I help individuals and organizations make positive change in the world. Over the past 17 years, I have worked on political campaigns, trained activists around the world, and created media-centered advocacy strategies for clients. My practices is grounded in values-centered planning and strategy, iterative implementation, and rigorous research-oriented assessment.
I worked on my first presidential campaign, for Bill Bradley, while still a high school student in New Jersey. As New Media Operations Manager for President Obama's pathbreaking 2008 campaign, I managed logistics for the 60-person New Media Department at campaign headquarters in Chicago. For the 2018 midterm elections, I crisscrossed the country to #DoBigGood for America, a road trip in which I volunteered for Congressional candidates in twenty swing districts from Washington and Colorado to Missouri and New York, all the while keeping a video diary of my travels.
I first became interested in the political effects of technology while living in Morocco as a Fulbright scholar in the early 2000’s. I saw the powerful effect of social media and blogs — both relatively new at the time — to give a global stage to activists with few financial resources. My first public work in the this area, The Election Blogging Guide (2006), was written with Zephyr Teachout and Solana Larsen, and was followed by Blog for a Cause! (2007), which I wrote for the citizen media nonprofit Global Voices. My most recent work in tech has been in virtual reality (VR). I was recently the project manager for VR Action Lab (2017 - 2018), a project that experimented with the social impact affordances of VR to combat youth bullying.
As co-founder of the Digital Activism Research Project at the University of Washington in 2012, I designed and managed a team of graduate students to compile data sets of over 1,500 digital activism campaigns from 151 countries. The resulting Global Digital Activism Data Sets (GDADS) were the first public data sets on global digital activism ever produced and were funded by the National Science Foundation through the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Early qualitative research experience includes interview-based reports on democracy activism in Morocco (2005) for my Fulbright final project, and online citizen journalism and the 2002 South Korean presidential election (2007) for the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. More recently, I wrote a report on social movements and transparency (2015), based on interviews with transparency activists around the world, for the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, which is a donor collaborative.
For much of my twenties I traveled the globe from Norway to Lebanon training activists to strategically use social media for social good. Now I create bespoke advocacy strategies for activists using media to make change. At Harmony Labs, for whom I consult as Impact Design Advisor, I create customized impact plans for media activists in Colombia, Brazil, and the US. These plans help the activists identify clear goals, metrics, and plans of action for their campaigns.
More about my consulting practice can be found at DoBigGood.com.
In addition to the works mentioned above, I am the editor of the book Digital Activism Decoded, published in 2010, and impact strategy guides such as the Video Advocacy Primer (2016) and Impact Design in VR (2017).
SPEAKING & WORKSHOPS
I give talks on trends and best practices in innovation and social change as well as activism and impact strategy workshops. Some examples of this work are pictured below.