Today the Washington Post reports on a study by medical sociologist Nicholas A. Christakis and political scientist James H. Fowler with the headline “Social Networks’ Sway May Be Underestimated“. Their work is pointing to the strong impact of social networks in behaviour – discovering that entire networks of smokers appear to have quit virtually simultaneously.
Now this shouldn’t really be a surprise to those who have been paying attention to social network analysis, tipping points and the new behaviours enabled by the social web.
What is a surprise is that the nonprofit/charitable sector has been fairly late to the social web party, while corporate brands trip over themselves to build brand communities, develop social media strategies and deploy viral campaigns as budgets increasingly shift from broadcast to digital.
When it comes to helping to shift societal behaviours to more sustainable and humane patterns, the tools, practices and methodologies of social media and social change were made for each other.
If you (or your clients) are involved in social change and looking for an intensive, practical and productive training into these technologies and practices, Social Tech Training being held June 22-24th in Toronto could be just the thing. I sit on the advisory board for the event.
A co-production of Web of Change and MaRS, this is an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the global leaders in this space. Check out the amazing faculty. The agenda is pretty rich and allows for plenty of opportunities to make the program fit individual needs.