Phi Beta Iota: This is an inspiring story in the context of unlimited wealth and no attention to the needs of the five billion poor–another example of multi-million dollar innovation for the one billion rich when the five billion poor need a two dollar fridge or a single shirt that can shed rain. This is also a hugely impressive example of how good Berkeley is getting at propaganda–this is one of the slickest academic shorts we have ever seen. The beneficiaries are rightfully estactic but the question must be asked: what could this investment of talent and money have done for millions who would then create infinite wealth to allow for a hundred of these advanced projects to flourish?
There are some problems that neither pure capitalism nor charity can solve. Social capital is a new way of looking at solving those problems. This month, people from all over the world came to SOCAP10 in San Francisco to talk about social capital, and put their money where their mouths are.
Over the next several days we’ll be posting stories about companies that have what is called a “triple bottom line” — where they measure results not just in profit, but also in the business impact on people and the planet.
Our first video focuses on just what the social capital movement is about. We talk with people who run social capital companies such as Firefox maker Mozilla, people who are seeking funding for their businesses, and journalists who are covering the social capital movement.
The argument that social media fosters feel-good clicking rather than actual change, began long before Malcolm Gladwell brought it up in the New Yorker — long enough to generate its own derogatory term. “Slacktivism,” as defined by Urban Dictionary, is “the act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem.”
If you only measure donations, social media is no champion. The national chapter of the Red Cross, for instance, has 208,500 “likes” on Facebook, more than 200,000 followers on Twitter, and a thriving blog. But according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, online donations accounted for just 3.6% of private donations made to the organization in 2009.
But social good is a movement still in its infancy. Facebook launched in 2004, YouTube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006. Let’s give the tools a little while to grow up before we start judging them.
All of that virtual liking, following, joining, signing, forwarding, and, yes, clicking, has a lot of potential to grow into big change. Here’s why: