Avaaz: The Voice for Change

Avaaz is an organization based from the United States focused on global activism concerning several societal issues that include: global warming, civil rights, and political corruption, just to name a few of their focal points. The organization’s name originates from multiple cultures from Europe to Asian which share a common English translation for voice. As part of their mission, Avaaz aims to bridge the gap between how they perceive the world should be and how the world currently is by empowering people to take action rather than wait for the world to fix itself by hoping for the best. With almost 45 million members from across the world connected to their network, Avaaz has gained international attention through the campaigns that the organization has enacted over the years.

Ricken Patel, the founder and executive director of Avaaz, has used his background in civic activism to set the foundation for the organization’s success. After obtaining his masters degree in public policy, Patel worked for the International Crisis Group where he learned diplomatic negotiations between hostile groups. He later worked with MoveOn.org where he gained insight on how to utilize online activism while developing the tools he would later implement in Avaaz’s website in order to unite people from all over the world for a collective cause. Avaaz has a diverse international network spanning across the Americas to Eastern Asia that includes over 30 countries. Through the utilization of e-mail communication, the civil organization shares it’s campaigns with members allowing for active participation with petitions while connecting local citizens to their corresponding government leaders. Rallies, protests and sit-ins are regularly organized through Avaaz to bring media attention to their campaign efforts. Internationally acclaimed news distributors such as CNN, The Guardian and The Economist have all featured Avaaz’s progress through their media coverage.

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