Joan Blades at PlaNetwork

Joan Blades just gave a great keynote at Planetwork. The first part covered MoveOn‘s history and accomplishments:    (1HJ)

  • Wes and Joan’s first email petition went to about 100 friends, and ended up reaching 1,000 people in a week. It eventually reached 500,000 people.    (1HK)
  • MoveOn raised $2 million for the 2000 presidential campaign. The average contribution was $35.    (1HL)
  • More than 300,000 members participated in the MoveOn primary (last summer, which Howard Dean won), more than the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries combined.    (1HM)
  • Over 1,000 people submitted commercials for the Bush in 30 Seconds contest, which were rated by 100,000 members and also field tested. (CBS refused to run the winning ad, Child’s Play.) Joan showed six of the ads; great, great stuff. The talent and creativity of the contributions were clearly evident.    (1HN)
  • Bake Back America was a nationwide bake sale that raised $750,000 dollars. Joan said, “It’s the only bake sale ever covered by the Economist.”    (1HO)

Ultimately, the MoveOn mission is about connecting people. The bake sales, for example, helped a lot of people with progressive values who felt out-of-place in small towns discover other likeminded people in the same communities. She told several great stories from MoveOn‘s recent book, MoveOn’s 50 Ways to Love Your Country, written by 50 members (selected out of 2,000 submissions).    (1HP)

More quotes and highlights:    (1HQ)

  • “Connecting takes us beyond the foolish dichotomy of right and left.”    (1HR)
  • “Politics on television is becoming indistinguishable from professional wrestling. There’s lots of posturing and a detachment from reality.”    (1HS)
  • “The public sector has been hollowed out.” It’s been replaced by idealogues (neocons) and entertainers (Bill O’Reilly). However…    (1HT)
  • The Internet is changing all of that by giving everyone a voice. “Connection puts us all on equal footing.”    (1HU)
  • Because of this change, the leaders of tomorrow need, “Strong vision, big ears.”    (1HV)
  • MoveOn did a nationwide survey, and found that there was a consistently strong message in all of the responses: a hunger for connection to core values, things like compassion, fairness, justice, opportunity, family, country, freedom, responsibility, and democracy. It reinforces Joan’s assertion that…    (1HW)
  • Progressive values are American values.    (1HX)

Joan ended her talk with three suggestions:    (1HY)

  • Lead from the heart.    (1HZ)
  • Be bold. “The way to win is to be about something.”    (1I0)
  • Call to the best in all of us.    (1I1)

PlaNetwork Conference 2004 in San Francisco

The 2004 PlaNetwork Conference is next weekend, June 5-7, 2004, at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco. This will be the place to gather to talk about the upcoming election, Online Activism, Environmental Sustainability, Social Justice, and applying technology towards furthering all of these causes. Joan Blades of MoveOn and Ben Cohen (the “Ben” in Ben & Jerry’s) of TrueMajority will be keynoting this year.    (1FT)

As I mentioned previously, Blue Oxen Associates is codesigning this year’s event with Tomorrow Makers. The InterActive component is going to be a great place for people to gather, learn, and make connections (both the personal and the knowledge kinds). It will also be a great demonstration of some of the hybrid collaborative processes I’ve talked about so often in this blog and elsewhere.    (1FU)

We’ll also be demonstrating the first prototypes of the Identity Commons system. More on this later.    (1FV)

We’ve set up a conference Wiki for the event itself and also for conversing before and after the event. We also have an IRC channel on Freenode (, #planetwork) with logs. I’ll be on that channel a lot over the next week or so, so be sure to drop by and say hello. Finally, if you plan to blog about the conference yourself, please see Planetwork:BloggingTheConference.    (1FW)

I hope to see many of you there. It will be a great opportunity to meet, organize, have fun, and do lots of good.    (1FX)