Reflections on changing the world in 2.0 days #emc2010

Summer conjures up many ‘s’ words; sun, sexy surfers, swimming and summer school.

Being the consummate dork that I am, I find all of the above as equally exciting, especially when the summer school is about the limitless bounds of 2.0 to create social and environmental change.

To seem like a total smarty pants, none of the information presented was new to me, but then again how can it be? With over a third of Australia’s population on Facebook, established about 5 years ago with about 400 million users globally, social networking sites like FB are no great secret.  But it was the framework of how to engage with communities to start a dialogue and flipping the funnel which got me thinking about our online/offline selves and drivers of behaviour. No matter how carefully crafted your integrated marketing strategy may be it is so hard to get people to care and act.

Even if people are engaged with a subject matter which is often the hardest step, we are so saturated in information and misinformation. For example my friend who is an environmental education officer and I had a conversation about climate change and both of us realised very early on in the piece that the issue is almost too big for us the fathom, so what about the people who don’t care at all? How is change ever going to occur?

I like the idea of leveraging cognitive surplus; the web has created a platform for creative debate but also of videos of goats falling over – both are of equal importance. Never underestimate the power of fun

 – Also, per previous post, I found the men!  Men it seems if they forgo the wealth of the private sector like to loiter in the halls of power and politics. Journalists, campaign managers, freelance consultants; these men are working towards a social good yet some have the air of a Prius driver about them and wear expensive shoes.

For blogs that are more informative than mine: – Very useful blog if you want tips to make the most of the latest tools and to optimise your online presence. Especially written for not-for-profits but good for any group. – Paul Gillin, author, blogger and pioneer writer in the field. Definitely worth subscribing to.

Where are all the men?

 Or should I say – why don’t men give a shit?

No, this is not some hardcore neo-feminist attack breaking the balls of all men who dare tread the earth but simply an observation.

Once upon a time I worked in international education in an office of around one hundred people. Roughly 80% of the office was women. Education = usually more women than men.

Then I volunteered with AusAID; in my intake to the Philippines there were 7 women and 2 guys, the last intake was 10 women (can you see where this rant is heading …)

Are men lazy, or they just don't care?

Are men lazy, or they just don't care about the environment?

I now work for an NGO, once again the same staff numbers and ratio as working in international education with men at the executive level.

Then last night I went to a free workshop about green renting and there were NO MEN AT ALL. It couldn’t have been an off-putting venue as it was at the pub and also had free pizza. Not even the alluring combination of being in a room full of beer, pizza and women could entice the men out of hiding. Don’t men know that women find altruism sexy?

Is the pull of money to great for men to resist? That can’t be right either, I know plenty of men who ride bikes to work, have eco-type jobs in bush regen, own worm farms, recycle and in short ‘do their bit’. Men are not ‘all bastards’ as the cliché goes, but where are they?

Should men be encouraged into the non-profit sector or should women continue to dominate the industry? Both men and women express high levels of commitment and satisfaction with their work for non-profit organisations. But inequality exists for women even in an industry we dominate – when leaving the sector men more often cite “pull factors” (such as a desire to pursue other opportunities, including those outside the non-profit sector) whereas women tend to cite “push factors” (such as having no room to advance in their current organisation).

And the burning issue, why do guys in non-for-profits have such bad shoes?

I’m aware of the bundle of contradictions I possess: although I want to minimise my environmental footprint I believe beautiful shoes is one of my fundamental human rights. However, to those guys out there who are armchair environmentalists or think smoking a bong equates to being eco-friendly – step up and take a little more interest in the world around you!