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Amy McCarthy

My theory of change is that social media is about relationships. Let's cultivate microrelationships in which we know our followers, know their names, and can generate some powerful connections.

Danielle Brigida

My theory of change is that it begins with an idea (not necessarily a discovery). Think of when writing was invented - that was started by an idea. The same goes for social media, and in turn USING social media for good. Every new tool(or site) that is created I try to learn about and then figure out how to solve problems with what I'm given. Connecting the dots, meeting people and building relationships, and learning as much as you can about functionality in all things helps you learn how you can make the best out of any situation for your organization. Trying to get people outside and loving wildlife is no easy task while using social media, but it is a fun challenge and there are so many creative ways to do it!

Brian Reich

My theory of change is that everything has to change. Everything needs to be re-visited, re-considered, re-evaluated, and ultimate re-worked. Until we do that, nothing will change - at least not on the scale that we desire, and not in a way that is sustainable. So my theory of change is really focused on setting us up so all the other theories of change are even more likely to realize success.

I believe in the power of community and the marketplace, I am confident that people, especially now that we are all connected, have the ability to radically shift the way we organize, communicate, educate and act (read: behave) if given a solid platform from which to launch their efforts. But for those powers to be activated, for those forces to have their influence, we have to change the way we are structured, the very way we look at how theories of change themselves are implemented. We have to knock the meteor that is currently hurdling towards the planet (apathy, focus on activity and not impact, serving the cause instead of solving the cause) and threatening to destroy everything off course, if you will.

Thus, my theory of change is:

1) Review everything. Start by looking at every organization, plan, structure, message, tactic, and activity to understand what is working and what isn't. There are too many legacy systems and failed approaches being used 'because that is how we have always done it' to expect real change to flourish. This is true as a nonprofit community, and for individual organizations. That's step one.

2) Break the big pieces into small ones. By reviewing everything you open up the possibility of considering everything. You can break the big systems down into little pieces -- each goal can be isolated, each strategy left to stand on its own, each tactic able to be considered in a very narrow, specific context. When each challenge, each opportunity and each approach is on its own two things happen: a) you can more easily prioritize and organize what you are doing, and b) you can determine what is working and what isn't more easily.

3) Put the pieces back together. No single activity or goal, no matter how exciting, will have a significant impact on its own. Everything is connected. And each piece plays a very specific role - they compliment each other, they expand the reach and impact of whatever came before them. When we put the pieces back together, and look at the whole picture of what needs to happen and the steps required to get from start to finish, we have a chance to do some real damage. So step three is to start to re-connect the pieces, and understand the relationships that exist between individual areas of focus, goals, the roles and responsibilities of those involved, the actions we all take, and the outcome we are seeking.

4) Divide and conquer. Right now, we mostly compete - for attention, for dollars, for ownership and control. Collaboration is nice. But in reality, to realize change we have to divide and conquer. We need to distribute responsibility and ensure that the necessary talent, energy and focus is applied to each of the key pieces along the path towards change. So, rather than invite people to participate, or throw open the challenge so that everyone can meet, we need to clearly identify the specific things that need to be figured out, at all levels, and make sure someone takes responsibility for each (and is held accountable). Until we all get out of our own way, not to mention each other's, we won't get anywhere.

5) Evolve. The last, and perhaps most important aspect of my theory of change, is change itself. Evolution. We have to grow. We have to try things and fail, but be comfortable in getting up and trying again. We have to be willing to accept that mistakes are part of the process of change, and embrace the fear, anxiety and difficulty that comes with doing new things. We have to be patient, and self-aware (or aware with help from others) so we can apply the lessons to our work in real-time. That will allow us to improve, our work and our plans, and the whole movement can evolve.

My theory of change is that you have to start by changing everything. You have to start by looking at everything we are doing, accepting it isn't working, and start fresh. That doesn't mean throw everything out, it means look at the game film and find the good stuff. It means ask tough questions. It means challenge existing assumptions. It means nothing that we are doing is working exactly as we had hoped and nobody who is doing anything is without a need for change.

Until we do that, things might look different, but nothing will change. That's my theory anyway.

Mike Tashaya

My theory of change is that Social Media is about making connections and not selling. Its about interactions with your community and is about consolidting those connections and your positioning that comes about from it.


