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Camp Everyone

Camp Everyone

This week Andy and I took part in Camp Everyone, a two day idea generating challenge situated in the beautiful surroundings of the Norfolk countryside.

The aim of the camp was to gather a diverse range of talented strangers united by a hugely ambitious challenge that aims to communicate 17 global goals to 7 billion people in 7 days. This challenge is led by Project Everyone, who we have been involved with since late 2014, when we were asked to create their visual identity. Project Everyone was founded by Richard Curtis, filmmaker and founder of Comic Relief.

In September 2015, the United Nations are launching global goals, a series of ambitious targets to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030. If the goals are met, they ensure the health, safety and future of the planet for everyone on it. And their best chance of being met is if everyone on the planet is aware of them. However the plan relies on the generosity and compassion of networks, brands and media partners to support the global goals to help them spread across the globe.

The focus of Camp Everyone was to generate ideas on three specific challenges that would help put the Global Goals campaign in motion. These challenges were:

1. Why should I care, Why should I share?

2. How do we best engage organisations and business?

3. Activating the global goals for the web generation

On this occasion the Fieldwork team split and I was drawn to the first challenge on the list and Andy chose the third. My challenge was to make the global goals famous. To find the hook, the why and the reason to believe. A simple, human idea to work across the globe. I was drawn to this challenge because I have witnessed how much social media has changed the way we campaign. Platforms have enabled people to have their voices heard on the same stage as the world’s most powerful leaders. In the past decade we’ve seen online campaigning help bring down dictators, elect governments and encourage a whole new generation of young people to get involved.

What I enjoyed most about Camp Everyone was the people. My group was made up of all sorts of different types of individuals ranging from advertising students and directors, copy writers, social activists, environmental officers, marketing strategists, planners, creative writers and designers, most of which I would not normally work with or encounter. I got a real insight to how certain people work and think as we didn’t have great deal of time to nail down an idea that could possibly change the world (no pressure!)

Slacktivistism

My group spent the first evening discussing the challenge in detail and it became very apparent from the get go that there was a divide in our team. There was a few ideas being pushed forward, many of which were heartfelt and compassionate campaigns, but I just couldn’t help think, “would I share this?” And more importantly, “would I care about this?”

I see online campaigns all the time ranging from people completing tasks like the ice bucket challenge to posting no make up selfies to various social media platforms. A lot of the time these work because they are lighthearted and the focus isn’t entirely based on the serious part of the campaign and more importantly the campaigns spread like wildfire. However my main criticism of campaigns entirely designed to work on social media platforms is the oversimplification of the serious issues. I check my Facebook feed most days and I have observed a great deal of ‘slacktivistism.’ This is where one donates or takes actions that have little to no effect beyond making one feel like one contributed. Often I see people sharing multiple images a day based on the themes of animal cruelty, bullying, poverty etc and I can’t help but to think other than sharing this image what are people doing to help improve the world?

We still need to reach the ‘slacktivists’

However, the whole point of the two days at Camp Everyone was to make a compelling campaign that will make the 17 goals famous in 7 days, and shape the next 15 years. As a sceptic I eventually had to think that maybe certain strands of campaigns are aimed at the ‘slacktivists’ as once something reaches a certain scale, the power of all the individual ‘slacktivists’ who supported that campaign carry a real weight and power. Maybe a collective impact of those small actions can actually make a difference. The success of the Ice Bucket Challenge last year proved this as $100M was raised in aid of ALS and over £8 million was donated to Cancer Research UK as a result of the #nomakeupselfie craze. However the lifespan of these campaigns are pretty short lived so to achieve this 15 year global goal plan do we constantly have to churn out these sorts of campaigns?

There was one thing the two sides of my group agreed on and that was social activism requires a spark to become effective; lazy keyboard warriors need a real-life catalyst to inspire their virtual campaign. Whether this is inspired by love and compassion or more of an unbiased honest campaign that speak to a much broader spectrum of people across multiple cultures.

All we need is a plan…and guess what…

WE HAVE A PLAN

because 193 countries have endorsed it.

….and 7 million people across the world have created it.

…and it will be tracked and strengthened over time.

…and it will bring us together like never before.

…and it will influence every public policy agenda in the world.

…and it will help our commonalities speak louder than our differences.

…and it will reveal how love is the most transformative, renewable, and free source of energy in the world.