Global Citizen Works With Artists, Fans to End Poverty by 203028th April 2014 • 7 comments
Today marks the beginning of a worldwide campaign called Live Below the Line.The campaign challenges participants to spend only a $1.50 per day on food and drink so that they may gain empathy and better understanding of the hardships many suffer through, particularly those with families to feed.
Live Below the Line is one of many campaigns Global Citizen works on in their efforts to end poverty and the organization are going about their efforts in far more inventive and interactive ways than many who have come before them. While many worthwhile organizations have worked tirelessly and made great strides in the fight against poverty, Global Citizen has teamed up with the biggest names in music, gotten fans and the socially active involved, and, as Justine Lucas, US Country Director for Global Citizen said,”We gamified it to bring about policy change.” This is where the brilliance of Global Citizen enters into play.
As mentioned previously, they’ve partnered with the biggest names in music; artists such as Beyoncé, Katy Perry, One Direction, Aloe Blacc, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, The Specials, Ed Sheeran, The National, and Bonnaroo Festival, to name a few, to offer Global Citizens the opportunity to earn concert tickets and access to exclusive events. On the Global Citizen web site there is a break down of campaigns and initiatives. The side navigation bar shows a rotation of the latest and most time sensitive campaigns, while a menu at the bottom allows navigation by specific topics, such as education, environmental sustainability, or child mortality, among others, allowing users to go immediately to causes most important to them.
The site shows an array of petitions, videos, and other relevant information that pertains to poverty and for each action users participate in, they earn points. Sharing information on a petition via Twitter or Facebook may earn 2 points, while watching a short YouTube clip on how educating women decreases poverty will earn 5 points. The points can then be used to enter prize drawings for participating artist’s events.
Global Citizen and the artists they’re working with are rewarding people for being decent human beings, rewarding many for doing things they were doing already, in addition to creating yet another form of artist/fan engagement. (And yes, they do actually give tickets away to each show as they claim).
Global Citizen Nights
Global Citizen Nights is a fairly new and very exciting concept that began in Austin, Texas this past March. Taking their partnership with artists a step further, Global Citizen has begun hosting exclusive events featuring big artists in venues considerably smaller than they’d usually play. The Austin event featured The Fray with guests Allen Stone and Valory. Last week the second event was hosted in Chicago featuring Aloe Blacc with JohnnySwim and The Main Squeeze. Justine Lucas explained that approximately 20% of the tickets are sold while the other 80% are given away to Global Citizens for taking action in the anti-poverty campaigns on the web site. There are a select number of VIP packages available for each show which include artist meet and greets. These are available for purchase but the regular, general admission tickets are free of charge. Winning two tickets to the show was 15 points so it’s far from unattainable and there were chances to get additional tickets.
While this new take on artist/fan engagement combined with social action was extremely exciting to us, Lucas was quick to point out that they never lose sight at the important task at hand. They partner with artists who have an interest in issues under the umbrella of poverty and that, along with their ‘gamified’ approach and easy, realistic suggestions on what average people can do to end poverty makes it easy, if not exciting for people to become active participants in ending poverty. The current generation of do-gooders, often called slacktivists due to their desire to save the world but lack of effort in doing so, can feel a bit less overwhelmed as many of the campaigns on Global Citizen come with suggestions and practical solutions that real people can use. There are videos and cookbooks available on Live Below the Line to help participants with meal planning and several videos and initiatives offer advice on common things we do each day that effect the overall issue of poverty. For example, A Day Without Waste challenges people to look at their own habits and make simple changes for the betterment of all. Encouraging people to go a day without straws, excess napkins, to-go cups, paper and plastic bags, or take out containers provides the opportunity to look at the seemingly insignificant things we do each day that contribute to the large scale issue of global poverty.
Global Citizen relies on its partnerships with equally ambitious organizations to make their goal a reality. They’ve teamed with Ekocycle on the Day Without Waste campaign, and in addition to working with Live Below the Line, they also work with Opportunity International whose role in the global poverty fight is centered more specifically around microfinance and providing opportunities for those in poverty to build businesses and new lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Allison Kooser, Youth Engagement Officer for Opportunity International, stated that they really liked Global Citizen’s involvement with the Live Below the Line campaign and it made them want to become involved with the organization. The two organizations now work together on issues pertaining to empowering women, the direct correlation between lack of education in women and poverty, and microfinance.
While seemingly unrelated, education, the environment, vaccines, corruption, Fair Trade, and a host of other issues all directly effect poverty. Global Citizen has found a way to get people involved in realistic ways and they’ve partnered with the biggest names in the music industry to do it. While the musicians are far from the main purpose of any of the campaigns or initiatives, it’s wonderful to see artists using their social currency in a positive way. It’s equally wonderful to see organizations such as Global Citizen, Ekosystem, and Opportunity International taking full advantage of the access artists now have to fans and using that in such a positive way.
To sign up for the Live Below the Line campaign GO HERE
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Many thanks to Justine Lucas of Global Citizen, Allison Kooser of Opportunity International, and Haley Dorgan of Sunshine Sachs PR for their kindness and assistance.