Avaaz Origins

Avaaz is a non-profit organization (NGO), often referred to as a Movement. Ricken Patel is the founder and director. In 2007, Avaaz was founded. Since then it has become a major global progressive and highly publicized group.

Based in the United States, Avaaz has offices in more than thirty nations. It is a member-driven organization which has several areas of concerns ranging from pollution and human rights to climate change and positive political change.

No funding is accepted from large corporations, thus maintaining its grass roots activism position. Nonetheless, the more than 45 million supporters have raised more than $20 million dollars for operations and programs. With its global awareness and focus, there is never a dearth of opportunities for activism.

Organizations involved with the origins of Avaaz included: MoveOn.org, Res Publica, and Service Employees International Union. Each of these NGOs offered public policy advocacy and deliberate citizen involvement with goals of good governance.

Individual co-founders of Avaaz include: Ricken Patel, Tom Pravda, Tom Perriello, former Virginia congressman, Eli Pariser, the MoveOn Executive Director, Andrea Woodhouse, David Madden and Jeremy Heimans, a co-founder of Purpose.com. Each representing positive political activism in some way.

Avaaz has a unique member oriented process to decide which of the many global issues to claim as their next campaign. Using emails and polls, member suggestions are sent to about 10,000 members, worldwide, to assess the extent of interest and commitment to that particular cause. Once a cause is chosen, various strategies are discussed prior to deciding how to move forward. At one time, they used a herd of cardboard pigs to get the attention of the World Health Organization directed to investigate swine flu and giant pig farms. Today, climate change and net neutrality are big issues.

Flickr Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/avaaz/