The Age of Conversation Goes Ka-Ching! Using Social Media for Change

aoc-gavin.jpgWoohoo! Who’s in Drew’s conga line?

Our Age of Conversation social media project to benefit Variety, the Children’s Charity has reached our $10,000 goal in less than 2 months time! Drew and Gavin have single-handedly united us in purpose and promise for the children, leveraging the power and perspective of social media to show us how we can merge social causes and humans in a one world view to create change in a heartbeat!

Our global ‘how to’ guide instills best practices in short, condensed, media sound bites from all of us in our own area of specialization and it’s yours for the asking for under ten bucks! (talk about affordable cause & effect marketing, in ‘pay it forward’ style, whew!)

How often can you receive benefits and know-how of over 100 industry leaders in a handy how-to guide for less than the cost of a dinner out? (how’s THAT for cheesy promo copy?—but hey, it’s true!) Shaping Youth contributed our own ethics in advertising blurb calling for accountability and responsibility in marketing, but clearly these AOC colleagues are proof positive that when marketing folks choose to adopt a cause, the power and momentum is unstoppable.

As Age of Conversation publisher and ‘Servant of Chaos’ Gavin Heaton eloquently said,

“If ideas are the currency of our times then this is, undoubtedly, the age of conversation, for without the art of dialogue, the cut and thrust of debate and discussion, then the economy of ideas would implode under its own heavy weight. Instead, the reverse is true.

Far from seeing an implosion, we are living in a time of proliferation — ideas build upon ideas, discussion grows from seeds of thought and single headlines give rise to a thousand medusa-like simulations echoing words whispered somewhere on the other side of the planet. All this — in an instant.”

An instant indeed. All it takes is an instant to ‘pay it forward’ and make a difference in this big blue marble we call earth.

Already I’m excited about sharing some of these tips with the students in the Global Cooling Collective who are networking in cities worldwide to create a “live earth” movement for local bands and green-minded students!

Their vision is to stream online concerts of student-organized and promoted global Earth Day ’08 events, uniting as “one world” youth for a healthier planet. It began in Korea with teacher Clay Burrel, (who placed a Ning hub here, come join us!) and now it’s spreading worldwide, as students from Kazakhstan, Hawaii, (and soon, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Kenya, Turkey, once I tap my fellow Women Leaders for the World delegates from GWLN to spread the word) all join in the fun and get their own schools and communities involved.

Then there are amazing media techno-leaders like Michele Martin and Beth Kanter who generously share their own tips (like this post, Using Facebook in Your Nonprofit) on ways to make a difference in the nonprofit sector, using media magic. From fruitful projects in Cambodia working one to one, child to child, using media innovation, to the launch of BlogHer’s Act which will put 11,000 media mavens in the driver’s seat to push forward global health care initiatives, the promise and pragmatics of opening conversations is astounding.

Virtual teaming enables us to carry forward visions that are awe-inspiring…with human capital that we could never, ever hope to achieve alone. Bravo, Age of Conversation co-authors. You make me so very proud to be a part of this endeavor.

It’s a prototype not only of ‘what is’ but of ‘what could be’ for the future by sanctioning a remarkable, sustainable, vision that shifts the context of media toward positive energy, purpose, and heartfelt meaning.

Clearly the power of the digital dialogue is upon us, and within us…All it takes is vision, know-how, and leadership. Join us? You can support the effort right here, right now. If we can make $10,000 for kids in two months, just think of what we could do in ten. Shall we? I’m in.

