Since 2007, Avaaz has been encouraging people to become involved in activism by making it as easy as possible. While Avaaz stages sit ins and other in-person protests, they focus on getting people to sign online petitions. The petitions are then sent to people in power, who can see that millions of global citizens are protesting an action, such as climate change or corruption.Unlike traditional advocacy groups that stand for one cause, Avaaz, tackle many different progressive causes in countries throughout the world, all at the same time.
With more than 46 million members in over 190 countries, Avaaz is powerful. When an organization delivers a petition that millions have signed, politicians’s have to pay attention.Ricken Patel is currently Avaaz’s CEO. His background includes earning a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University, a stint with the International Crisis Group and he worked as a volunteer for MoveOn.org. MoveOn.org and Res Publica are the organizational co-founders of Avaaz, along with numerous individual founders, including Patel.
The organization’s success if due partly to how easy it is for people to add their voice. In the Farsi language, Avaaz means voice and the word has a similar meaning in other European and Asian languages. Individuals can go to the Avaaz website and find a cause that they are interested in and add their name to a petition and share with their Facebook friends. Avaaz gets out as well, protesting in person, although the ability to have one’s voice heard online is ideal for the people who care about a cause, but they cannot attend a protest in person.