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SXSW Interactive 2013

Love or Money: Getting Paid for Your Activism.

All of my working life I've tried to marry my desire to have a positive impact on the world with my need to earn a living. I've managed to find ways to do both, and I'm often asked by job seekers how to make choices that set up the opportunity to build a career while you advocate for positive change.

I think it's important to accept that activism on the job generally involves risk in addition to rewards. You need to know what's possible to accomplish, and to be clear about what you need so you can focus on the tasks at hand. You need to set expectations about the outcomes you're working towards, you need to build community around your efforts to protect and amplify them (and to support the risks you're taking) and every so often you need some recognition you can point at.

Its possible to fulfill all these needs while on the job, but sometimes bread labor does get in the way. This session is about a balance to get the best of both worlds.

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  1. How do you choose where to work to have maximum impact as an activist?
  2. Which is more effective: paid or unpaid activism?
  3. How do you avoid pointless overhead inherent in large organizations and focus on getting things done?
  4. Are non-profits a better source of employment for activists?
  5. Should you sneak activism into your day job?



Danese Cooper, Open Source Strategist (consulting), Shared Learning Collaborative

Meta Information:

  • Tags: disruptive
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Community and Activism
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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