World View-Technology is Vital to Social Change

by admin on December 7, 2011


Back in October I cited data from Walden University that said that eighty percent of Americans see digital technology as key to getting people involved in social change and 4 in 5 see digital technology as a “game-changer” for positive social change.

Walden University offered a unique overview as to who gets involved in social causes and it’s obvious that the most fundamental observation is the belief that individual and small group actions are the driving forces behind social change (43 percent).  Eighty-five percent of Americans believe that they can make the world a better place through their actions.

Government is predicted to play a decreasing role in social change in the future (34 percent) and less than 15 percent state that they are likely to get involved through government organizations.

Now Walden moves from the American point of view to a world assessment of social change. Digital technology is “again” a global game-changer with young adults leading the way. Most adults in countries around the world (89% on average) agree that technology can turn a cause into a movement faster than anything else can. We’ve seen this during the Arab spring and we will undoubtedly see more of it in the future.

World View Summary:

Social change is important to people around the world, and they are taking action. While the level of engagement and importance vary by country, most adults agree they want to be more involved in positive social change in the future.

On average, 75% of world adults have engaged in positive social change during the past six months.

Donating money, goods or services is the most common form of action

In Mexico, educating others about a cause or issue is the most common way to take action (52%).

Social change issues of greatest importance are as diverse as the countries themselves.

On average, education (37%) is the most important issue for positive social change to address.

Education is the most important social change issue in Brazil (63%), India (56%) and the U.S. (40%).

Health issues are the most important for adults in France (46%), China (46%), Canada (43%) and Great Britain (36%).

Public safety is the most important issue in Mexico (51%).

Poverty is most important in Spain (49%).

The environment and “green” issues are the most important for people in Japan (48%).

Social justice is the most important issue for German adults (42%).

In many countries, women are more likely than men to find poverty, children or youth, and the elderly or aging to be important issues.

“Think globally, act locally” has become a worldwide mentality.

Thinking about the future, half or more of adults in each of the countries (66%, on average) say that the environment and “green” issues in other parts of the world will have a major impact on life in their own country.

My thoughts:

We have entered a world where websites, video and audio are inexpensive and social interactions plentiful. While we debate the meaning and implementation of social media, it’s happening like a whirlwind all around us. Question, can tyrants exist within the social media world?

There may never be a parallel to today’s ability to creatively and inexpensively reach thousands or millions of people through social media. This thought is obviously amplified by the findings of the report.

Best, Len.

Report on America:

Report on International Perceptions:

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