Avaaz and Its Role in Global Activism

Avaaz is an organization based in the United States that was established in 2007. Avaaz promotes worldwide activism on issues affecting people and the environment. The Guardian considers it as the world’s most powerful and largest online activist network. The name selected for the community is usually a transliteration of a Persian word Avaaz that means “song” or “voice” which was selected because similar words are there in many languages and less similar but related words are there in most other Indo-European languages.

Res Publica, which is a community of the public sector professionals committed to the promotion of good governance, deliberative democracy, and good governance, co-founded Avaaz.org. MoveON.org which is a non-profit American progressive public policy and advocacy group also co-founded Avaaz.org. Avaaz.org was also supported by the Service Employees International Union which is a founding partner.

Individual Avaaz co-founders include Tom Pravda, Ricken Patel, the former congressman of Virginia Tom Perriello, the executive director of move on Eli Pariser, the progressive entrepreneur of Australia David Madden, Andrea Woodhouse, and Jeremy Heimans. The board comprises of the president Ricken Patel, the secretary Tom Pravda, board chairman Eli Pariser and Ben Brandzel who is the treasurer.

Avaaz community normally campaigns in 15 different languages, served by a strong core team of six continents and thousands of volunteers. Avaaz takes action in funding media campaigns, signing petitions & direct actions, lobbying and calling governments, emailing and organizing offline events and protests. This is to ensure that the values and views of the people in the world inform the decisions that usually affect us all. Avaaz’s model of internet organization empowers thousands of individuals regardless how small they are to be quickly combined into a great and powerful collective force.