We are very excited about how social media can be used for change in our organization. I work for Malashock Dance, an organization in San Diego, CA, that offers professional performances and education programs. One of our biggest hurdles has been educating the public on what exactly we do (what is modern dance, what is dance education outreach, etc.). Social media provides a way for us to *show* what we do, and to *share* stories from past participants. This is one of our theories of change:

1. We post videos and photos of our classes and outreach programs, and post stories and video testimonials from participating students (on YouTube, Flickr, our blog, etc)

2. Students, community members, or educators see them and tell teachers/educators about our videos, photos, and testimonials

3. A teacher or educator gets excited about our education outreach programs and communicates their interest to an administrator at their school or youth program (e.g. YMCA)

4. We talk with administrators and teachers/educators to develop a partnership with the school or youth program

5. Our Teaching Artists provide education outreach in the classroom (or in our studio)

6. Students develop tools for self-expression, self-confidence, and holistic learning

... and then the cycle continues!


My theory of change used to be the norm now people seem to follow more then lead. There is a leader in ALL of us, here is my path to change and how to avoid the pitfalls most people face online

1. Do what you love to do.
2. Find a Non-Profit in the topics you dig doing. Help them. Network with them. Learn from them.
3. Take the knowledge learned helping people using the CTWU tools and create other websites based around the tools on CTWU and OR other subjects you would do because you love doing them.

How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake New People
Make Trying To Earn An Income Online.

What is the most common mistake people make when trying to earn an income online?

In one word it could be called greed.

In other words, people look at earning Big Dollars by selling the latest and greatest get rich product instead of looking inside themselves and asking what they really love to do for fun or as a hobby.

Many people start off by selling products they know nothing about and have no interest in. In a high percentage of cases, people try to sell Internet Marketing and Social Media products even though they have no practical experience or knowledge of the many different skill sets involved.

What usually happens is: After 90-120 days, people see no money, become discouraged and give up. This situation is even worse when the person has already invested money into products or training. Also, let us not forget about family and friends who are seeing that person go through the disappointment. This can add stress to relationships and cause you to give up at the very beginning of the your hoped-for financial independence.

How to avoid this pitfall?

#1: Start your first series of websites about a subject or subjects you are PASSIONATE about. Ask yourself this question: If you had enough money to do anything you wanted what would that thing be?

#2: Your first series of websites should be about a subject, or subjects, which you LOVE. It is much more enjoyable to create content such as an article, Podcast or Video about a subject you know about and enjoy learning more about. Do you really want to create a work from home income that becomes just another JOB?

#3: Take a day and just DREAM. Imagine that you have enough money so that you never have to work again. Then (this is VERY important) ask the people you love what they are passionate about. If there is a common interest, make sure to use that as one of your initial website topics.

If there is not a match, then look at this as an opportunity to learn more about the people you love. Here are some TOPIC IDEA SAMPLES to stimulate your thinking. These are also subject areas that the Change the World U Team is interested in and is developing websites about and thus will offer you expertise examples and support as you develop your own focus.

Sustainable Gardening
Advanced Technologies
Alternative Energy
Veterans Benefits
Muscle Cars
Non-Profit Internet Marketing

#4: While building your new sites you will also be learning about INTERNET MARKETING and SOCIAL MEDIA. This hands-on experience and practical knowledge will prepare you to launch another series of 1, 2 or 3 websites about your favorite online marketing tools. Some of the tools Change the World U uses are:

Article creation and syndication.
Blog World
YouTube Videos

#5: There are no “get rich overnight” online programs that work. What those companies are doing is preying on your emotions and your strong desire to believe that you can Get Rich Overnight. AVOID TEMPTATION! Do not fall into that temptation trap that makes others rich! Instead, BUILD AN INTERNET BUSINESS BASED ON WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO. Then find a Non-Profit in that niche, help them learn from them network with them then spread the word.

Leslie Doyle

My theory of change is that instead of a general plea for donations, nonprofits can use social media to share a story with potential donors about the tangible impact their contribution will have.

For example, we created this YouTube video to share the story of Turtle, a severely injured bait dog who was dumped by the side of the road earlier this month.

Thankfully, Turtle was rescued by the Animal Rescue League of Boston and received critical care from the amazing team at Tufts Animal Hospital in Walpole.

Within less than a week more than 2,500 people watched the video.

I feel like the story touched people, and thanks to social media, people who saw it shared it with their friends and helped us spread the word about this sweet young dog, and the team of people who helped to save her.

We raised more than $6,000 that will go directly to Turtle's care.
Although it hasn't covered all of her medical expenses, which are more than $10,000, it made a dent and helped out at a time when shelters like the Animal Rescue League are having budget shortfalls. I hope the story is helpful to others as well.

Thank you.

