Ahead of its Activiate 2010 conference, the Guardian has published a Q&A with Gaurav Mishra, CEO of 2020 Social. Mishra, who helps build and grow online communities, talks about some interesting projects and sites with which he has been involved:
In the first paradigm of digital activism, you work with a disadvantaged group that suffers from limited access to even the most basic information and tools for self-expression. So, you use simple-to-use digital devices like Nokia mobile phones and Flip video cameras and simple-to-use digital technologies like text messages and online video to enable them to access basic information and share their own stories. Frontline SMS, Ushahidi, Freedom Fone and Video Volunteers are good examples of the ’empowering with information’ paradigm of digital activism.
In the second paradigm of digital activism, you work with a group that is anything but disadvantaged. This group is at ease with using always on internet and mobile devices, both for instantaneous access to information and for self-expression and social interaction. Here, the digital activist isn’t trying to solve a crisis of capability, but a crisis of caring. Here, the aim is not to empower with information, but to engage with inspiration. Move On and iJanaagraha are examples of the ‘engaging with inspiration’ paradigm of digital activism.