Appropriating the Internet for Social Change: Towards the Strategic Use of Networked Technologies by Transnational Civil Society Organizations
Prepared by Mark Surman and Katherine Reilly
The goal of this report is to explore the question of how civil society can use – and is using – networked technologies strategically. More specifically, the report reviews a number of current strategic uses of these technologies by transnational civil society organizations with an aim to understanding both the potential and the challenges ahead. By extension, the report does not look at local civil society groups, nor does it explore ‘information and communications technologies’ such as desktop publishing or CD-ROMs that are not networked or interconnected with each other. The terrain we are exploring is decidedly global and networked.
In an attempt to paint a picture of what ‘strategic use’ looks like, the bulk of the report focuses on the work of transnational civil society organizations that might be considered leaders and innovators – groups that are effectively appropriating network technologies to serve their own ends. The body of the report is divided into four main chapters that profile organizations like these within the context of four clearly emerging areas of strategic Internet use: collaboration, publishing, mobilization, and observation.