Community Center of St Bernard

In today’s networked world, social media is a vital agent for change because it is the essential link between problems (poverty, hunger, homelessness, child abuse, environmental destruction, disease, etc) and the solutions (ideas, experience, funding, other resources) needed to resolve them.

Through social media, those who are dealing with a problem, whether at an individual or organizational level, start by generating awareness of the true nature of the situation. What is the problem, who does it affect, why does it matter, what can be done to resolve it?

As the facts of the problem come to light, information about it will begin to spread. Not everyone will care about every issue, but those who feel called to respond to a particular problem will be able to continue not only spreading awareness, but also taking actions to find solutions.

The true effectiveness of social media as a change agent lies in its unique ability to harness worldwide resources to meet challenges ranging from local to global in scale. And as those who share a common interest in resolving a problem come together through social media, regardless of their physical location, and bring their combined knowledge and resources to bear on the situation, solutions will begin to appear.

With time, feedback from those directly affected by the problem will provide guidance as to what is and isn’t working, and new problem-solvers will continue to come forward as awareness continues to grow. And in the end, any successful solutions that are identified can be quickly disseminated to others facing the similar problems, accelerating the pace of problem-solving at a worldwide level and creating lasting change.

Sharon, Community Center of St Bernard, [email protected]

Nadine L

Improving my Local Animal Shelter
Many shelters are in serious need of help, especially in these times. Many animals are being given up because of foreclosure, job loss and money problems. Unfortunately the animals in these shelters are the last concern for most people. Citizen involvement is essential if progress is to be made. My local shelter is great, but often overwhelmed with all the surrenders they are getting. I donate as often as possible. but they can always use more help.
I would like to organize a meeting with other interested people by

1. placing ads through Craig's List and my local newspaper
2. Blogging about the needs of the animals in shelters
3. correspond through email with interested parties and hopefully meet at some point to set goals.
4. involve the city council, board of county commissioners, or the humane society’s board of directors in our efforts and get suggestions from them by contacting them through email and social networking sites
5.launch a site where interested members can sell their products with a portion of their profits going directly to the shelter for help with the needs of the animals in their care.
6. Set up a direct deposit of profits to go directly to selected shelters.
[email protected]

Peggy Gorman

My theory of change is using twitter or blogging on a grander scale,for the good of many people around the world.
There are things happening in the world today that need to be taken care of.
1.) The unemployment is out of control
2.) Haiti needs to be rebuilt
3.) Using twitter ,gather a list of different people ,professions and this can be world wide using a #hashtag. I would love to see how many people would go to Haiti to work or help.I believe most people would love to be involved in this project
4.)Set it up, as supplies are shipped out for the rebuilding ,send the people also , supplies are being sent from many countries
5.)Set it up as tag teams,stay a week or two and send the next crew.
6.) Haiti has the funds to pay for these services for some of the rebuild, workers will be paid
7.)Haiti will also be paying for the supplies from different countries,putting people to work to make these supplies
8.)Make it a world event,rebuilding Haiti
9.)Reading tweets ,we will all see Haiti being rebuilt
10) People will feel good working, Haiti will get the work done that need to be done and we will have the world working together.
It would be interesting

Many hands make less work


I take delight in creativity and compassion.
Perhaps you do, too, I hope so, anyway.

1. It all starts in the mind.
2. The mind has two styles: linear and lateral, rational and metaphorical, prosaic and poetic, one-track and leaping.
3. Creativity and compassion both require lateral, metaphorical, poetic, leaping skills.
4. We could develop leaping skills.
5. The right kinds of games develop leaping skills.
6. Games like poetry, theater, improvisation and counterpoint.
7. There are usually additional learnings required: finger technique, rhyme, acting.
8. The simplest lateral thought ties one idea to another.
9. When you think or say "That reminds me" you're doing it.
10. That skill can be enhanced without need of a piano, theater, etc.
11. I wouldn't use my new computer for "downstream" projects like hunger, health, war.
12. Or not *only* those things.
13. I'd use it for direct mind training in letting one idea connect to another.
14. I'd practice and teach connecting the dots.

Oh well, that's a big part of it anyway.

The main point I want to make, computer or no computer, is that the social entrepreneurial world, the foundation world, the funding world, really needs to notice that Donella Meadows says *changing paradigms* is the most powerful place to intervene in systems, and *the mind itself* -- not a hospital, food distribution point, or school n-- is where paradigms are changed.

So asking, "does your program support health or education, reduce hunger or provide shelter" needs to be supplemented with an extra category, "or address the mind directly?"

I have designed some games that do that: I'd like to work with others to build web-playable versions.

