Here’s how we brought nearly 5000 Nepalis from more than 20 countries around the world in 1 week to our cause under 500 Rupees.
What was the purpose? To encourage the Supreme Court to continue on its recent bold actions against the corruption culture in Nepal and to unite common Nepali citizens to feel responsible on this issue.
Follow the Bright spots: One effective way to change things in Nepal is to investigate what is working and build upon it. Corruption is an evil that is plaguing Nepal, The Current Supreme Court team is one institution that is actively fighting that and has seen some successes lately. We wanted this team to continue building upon this momentum by going after corrupt public officials and politicians.
Script the critical moves. Don’t think big picture, think in terms of specifics. To increase this momentum against the corruption in Nepal, we started by asking a simple question, “What can I do today, right away to help combat corruption? ” One answer was simply saying, “Thank You”. We could immediately thank the Supreme Court for taking bold actions against corruption by writing a simple thank you letter to them. And we started right away. Just do it!
Collaborate with small committed team: You only need a few other like-minded person like you to start off. So the few of us started to share a draft letter with each other on the Internet. We came out with both English and Nepali version, keeping in view, a lot of Nepalis on Internet, converse in English while some do it in Nepali.
Point to the destination: Change is easier when your participants know where they are going and why it’s worth it. Our participants knew that this letter would go to the Supreme court with their names in it. They would know this would make a moral boost to the Justices who were taking bold action.
Shrink the change: Always make it easy for people to be part of change. So we went to FaceBook and opened an event,invited our friends here to join us. Here is the link to the Internet in case you are curious.
We wanted people to invite as many of their friends so we kept that option open for them.Don’t be stingy to share credits. One could invite someone thousands of kilometers away with a just a mouse click.Technology does help shrink the world 🙂 Within a day, we had 1,000 people who pledged, Yes, I will be part of this campaign. Within a week we had nearly 5,000 before we closed the event. 22,000 Nepalis were still in line waiting to attend.
Set clear directions: Initially we put the event location as the Supreme Court. This confused a lot of people who replied, No to our event because they thought they had to personally come to the Supreme Court to say “thank you”. We immediately corrected the details, apologized, clarified and moved on!
Find the Feeling: Knowing something isn’t enough to bring people together. We made people feel something important by promising them their names would be included in the letter. We showed them various articles related to corruption epidemic in Nepal. We made people care about the event, by personally answering each of their doubts about the event or the organizers. We made people “feel” united.
Grow your people: We gave a new identity to participants by branding them, “Activists against Corruption in Nepal”. This gave a sense of identity and a sense of unity amongst people. This allowed people to grow into their roles as “responsible” Nepalis.
Tweak the environment: Previously people used to go door to door to enlist others to join their campaign. It was an exhausting process. We tweaked this environment by using technology (social media) to our huge advantage. Before, there was no easy way to unite Nepalis from all over the world. We did it without any funds and from our chairs in our houses. The chief justices were surprised when we told them, that this group effort came together in one week!
Build Habits: We looked for ways to encourage habits to become active. We asked people to write in their views. Simple, agreement to the campaign would also be a good start. People were starting to talk with each other. Cultivating a habit of talking about it and finding like minded people does help start a culture against silence. Remember, Silence breeds corruption.
Rally the people: When you pledge, “yes I am part of this campaign against corruption”, this behavior becomes contagious. Help it spread. Your friends are more likely to say yes now. That is why this message went viral and people picked it up fast. By the week’s end, friends had invited nearly 22,000 other friends to the event. Unfortunately we closed the event within the time as we had promised to. So many couldn’t join in. To prove to our fellow campaigners that we had actually handed over the letter to the Chief Justices with the names, we made a short video of it and again put it out in You-tube video sharing site, so that they could watch it from anywhere in the world.
So now, that you got a rough idea, how about you start off a “new” campaign to solve a problem you passionately care?
Watch this video of our Chief Justices responding to our campaign on youtube.