Founded in 2007, Avaaz has had a great impact on the global community to the extent that it is now considered by The Guardian as the most powerful online activist network internationally. The name Avaaz was translated from the Persian language, and it means “song” or “voice.” The organization has owned up to its meaning by providing an avenue through which issues such as climate change, poverty, conflict, animal rights, human rights and corruption can be articulated.
An organization that is managed well is bound to prosper, and Avaaz is no exception. The organization’s president, Ricken Patel, is not only well educated but also experienced and passionate about his job. Patel studied Politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University. He later went to Harvard University for his master’s degree.
Ricken developed the passion and expertise for activism during the time he worked for the International Crisis group around the world. During this time, Patel worked in many countries such as Sudan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and Liberia. Working out there taught him how to reinstate public faith in political systems. When he returned to the United States, he was able joined MoveOn.org as a volunteer, a position that helped him understand how to utilize online tools for activism.
- Avaaz aims at narrowing the gap between the current world’s status and the world people desire. Some of the progressive causes the organization is involved in include:
- It set up internet proxy servers to enable protestors to upload videos on public sites during the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests
- It braced establishment of the no-fly zone over Libya, which caused the Military intervention in the country back in 2011
- Avaaz supported the civil uprising after the Syrian civil war. They sent 1.5 million U.S. dollars’ worth of internet communication tools to the protestors. They even sent two million U.S. dollars’ worth of medical equipment into the country