I have other tasks, too.


how can a man
sleep, with his dream
awake beside him?

Megha Bhagat

Social Media was at one point of time just about what we read or saw in news or heard over the radio. Then came in social media as an effective mechanism to be able to catalyse change.Maybe the attention its got is relatively new but no denying that its become today such a strong change maker.
I am a lawyer by profession and presently a student of human rights law in my masters at India. Going back to my under graduation days i can say social media helped me bring together people for a cause time and again. Today i use it effectively with maybe another handful of lawyers spread over the country who communicate via mails and help in their own small ways . My theory for a change has some linkages to my law specific profession:

1. How to get Communities like the litigating, practicing lawyers effectively engaging on social media: It is still a fact that in India the lawyers who are practicing,are working in firms have a very very closed view on usage of social media tools. It is important to get them initiated into usage of social media. This becomes important for pro bono services. Some lawyers are ready to help people in distress in pro bono cases and in India you need a strong network of such lawyers. Getting the practitioners all across connected via social media tools ensures that this network is able to deliver services for the masses who donot have enough means for access to justice. Today i am a part of a small group like this, but we are people who are in a younger age bracket and have been using social media for sometime. The change is needed in the whole fraternity where in the sensitivity and readiness of lawyers to take up pro bono cases is encouraged by teaching them how effective social media tools can be for conversing with other like minded professionals etc.

2. Breaking the Myths about Social media: For a community like the lawyers its important to introduce them to the new age social media and what it has come to mean. It is important to make this community to realize that their services can bring about a change in societal access to justice delivery system and more importantly that social media is now not a waste of time but an effective tool for sharing experiences and getting motivated by work that others in their community do. Even as social media experts/trainers engage with professionals from all walks of community it is important that this community is also engaged in breaking their myths, apprehensions etc.

3. Every individual is a change maker: My experience with social media tools has been that conversations, discussions, arguements shared on discussion boards, forums, groups has brought the unconventional professionals to come ahead with ideas that can bring change. A lot of times these discussions have brought ahead an individual who probably would not engage in a certain type of case but is inspired and motivated by following the discusisons and gives his input which becomes an important idea for people like us who are into human rights practicing. It is therefore pertinent to constantly realize that, to bring together an effective change maker group of lawyers who are ready to provide justice delivery services, every lawyer we train in social media tools or even get introduces to such tools becomes an individual who can have an amazing idea.

For me personally i can envisage a system where in we have trained lawyers from all walks of practice in India, in effective communication via social media and such engagement can bring about at least a start of coming together of ideas, brain storming of changes needed and more importantly networks of professionals who are readily available for getting justice to the under served masses.

Megha Bhagat
LLM student, NLSIU, Bangalore(Human Rights), India
[email protected]

Ashutosh Singh


I am Ashutosh and I teach grassroots Indian non profits the best of IT skills by my own social entreprise apnait(hindi for my it) and now with the NASSCOM Foundation by their connect it programme.

Here is my Theory of change.

1.I from experience/exposure/learnings get to new IT tools.
2. Through partnerships,workshops,indvidual effort I teach them ngos these critical IT utility skills.
3.They apply these IT skills and make non profits better so that they do efficient work and change the world.

IT is an enabler and all people must have equal access.I am the bridge between research and the grassroots. I spiral off a process that bridges the digital divide.
Have a look at for my work so far

Annette D

I would like to address the young people, especially high school students about the issue of continuing their education. I am a mom of two sons, one age 21 and a junior in College and the other age 16 and a junior in high school. I have been lucky enough to have been able to be a stay at home mom and I have used this opportunity to volunteer in my kids schools. I began volunteering when my kids were in elementary school by helping in a number of different ways including reading to the kids, being a room mom and going on field trips. I continued to help out in middle school and now that my son is in high school, I am helping out in the College Room. We have a room set up with college catalogs, applications, financial aid information and computers to aid the kids in their quest to pick to perfect college, technical school or even armed services. We try to help the kids by answering questions they might have and if we do not know the answer, we find the answer. We currently use the schools web site to post information about college visits and scholarship that are available. I think that it would be a great idea to set up a blog where the kids could interact, ask questions, and post responses. Kids are so attuned to all of the different types of social media and it would be a great opportunity to “talk” to them about one of the most important decisions that they will soon be facing. The youth are truly the future of this country and the better prepared they are through education, the more successful they will become. My theory of change is to start with the young people and make sure that they get every opportunity to be successful and they will in turn bring about change.


My theory of change is to create a community in your social media. Whether that be on facebook, a blog, or some other type of social meia, it's all about the relationships that you form with one another.

