Local initiatives often have tremendous potential. They use social media in their communication and derive great strength from that. Says David Trap, online media expert, in an interview with us. Many projects of public importance start from grass roots, without interference of governments and large companies. Internet enables these and other projects to form communities on the basis of trust; to exchange information quickly and thereby to speed up developments. The biobased economy too can empower itself by these means, through technology development with social media.
Community development with social media
Social networks are a powerful tool to unite people on the basis of their interests and drives, says Trap. Well-known social networks like Facebook and Twitter are ideal media for sharing information and connecting people. In countless projects the participants communicate by way of Facebook groups: when managing a city garden, a shared office space or a small nature reserve, in a project for energy conservation in a neighbourhood, etc. By using the internet the participants do not need to communicate face-to-face to remain involved. And consider networks like avaaz.org, which is an online campaigning platform that lets ordinary people join their voices to be heard in global politics. Any user of the network can start a petition on a topic close to their heart, and thereby ask for global attention for their initiative. The network now has close to 40 million members in 194 countries, and it has performed almost 200 million petition actions since its launching in 2007. By connecting and mobilising a global audience, the network has become a force to be reckoned with in the global arena.