SUMMIT, NJ - Innovative political activist Jeremy Heimans will speak on his 21st century model of Internet mobilization for worldwide social causes April 1, at The Unitarian Church in Summit. The lecture, whcih begins at 7:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served beforehand in the congregation's lobby.
A self-described “movement entrepreneur,” Jeremy Heimans uses technology and the Internet in his work for social causes. His organizations use television ads and emails to urge individuals to sign online petitions and take other actions to let their voices be heard on environmental, economic and social problems worldwide.
“Jeremy is a living model of what it means to Heal the World, part of our congregation’s mission,” said Tuli Patel, director of religious education for the Unitarian congregation. “We each have the potential to change the world, to make it a better place, but when we are united in our efforts, our impact can be that much more far reaching.”
Heimans was 27 when he formed his first mass movement, GetUp!, in 2005 in his native Australia. Troubled by the government’s lack of action on climate change, immigration and indigenous peoples, he launched a TV ad campaign urging individuals to email governmental officials demanding accountability. Within a few days, 10,000 people contacted legislators. Today, the movement is a major player in Australian politics.
In 2007, Heimans and others launched Avaaz.com to give people all over the world a voice on issues like climate change and global government. The movement, which now claims 30 million members, is credited for convincing Tanzania to stop a plan to evict thousands of Masai families from their native lands for a private game preserve.
Now 36, Heimans heads Purpose.com, a New York-based consultancy he founded as an “incubator for social movements.” The company sells consulting services on development and movement formation to corporations and foundations.
Heimans won the Ford Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Visionaries Award in 2011. The World Economic Forum at Davos has named him a Young Global Leader, and he has presented several talks at Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conferences.
Heimans’ talk at the Unitarian church is the second in its Heal the World speaker series, following Mendham High School graduate Maggie Doyne, who described the home and school for orphaned children that she founded and runs in rural Nepal.