Mohamed Bouazizi was three years old when Zine El Abidine Ben Ali took power in Tunisia. His self-immolation in protest of harassment from corrupt government officials 23 years later toppled the regime and triggered repressed populations across the regime into action.



2011 has begun as a momentous year in the history and practice of nonviolent civil resistance. Tunisia and Egypt have sparked movements across North Africa and the Middle East as ordinary people rise up to resist the autocracy, corruption, and abuse they have lived under for decades. This method of struggle is by no means new, however. People throughout history have waged nonviolent struggle to gain independence, dissolve oppressive …



For those working in the field of conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, reliable real-time data plays a critical role in staging a successful intervention.  As a recent discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace with Dr. Steven Livingston made clear, the humanitarian policy world is dealing with an environment where data gathering technology is advancing at an exceptional rate.  The conversation then addressed the challenge created by all this technology; …



The recent demonstrations in Belarus, Tunisia, Bahrain, and especially Egypt have all recently demonstrated the importance of the Internet and social media as an organizing tool for popular protest.  Twitter and Facebook have been crucial tools for organization and mobilization.  Governments have noticed this as well, and begun to target the internet.



U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton – speaking on behalf of the Obama administration – expressed views on the power of media via a statement on 21st Century Statecraft:
“… We have seen the possibilities of what can happen when ordinary citizens are empowered by Twitter and Facebook to organize political movements, or simply exchange ideas and information… we have the potential to engage in …



The current picture of Haiti is complex: millions of people are still displaced, billions of dollars in promised aid have yet to arrive, and there is still an extreme lack of infrastructure. However, there are thousands of NGOs working around the country, and some of the most promising work is being done in communications and connectivity.



The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission, more commonly referred to as the CRTC, has recently ignited a firestorm among Internet users in Canada. In January, the CRTC announced the approval of a user-based billing (UBB) system.



In the digital 21st century, Jürgen Habermas’ public sphere and Marshall McLuhan’s global village have gone electronic, hence citizen journalism and the blogosphere. In 2006, TIME magazine named ‘YOU’ person of the year, calling the Web “a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter.” The ‘YOU’ person of 2011 – at least for this year’s



While the world’s eyes are on Egypt, it is imperative not to forget the struggle in Belarus, which has entered a new phase following the December 2010 election.  The aftermath of the recent elections in Belarus sent shockwaves around Europe; it also provides a crucial test for the Obama Administration’s attitudes towards human rights.  In Belarus, the 19 December 2010 election, marked by widespread fraud, was followed with wide …



In case you missed any of it, there have been a few very interesting developments recently on how technology is being used, developed and shared for social change purposes. Below are three cases that may tickle your fancy and are definitely worth spreading the word about.