Avaaz: World’s Largest Online Activist Network

Launched in the January of 2007, Avaaz is a civic organization based in the U.S. that promotes worldwide activism on matters such as animal rights, poverty, climate change, corruption, conflict, human rights, and poverty. It is considered the most powerful and largest activist network online. Res Publica, a group of professionals working in the public sector and committed to promoting civic virtue, deliberate democracy, and good governance together with another non-profit progressive advocacy policy public group known as MoveOn.org co-founded Avaaz. Another founding partner Service Employees International Union supported the launch of Avaaz. Some notable individual co-founders of Avaaz include Tom Pravda, Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, former Virginia congressman, Eli Pariser, MoveOn Executive Director, David Madden, an Australian progressive entrepreneur, Andrea Woodhouse and Jeremy Heimans. Members of the board include Ricken Patel, the president, Eli Pariser, board chairman, Ben Brandzel, treasurer, and Tom Pravda as secretary.

The executive director and president of Avaaz is Ricken Patel, a Canadian-British. He attended Oxford University Balliol College where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE). He holds a masters degree from Harvard University in Public Policy. At some point, he traveled around the world including Afghanistan, Sudan, Liberia, and Sierra Leone working for the International Crisis Group. According to Mr. Patel, working with the International Crisis Group taught him how to negotiate with rebel forces, restore the faith of the public in corrupt political systems, spot the manipulation of foreign forces, and monitor elections. After returning to the U.S., he volunteered to form MoveOn.Org. At MoveOn.org, Mr. Patel says that he learned activism using online tools. A team of campaigners manages the global campaigns of Avaaz. These teams work from more than 30 countries such as India, the UK, Brazil, and Lebanon. Their mode of communication is majorly through email.

For more information on Avaaz follow them on Twitter @avaaz