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Grassroots Movements Now Built With Digital Tools

Grassroots organizing is the key to building a movement, and much of it today is done online. Connections made through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter bring supporters to rallies, and dozens of online sites help politicians and activists manage vast amounts of data, disseminate their message and connect with supporters.

Several candidates in last year’s French presidential election turned to a U.S.-based company called NationBuilder for digital tools to manage their outreach. The election’s surprise winner, 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron, did not, but he later turned to the company to build a legislative majority in the National Assembly.

His field of candidates in the legislative election in June 2017 included many political novices, but Macron gained a majority of the assembly’s 577 seats, securing 350 seats for his La Republique En Marche! party with coalition partner Mouvement Democrate.

“Macron ended up using us to field an entire government, to run his legislative elections,” said NationBuilder CEO Lea Endres at the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles. “There are people all over the world in 112 countries” who do the same, she said, “political parties and political candidates, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, large businesses.”

Causes across the spectrum

The company is one of dozens of sources for the digital tools that activists use. Others include the open-source CiviCRM for nonprofit management and the petition-writing site Change.org.

NationBuilder says it attracts people across the political spectrum, from Republicans in Maryland and several southern U.S. states to Jagmeet Singh, the newly elected leader of Canada’s left-leaning New Democratic Party. A Sikh, Singh is the first member of an ethnic minority group to serve as permanent leader of a major Canadian party.

Brexit

The debate surrounding Brexit, the 2016 vote to withdraw Britain from the European Union, spurred activists on the “remain” side. They used NationBuilder to target supporters, sending targeted emails to supporters in specific parts of the country “to set up a campaign group or support one that’s already there, or promote an action that’s happening locally,” said James MacCleary, campaign director for the European Movement UK.

“It gives an ability to be very flexible with our data and get away from global email blasts,” he said. The group is pressing for a national referendum on the final Brexit agreement.

For any organization or cause, supporters receive targeted emails that help to build relationships, according to Ryan Vaillancourt, director of sales enablement at NationBuilder.

For environmental groups, an email might say “you told us six months ago that you want to get involved in this organization and the reason that you cared about this campaign is that you’re passionate about the environment,” Vaillancourt explained. “We’ve got an event coming up, it’s down the street from you, and we’d love to see you there.”

Adapts to technology

With a presence in more than 100 countries, the company adapts to local needs in places like Africa, where “they’re not about long email lists and long newsletters,” said Toni Cowan-Brown, NationBuilder’s vice president for European Business Development. “They want to be able to communicate with people on their smartphones because that’s the biggest and richest technology source that they have right now,” she said.

From political parties to nonprofits, promoting a cause or building a movement are all about people, and the tools to connect and motivate them, these tech developers say, are found today online.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Grassroots Movements Now Built With Digital Tools

Grassroots organizing is the key to building a movement, and much of it today is done online. Connections made through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter bring supporters to rallies, and dozens of online sites help politicians and activists manage vast amounts of data, disseminate their message and connect with supporters.

Several candidates in last year’s French presidential election turned to a U.S.-based company called NationBuilder for digital tools to manage their outreach. The election’s surprise winner, 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron, did not, but he later turned to the company to build a legislative majority in the National Assembly.

His field of candidates in the legislative election in June 2017 included many political novices, but Macron gained a majority of the assembly’s 577 seats, securing 350 seats for his La Republique En Marche! party with coalition partner Mouvement Democrate.

“Macron ended up using us to field an entire government, to run his legislative elections,” said NationBuilder CEO Lea Endres at the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles. “There are people all over the world in 112 countries” who do the same, she said, “political parties and political candidates, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, large businesses.”

Causes across the spectrum

The company is one of dozens of sources for the digital tools that activists use. Others include the open-source CiviCRM for nonprofit management and the petition-writing site Change.org.

NationBuilder says it attracts people across the political spectrum, from Republicans in Maryland and several southern U.S. states to Jagmeet Singh, the newly elected leader of Canada’s left-leaning New Democratic Party. A Sikh, Singh is the first member of an ethnic minority group to serve as permanent leader of a major Canadian party.

Brexit

The debate surrounding Brexit, the 2016 vote to withdraw Britain from the European Union, spurred activists on the “remain” side. They used NationBuilder to target supporters, sending targeted emails to supporters in specific parts of the country “to set up a campaign group or support one that’s already there, or promote an action that’s happening locally,” said James MacCleary, campaign director for the European Movement UK.

“It gives an ability to be very flexible with our data and get away from global email blasts,” he said. The group is pressing for a national referendum on the final Brexit agreement.

For any organization or cause, supporters receive targeted emails that help to build relationships, according to Ryan Vaillancourt, director of sales enablement at NationBuilder.

