Positively Inspired Change Campaigns

SXSW Description

Social change agents often use guilt, fear, pity, or outrage to rally an audience around a cause. But does tapping into negative emotions with the hope of creating positive change make sense? Could focusing our common attention and intention on positive emotions more effectively transform our world? This panel will explore the experiences of recent positivity-based campaigns by Epic Change and HopeLab and other examples. Contribute to the discussion and learn how you can infuse these principles in your next campaign. Questions will include: How do positive (versus negative) emotions influence audiences? How can you build happiness, joy, inspiration and love into your next campaign? How do we inspire these best parts of ourselves in the pursuit of social change and meaningful engagement? Is positivity-based messaging more sustainable than its opposite? How do we balance some of the difficult realities of the world and the work we are doing with a positive message?

Initial Thoughts

Honestly, this was one of my very very favorite sessions. I loved it so much because it was on a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. At I Love Rescue Animals we focus on the good and positive of adopting animals and shelters and rescuing – it’s too easy to get depressed any other way. This was a very interactive session with all of us sitting in small room sharing ideas. And those are my favorite sessions – the ones where we learn from each other. Loved this one!

Key Takeaways

  • The Epic Change people are amazing!
  • Social change is often thought of by some as social “problems” that need to be fixed.
  • Sad ASPCA and Humane Society do more bad than good. Folks don’t want to go to the shelter to adopt because they see horrible looking conditions in the commercial and they don’t want to subject themselves to it.
  • Sad stories don’t tell the whole story – what happens? We don’t know.
  • There needs to be a balance. The Pedigree Adoption Drive does this well. All online campaigns focus on the positive.
  • Kony2012 was not a good campaign – it had been 6 years since that and Uganda was already getting better with tourism and healing. Because the story was brought back up, now it’s going downhill because its history was coming back to haunt them.
  • Know your facts and share the whole story but focus on the good!

Twitter Highlights

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Date & Location

Monday, March 12, 2012
Austin Convention Center
Theme: Better Tomorrow

More Posts About This Session

SXSW Notes: Positively Inspired Change Campaigns
SXSW Session Info