Our illustrious leaders: The Age of Conversation

About Drew McClellan: Drew’s Marketing Minute (”tells stories, asks questions, milks sacred cows”…)

About Gavin Heaton: Servant of Chaos (”born on a boat in the Indian ocean…”)

The other 101 Authors/co-contributors:

Valeria Maltoni
Emily Reed
Katie Chatfield
Greg Verdino
Mack Collier
Lewis Green
Ann Handley
Mike Sansone
Paul McEnany
Roger von Oech
Anna Farmery
David Armano
Bob Glaza
Mark Goren
Matt Dickman
Scott Monty
Richard Huntington
Cam Beck
David Reich
Luc Debaisieux
Sean Howard
Tim Jackson
Patrick Schaber
Roberta Rosenberg
Uwe Hook
Tony D. Clark
Todd Andrlik
Toby Bloomberg
Steve Woodruff
Steve Bannister
Steve Roesler
Stanley Johnson
Spike Jones
Nathan Snell
Simon Payn
Ryan Rasmussen
Ron Shevlin
Roger Anderson
Robert Hruzek
Rishi Desai
Phil Gerbyshak
Peter Corbett
Pete Deutschman
Nick Rice
Nick Wright
Michael Morton
Mark Earls
Mark Blair
CB Whittemore
Mario Vellandi
Lori Magno
Kristin Gorski
Kris Hoet
G. Kofi Annan
Kimberly Dawn Wells Karl Long
Julie Fleischer
Jordan Behan
John La Grou
Joe Raasch
Jim Kukral
Jessica Hagy
Janet Green
Jamey Shiels
Dr. Graham Hill
Gia Facchini
Geert Desager
Gaurav Mishra
Gary Schoeniger
Gareth Kay
Faris Yakob
Emily Clasper
Ed Cotton
Dustin Jacobsen
Tom Clifford
David Polinchock
David Koopmans
David Brazeal
David Berkowitz
Carolyn Manning
Craig Wilson
Cord Silverstein
Connie Reece
Colin McKay
Chris Newlan
Chris Corrigan
Cedric Giorgi
Brian Reich
Becky Carroll
Arun Rajagopal
Andy Nulman
Amy Jussel
AJ James
Kim Klaver
Sandy Renshaw
Susan Bird
Ryan Barrett
Troy Worman
S. Neil Vineberg


  1. Great news for a great project, Amy! I think it’s amazing how it all came together and how you were able to make such a difference in 2 months. It’s such a good example of how to tie together the power of blogging, self-publishing, social entrepreneurship, etc. Fabulous!

  2. I agree. I think that is how I discovered your blog, not sure. I purchased a hard copy of the book.

  3. I’m so happy to see the AoC project reach the $10,000 mark! How long will it take to reach $15,000 for Variety? 😉

  4. My guess is ‘not long’ if we keep adding fuel to the fire!

    Mack, this has become such a collaborative effort that I’m learning how to prototype it for our OWN nonprofit here at Shaping Youth and pay it forward to other worthy causes that need to learn how to fundraise with natural fits…for example, I was honored to be one of the U.S. delegates for Women Leaders for the World via last month & told them about our AOC experience…

    I realized what an incredible ‘story’ a volume of the GWLN graduates would make for THEIR efforts, showing how individual leaders can take a cause from the grassroots level on a global scale and market the ‘before/after’ efforts of these change agents for their future funding to continue their programs as a biz incubator and leadership team. In fact, tonight, I’ll be discussing it with the GWLN team on how to highlight the causes of all the 2007 women leaders who graduated, covering youth arts in Zimbabwe, girls’ education in Rwanda, biodiversity in India, and girls’ as leaders in Istanbul! There’s SO much brain power to be applied on a global scale…AOC has lit up my synapses in creative ways we can ‘be the change’ ourselves…

    Ditto to the NP Netsquared/tech crew…they can use AOC as a ‘pilot’ project prototype to launch their OWN how-tos for nonprofits via Lulu…from Beth Kanter in Cambodia to the BlogHer’s Act crew & Britt Bravo’s “Have Fun, Do Good” blog!

    I wonder if Drew & Gavin knew they’d end up as Johnny Appleseed planting vision of ‘how-to’ conversations throughout the globe!! 🙂 Sustainable knowledge indeed. Thanks for the ping. —AJ

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