Before undertaking any venture, one needs a purpose.
In the case of Jeremy Heimans, Purpose is everything, including the name of the organization he co-founded and for which he currently serves as CEO.
The team at Purpose creates "21st Century movements," according to the Web site. The organization's principals, including Heimans, are founders of one of the largest online, people-powered movement generators, Avaaz. The staff at Purpose is also behind the online LGBT rights movement "All Out" and the independent progressive movement in Australia called "Get up!"
In short, Heimans and his team were leveraging the power of the Web to incite change movements well before Occupy and the SOPA/PIPA protests.
Heimans, an old hand at generating social movements, was, under the auspices of Purpose, called on to bring the Livestrong movement beyond small donations and wristbands, teaming with The Lance Armstrong Foundation to translate donations into action. The end result was LivestrongAction, which in October 2009, powered the organization of 1,200 events around Livestrong Day. Other Purpose-driven movements include "Hello Electric," "Global Zero," and "Meu Rio."
I spoke with Heimans Thursday about his work, his advice for young people who wish to embark on similar movement-powered ventures and his take on one of the most recent stories to rock the non-profit world: the announcement that the Susan G. Koman Foundation would no longer provide funds to Planned Parenthood.
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