into a deal with Tsvangirai that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people.

Also,   Avaaz will attend the July 7th Summit to deliver a worldwide public outcry to G8 leaders for strong climate commitments. This is our chance to urge rich country leaders for bold action on climate change – they say.

The Avaaz community is served by a small team of global campaigners working in many countries to identify and develop opportunities for members to take action. Our campaign team consults with Avaaz.org members to develop campaigns and set the priorities of the organisation. Avaaz also relies on teams of expert advisors to help develop our campaigns, and often Avaaz members volunteer to work with the team on specific projects. We currently have staff based in Rio de Janeiro, Geneva, New York, London, and Washington DC. Our core campaign team members are:

Ricken Patel – Co-Founder and Executive Director (Canada)
Paul Hilder – Campaign Director (UK)
Ben Wikler – Campaign Director (US)

Milena Berry – Chief Technical Officer (Bulgaria)
Galit Gun – Campaigner (Mexico)
Iain Keith – Campaigner (UK)
Graziela Tanaka – Campaigner (Brazil)
Pascal Vollenweider – Campaigner (Switzerland)

Avaaz.org was co-founded by Res Publica, a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org, an online community that has pioneered internet advocacy in the United States.

The co-founding team was also composed of a group of global social entrepreneurs from 6 countries, including our Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser, Andrea Woodhouse, Jeremy Heimans, and David Madden.

Avaaz is lucky to have the founding partnership and support of leading activist organizations from around the world, including the Service Employees International Union, a founding partner of Avaaz, GetUp.org.au, and many others.

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