If you’re visualizing world peace, why not turn to social media? Peace One Day partners with Social Media Week.
In 2001, the United Nations and the not-for-profit organization Peace One Day committed September 21st to ceasefire and peaceful activities. According to the Peace One Day website, “Each year, 21 September marks Peace Day; a day for wide-scale community action, and a day for UN agencies and aid organisations to safely carry out life-saving work.” So far, the organization boasts campaigns which include vaccinations in previously unreachable areas and a 70% reduction in violent incidents in Afganhistan in 2008 on September 21st.
So, what about next year? According to Peace One Day, “For Peace Day 2012, we’re calling for a day of ceasefire and non-violence – a Global Truce. We want 21 September 2012 to be the largest reduction in global violence in recorded history, both domestically and internationally. We know that this is an ambitious aim, but we believe that each individual has the power to make a difference – if we all come together, we can change the world, one day at a time. |
To accomplish this lofty goal organizers are turning to social media. In fact, organizers are joining forces with Social Media Week. According to the Social Media Week website, “Social Media Week (SMW) is a global platform that connects people, content, and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media. Delivered primarily through a network of internationally hosted biannual conferences and online through social and mobile media, Social Media Week brings hundreds of thousands of people together every year through learning experiences that aim to advance our understanding of social media’s role in society”
Jeremy Giley, founder of Peace One Day told the Huffington Post that “We need to unite on a scale that we’ve never seen before. If we do that, it will send a message to the heads of our world. The legacy of success will not be mine. It will be everybody’s.” This year’s events involve bringing Twitter and Facebook users together to explore how people connect to one another. The events have the goal of unifying participations and include soccer games in Haiti and concerts in London. Toby Daniels, founder and executive director of Social Media Week notes that: “One of the really powerful aspects of Peace One Day is the movement towards global peace.” He continued: “The engagement and connections that the movement has made, have been driven by social media…It’s exactly the kind of partnership that we seek out and are excited about.”
Already, Peace One Day has more than 18, 000 members on Facebook and more than 4, 000 followers on Twitter. What’s best about this project (other than its goal) is that while people often comment on the superficiality of social networking connections, Peace One Day sees the potential of these connections. Instead of stressing the superficiality, they focus on the ability of these virtual connections to create empathy, and through this sense of empathy and unity, they attempt to set up attitudes that call for peace. A good cause indeed.