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SXSW Interactive 2014

Fueling Social Movements via Social

In mid-2013, protests erupted around Brazil, initially sparked by a public transport cost hike but quickly emerging into a broader social movement to address a litany of social issues. Causa Brasil was launched in response to the protests to facilitate communication and serve as an information nexus related to the movement, leveraging the general feeling of pride and the call for change that will hopefully result in a new Brazil. The occupationalist.org, brainchild of Boulder Digital Works (BDW), played a similar role during the Occupy Wall Street movement. This session will offer divergent views around the use of social media to fuel social movements in 2 major markets (US & Brazil), countries that have both experienced rapidly emerging forms of activism in recent years. Participants will have the chance to dialogue with an educational partner (BDW) and member (W3Haus) of SoDA, a network of top digital agencies and elite production companies working to advance the digital industry.

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  1. How can technology help and support the understanding and organization of social causes?
  2. What does it take to make a social movement successful when utilizing social networks as the main source of communication?
  3. How can social media and movements such as Causa Brasil and Occupy Wall Street help to direct and focus protesters in a productive manner and drive their efforts forward?
  4. Since social network communication happens in real-time, how will /have researchers adapted their methodologies to use the information that comes from social networks?
  5. How can new technology and platforms become a new, reliable source for governments and journalists to reference when determining the current state of a cause or social movement?


  • Tiago Ritter, CEO, W3Haus
  • David Slayden, Executive Director, BDW


Natalie Smith, Assoc. Operations Mgr., SoDA

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Non-Profit and Activism
  • Level: Intermediate
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