Want to change the world? Start a mass movement

The Stanford Social M Challenge hit the ground running this past Saturday as approximately 200 attendees got a tutorial on social movements, mass interpersonal persuasion and what practitioners are doing in the climate change/environmental movement spheres.



What is the Social-M Challenge?


Social-M is about enabling change. It’s about finding new ways to engage, to excite, and to unite. It’s about culture-shifting, entrepreneurial activism.”


The challenge: Design, ignite, and grow sustainable social movements that install lasting behavioral shifts on campus and beyond.”



How does it work?


Stanford student lead teams (although members can come from anywhere) have six weeks to come up with a movement that changes collective behavior or social norms in the pursuit of environmental sustainability.


The competition is broken into two phases:


The first phase is focused on movement design and the second phase focuses on implementation.



Phase I

Design, two weeks (January 9th – January 23rd, 2010)

This phase will be focused on idea-vetting, team-building, resource gathering, and plan formalization. Teams will have access to mentors for feedback and will be encouraged to establish their own network of supporters. At the end of Phase I, teams will submit their plans to a panel of expert judges. The five best plans will be awarded $1,000 to aid in implementation.

Phase II

Implementation, four weeks (January 25th – February 22nd, 2010)

All teams, regardless of Phase I outcome, are given one month to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of their submitted plans. The winning Phase I movement will be awarded $10,000 in seed funding and exclusive consulting support to strengthen and grow their movement.


Why particpate?


  1. Make a difference.
  2. Get hands on experience on how to create a social movement
  3. Discover how to use existing and emerging social media tools
  4. Learn how to design, measure and iterate on social interventions and behavior change.
  5. Apply what you’ve learned from the experience to your own endeavors.