Think about it. You aren't going to create change without a relationship. That is the first step to change. I am much more likely to listen to something a friend tells me than something a perfect stranger tells me. I trust my friend, I don't trust a stranger.

So, I currently am trying to create change in many different areas in my little blogging world and hopefully it will have a ripple effect on others and they will share and then it will touch the entire world.

catherine copeland

My theory of Change? Change begins with one person who is not willing to wait until the group moves in the right direction.

I'd like to tell you about how I am trying to be a part of the change for my students who are "labeled" as "at risk" or "economically challanged" but to me they are priceless.

They say that the pen is mightier than the sword but I think the keyboard has usurped the place of the pen as the impetus of change. Most people routinely use the Internet to look for health and medical information, search for employment, and get the news. These days you will find the social media sites using the power of the Internet to raise awareness and champion causes, change or promote legislation, and build a coalition for change.

As a teacher it is my job to try to help my students utilize the technology that is available to them today and to develop their higher order skills to help them function more effectively in the world outside the classroom. All students have opportunities to use a variety of modern technologies, including a wide range of software applications, telecommunications, and video applications.

I have witnessed first hand how technology used in classrooms helps provide students with the tools to gather information that helps them explore the world, learn about different cultures, and develop real world skills.

If I were to win an HP Mini Notebook and printer I would use them to help me develop relevant lesson plans for my students that will support engaged learning for my students. It would help me develop lesson plans and handouts that help students obtain, organize, manipulate, and display information.

While some might argue that one teacher may not change the world you might ask yourself if you had a teacher who has changed yours. I know that over the years I have touched the lives of hundreds of students. Many of contacted me throughout the years to tell me of the impact I made in their lives. So even if I do not win this contest, I know that I have been very blessed because I have touched the future.

Sally Sundeen

My theory of change:
*Something That Touches Your Heart that You want to make better
*Idea on how to fix it
*Sharing idea with others (now easier than ever via facebook twitter, blogs etc.)
*put idea into plan
*plan into movement

I will elaborate a little. For me I have two examples of how I am using this theory of change in my life.
*First, I have noticed kids in our community wandering the streets and getting into trouble. That touched my heart and I wanted to make that better
*Decided that a good idea would be to have an after school place "rec center" for the kids to enjoy themselves and be safe. (We have sports but a lot of families can not afford the fee to play sports.)
*I shared my idea with other moms and parents and members of the community
*Put together building plan for the rec center and we are currently looking for funding...but we have the ball rolling
*Once it gets approved it will make a difference in a lot of children's lives

*Second I was diagnosed with Lupus at 17 and then 2 other autoimmune diseases in the 2 consecutive years. I had a hard time connecting with other young people who were going through the same thing. Since then I have spoken to lots of young people and they also wished they had someone to talk to of a similar age going through a similar thing.
*I decided that I wanted to create a website/community for youth with autoimmune diseases
*We are currently working on the site and this laptop and printer bundle would be a wonderful thing to help me finish this project
*Once created and finished it will make a difference in youth that are suffering from various autoimmune diseases.

I think that HP's Create Change Campaign is fabulous, and I really hope that more companies jump on board, because there is truly nothing better than helping others. THanks for the chance to enter.


This is my "Theory of Change" that I plan to put into practice this summer when my wife and I plan to travel to Haiti to do short term missions work with our church to serve the people of Haiti and help re-build a Hatian orphanage that was partially destroyed in the recent earthquake.

1. Travel to Haiti for a week long mission/rebuilding trip.
2. Blog about my experiences and include photographs to share what happens during the week.
3. Potential donors and potential voulnteers read blog entries.
4. Donors give support to continue these efforts and volunteers commit to similar experiences.
5. Improved lives for the Hatian people.


Here's my Theory of Change:

1. Share experiences in trying to concieve and have natural childbirth via blog.
2. Moms/Potential Moms read blog stories.
3. Moms/Potential Moms change their views/develop more confidence on natural childbirth and what their options are.
4. More natural childbirths result.
5. Healthier babies, faster/easier recouperations for Mom's after giving birth and lower healthcare costs!

Air Jordan

Nice blog.From your blog,I know something others that I didn't know before. Thanks for your providing and sharing.

patrick yee

Here's my theory of change:
1) Rally all our youth to stay in school so they can get great careers.
2) Put more police officers on the street to further stem violence and crime.
3) offer bonuses and promotions within organizations and companies to promote diligence.

Id love to win the contest. Please let me win.

patrick yee

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