Through internet organizing, Avaaz enables millions of people to act on critical and urgent matters on a local, national and global level. In 17 different languages and through community campaigns on 6 continents with thousands of volunteers, Avaaz organizes online petitions and email campaigns as well as calling and lobbying governments. They orchestrate “offline” protests to press for actions on issues ranging from human and animal rights to global climate change and corruption and poverty.Launched in 2007, Avaaz attempts to unite activists from around the world and through the use of new technology they are able to call attention to a myriad of issues using a single global team.
Every year, Avaaz polls its members to decide which matters are of highest priority and then act on those issues. The staff of Avaaz provides the members, through email alerts, with briefs on various issues without trying to sell the members as to which issues to attempt to tackle. The staff offers advice on how to act on the issues chosen and how to carry through with the campaign, whether through petitions or ad campaigns or lobbying governments and then insures the actions are realized. Avaaz is completely member-funded and absolutely no corporate or government funds are accepted so that the organization is never influenced to shift their agenda to whatever benefits a corporate or government entity.
With such a large membership located all over the world, Avaaz does not require consensus to act and each member decides which particular campaign to participate in.Recently, Avaaz organized the laying of 7,000 pairs of children’s shoes on the US Capitol lawn that memorialized the children who have been killed by gun violence in the US since the Sandy Hook incident in 2012.The organization was effective in spurring momentum concerning the 2015 Paris climate change summit that 18 months before world leaders were convinced no public and political will existed concerning the issue and Avaaz not only organized massive marches but also worked to get over 30 cabinet ministers and world leaders to the marches. Avaaz was instrumental in the success of the 2015 Paris climate agreements. The founding president and CEO of Avaaz is Richen Patel and worked for the International Crisis Group before volunteering for Moveon.org where he learned to utilize the internet to organize and create effective activities to bring about change.