TED Conversations

Bob Dohse


This conversation is closed.

How might we use social networks to facilitate a short-term boycott on a company or product that creates positive community pressures?

How can we better use our social networks to create positive changes in our communities?

Is there a way to use short-term boycotts to signal to a company or government entity that our community is not happy with them?

Long-term boycott have a severe impact on a corporation's finances or a government's ability to provide services, but short-term boycotts allow for messaging without disabling a company or a government.

Might a "40 Hour Fast" be the tool that gets management's attention without destroying the entire organization?



Closing Statement from Bob Dohse

We generated a few thoughts to ponder, but I think perhaps the power of socially-networked protests remains in the hands of the traditional "community activists".

I know of 2 recent socially-networked protests, but they choose to remain anonymous and I'll respect that choice.

One used the power of video, linked to a social network, to effect change is the corporate decisions of a national residential (apartment) management company.

The other used social networking to implement the short-term boycott of a product. Their boycott drove the product's user activity to a historically low level ... an activity level that would be financially unsustainable for the company over time. The long-term effect upon company policy is still undetermined, but the group's boycott generated a 50% increase in group membership and the members are very pleased with the initial results.

The conclusion to this dialog, I think, is that there is more to come in this area as socially-networked activism further develops.

Thank you to the participants of this TED Conversation.

Warm regards.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 10 2013: I believe we can make those in charge aware whether it destroys the organization depends on if they care and if they listen.
    That said, the desire to make change re-charges alliances, incorporated those who would never lead and gives those who are quiet a much louder voice.
    Arab Spring was changed because of social media. Without considering the outcome as positive or negative, change will happen.
    One voice, one vote energy.
    Great question!
    • thumb
      May 10 2013: Good point Kathleen ... that the organization's response is what makes or breaks their future potential.

      Thanks for adding that insight.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.