MobileActive: Cell Phones for Civic Engagement


CONTACT: Katrin Verclas, Aspiration
413-687-9877 or 413-884-0094
katrin [at]

Activists from Around the World Gather for First-Ever “MobileActive” on Use of Mobile Phones in Human Rights,Emergency Relief, and Democracy Campaigns

Washington, DC, September 6, 2005 – Ring, ring …Social Change is Calling: Green Media Toolshed and Aspiration, two US-based nonprofit organizations, are convening technologists and activists using mobile phones and text messaging for advocacy, human rights work, democracy campaigns, and mass mobilizations.

MobileActive: Cellphones for Civic Engagement will take place in Toronto, Canada on September 22-24, 2005.

“Call me on my cell phone -- Send me a text message -- You can get me on my cell when you need me. These are not just words among friends anymore.  Now that power is being used by activist working for mass mobilizations, human rights campaigns, environmental protection, and democratic elections,” says Katrin Verclas of Aspiration: Better Tools for a Better World.    

Marty Kearns, one of the organizers, says: "Email is dead. The cell phone is the real tool for moving voice and connecting on the go.  In a world on the move, we need to connect the voice of the people to civil society campaigns. The voices of the world are on mobile devices and the leaders of social change need to be there to engage and mobilize.” and the MobileActive strategy meeting bring together campaigners, technology experts and communications strategists to reconnect campaigns, issue work and civic engagement to people on the street.  MobileActive will help speed the dissemination of innovative practices and technology by skill and knowledge-sharing among activists. Attendees will explore strategies and tactics for the use of cell phones as an organizing tool, and develop useable guidance for practitioners, donors and campaigners to be disseminated widely. The overarching goal is to help civil society activists capitalize on the global wireless phone infrastructure for advocacy communications and organizing.  

Activists and technologists from the Philippines, England, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and the Congo representing Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Fahamu,  Working Assets,,, the Open Society Institute, MacArthur Foundation, MIT Media Labs, EchoDitto, Association de Defense des Droits des Prisonniers, Txtmob, Mobile Voter, Movement Strategy Center, Surdna Foundation, Mobile Reporter, 160Characters, ACORN, and many others will attend.

Strategists and activists interested in participating, please go to

About Green Media Toolshed:  Green Media Toolshed is a nonprofit environmental organization that provides communications tools to our members, environmental nonprofits, so that they can more effectively project their messages to the public and decision-makers. We provide tools and membership services to more than 165 environmental groups across the U.S. --

About Aspiration:  Aspiration,, connects nonprofit organizations with software solutions that help them better carry out their work.  We want nonprofit organizations to obtain and use the best software to maximize their effectiveness and impact so that they, in turn, can change the world.  We identify what is available and what is missing in NGO software arena, and foster relationships, delivery systems, and sustainability strategies between NGOs around the world.