For environmental groups, an email might say “you told us six months ago that you want to get involved in this organization and the reason that you cared about this campaign is that you’re passionate about the environment,” Vaillancourt explained. “We’ve got an event coming up, it’s down the street from you, and we’d love to see you there.”

Adapts to technology

With a presence in more than 100 countries, the company adapts to local needs in places like Africa, where “they’re not about long email lists and long newsletters,” said Toni Cowan-Brown, NationBuilder’s vice president for European Business Development. “They want to be able to communicate with people on their smartphones because that’s the biggest and richest technology source that they have right now,” she said.

From political parties to nonprofits, promoting a cause or building a movement are all about people, and the tools to connect and motivate them, these tech developers say, are found today online.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Digital Tools Build Grassroots Movements

Grassroots organizing is the key to building a movement, and much of it today is done online. French President Emmanuel Macron built a winning majority in the French National Assembly with the help of digital tools from U.S. company NationBuilder. Mike O’Sullivan reports that politicians and nonprofit groups are turning to technology to build support.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Digital Tools Build Grassroots Movements

Grassroots organizing is the key to building a movement, and much of it today is done online. French President Emmanuel Macron built a winning majority in the French National Assembly with the help of digital tools from U.S. company NationBuilder. Mike O’Sullivan reports that politicians and nonprofit groups are turning to technology to build support.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Google Workers Protest China Plan Secrecy

Google is planning a return to China.

But the project is shrouded in secrecy, and employees are demanding transparency.

According to a report by The New York Times on Thursday, August 16, a petition calling for more oversight and accountability in the project racked up more than 1,000 signatures.

Reuters reported this month, the app is a bid to win approval from Beijing to provide a mobile search engine in China.

However, employees are concerned the app would support China’s restrictions on free expression and ultimately violate the company’s ‘don’t be evil’ code of conduct.

The petition, seen by Reuters says, “We urgently need more transparency, a seat at the table and a commitment to clear and open processes: Google employees need to know what we’re building.”

The company declined to comment.

Sources say the project – codenamed Dragonfly – would block certain websites and search terms.

It would also stand in stark contrast to eight years ago, when Google left China in protest of Beijing’s censorship.

Company executives have not commented publicly on Dragonfly.

But in a transcript seen by Reuters, Google’s Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told employees “it’s all very unclear” whether Google would return to China at all.

He also said that development is still in the early stages, and that sharing information too early could quote “cause issues”.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Google Workers Protest China Plan Secrecy

Google is planning a return to China.

But the project is shrouded in secrecy, and employees are demanding transparency.

According to a report by The New York Times on Thursday, August 16, a petition calling for more oversight and accountability in the project racked up more than 1,000 signatures.

Reuters reported this month, the app is a bid to win approval from Beijing to provide a mobile search engine in China.

However, employees are concerned the app would support China’s restrictions on free expression and ultimately violate the company’s ‘don’t be evil’ code of conduct.

The petition, seen by Reuters says, “We urgently need more transparency, a seat at the table and a commitment to clear and open processes: Google employees need to know what we’re building.”

The company declined to comment.

Sources say the project – codenamed Dragonfly – would block certain websites and search terms.

It would also stand in stark contrast to eight years ago, when Google left China in protest of Beijing’s censorship.

Company executives have not commented publicly on Dragonfly.

But in a transcript seen by Reuters, Google’s Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told employees “it’s all very unclear” whether Google would return to China at all.

He also said that development is still in the early stages, and that sharing information too early could quote “cause issues”.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Russian Strategic Bombers Deploy Near Alaska

The Russian military says that two nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown to the easternmost Chukotka Peninsula, near Alaska, as part of an air force exercise.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Tu-160 bombers flew about 7,000 kilometers (4,350 Miles) from their home base near Saratov in southwestern Russia to Anadyr, on Chukotka, before returning to their home base. The ministry said the mission was the first time the bombers had flown to Chukotka, which faces Alaska across the Bering Strait.

The ministry said the air force exercise also involved the Tu-95 strategic bombers and tanker planes.

The Russian military has increased the intensity and scope of its drills amid strain in relations with the U.S. and its allies. The flight demonstrated that Russian bombers could be deployed close to the U.S.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Russian Strategic Bombers Deploy Near Alaska

The Russian military says that two nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown to the easternmost Chukotka Peninsula, near Alaska, as part of an air force exercise.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Tu-160 bombers flew about 7,000 kilometers (4,350 Miles) from their home base near Saratov in southwestern Russia to Anadyr, on Chukotka, before returning to their home base. The ministry said the mission was the first time the bombers had flown to Chukotka, which faces Alaska across the Bering Strait.

The ministry said the air force exercise also involved the Tu-95 strategic bombers and tanker planes.

The Russian military has increased the intensity and scope of its drills amid strain in relations with the U.S. and its allies. The flight demonstrated that Russian bombers could be deployed close to the U.S.

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