When you scan walls of status updates and tweets detailing what your friends had to drink last night, what do you see? Ivan Boothe and Seth Horwitz of the Philadelphia chapter of NetSquared see a tool for social advancement. Their semi-monthly event, Crowdsourcing Change, is a learning ground for local activists and non-profit groups to utilize social technology to their advantage.
"I've been interested in and passionately convinced about the power of people within a community connecting since the late '70s before it had a name like social networking," Horwitz says. "That's always been a strong interest because I think there's a lot of power there."
While Philly NetSquared hosts up to 60 people at their monthly meet-ups, Boothe and Horwitz will stream the event live, too ó an arrangement that isn't necessarily bleeding-edge, but it works to their advantage.
According to Horwitz's recollection, Boothe brought the idea with him from the D.C. chapter of the organization, where it had a much saucier title, "Pimp My Non-Profit." "It's a format that's been tried in a few other NetSquared chapters like San Francisco a few times and in Chicago," Boothe adds.
Horwitz believes that social technology gives people a voice, but more importantly it gives others an unfettered chance to recognize that voice. "So, when you talk about social change and you talk about fixing this broken world that we live in, I think a lot of it is going to happen because of grass-roots empowerment," Horwitz says. "When people look back 20 years from now, Facebook will be a trivia question." Tue., Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m., free, Friends Center, 1501 Cherry St., 215-241-7000, phillynetsquared.org.