Filed under: Greenpeace, Life at work | Tags: Activism, Brian Fitzgerald, Dinosaurs, greenpeacebuzz, Online activism
A couple of months ago I attended a Greenpeace-organized skillshare in Bangkok, and as an ice-breaker we were all asked how long we have been working for Greenpeace, so one by one we introduced ourselves and it was only then to my surprise that I realized that I’ve been a part of Greenpeace now for almost four years and it was when I told everybody in the panel that I’ve been with Greenpeace for almost four years now that I heard someone blurted out that I’m almost a ‘dinosaur‘ (I suppose spending longer than a year makes one a dinosaur, as far as Greenpeace Southeast Asia goes😀 ).
Perhaps spending such a long time with Greenpeace, does makes one a ‘dinosaur’. But being a ‘dinosaur’ isn’t that bad especially if you’re part of an activist organization. I for one testify to the fact that much of what I know now when it comes to how Greenpeace should work comes mostly from the wisdom of the supposed ‘dinosaurs’ of Greenpeace. For me it never fails to find wisdom in the stories of those who’ve been deemed as dinosaurs in the Greenpeace world.
After all the heartened cheers and online traffic that Earth Day brought with our new Inspiring Action video I find the words of a Greenpeace dinosaur named Brian as a very wise guide when it comes to online activism:
We have to provide those easy opportunities for people to make a stand. And we need to design those opportunities so they really make a difference. Every time somebody creates what I call a “Santa Claus campaign,” in which people are asked to write letters that will never be read asking for things that will never be delivered — they weaken the form and chip away at people’s willingness to take real online actions. And I mean real online actions like Lawrence Lessing’s political donor strike to get corporate money out of the US elections, like Amnesty’s successful efforts to free political prisoners, like Greenpeace’s efforts to turn leaders of the IT sector into climate champions, by providing a counterforce to the petroleum and coal lobbies — and in so doing increasing the value of their stakes in smart grids and renewable technologies.
Thanks for the words of wisdom Brian 🙂
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