By offering a sense of shared future and hope, Earth Hour has reached hundreds of millions of people in five years, says the global movement's co-founder.
Explaining Earth Hour’s strategy of engaging people in a “street party, not street protest”, Mr Andy Ridley spoke on Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Good at the sixth Singapore International Foundation (SIF) Ideas for a Better World Forum, in February.
The executive director and co-founder of the global movement to turn off the lights for one hour to build climate change awareness, said offering a sense of shared future and hope – instead of peddling fear – had enabled Earth Hour to reach hundreds of millions of people in five years.
Apart from the compelling cause, Mr Ridley also shared that it was crucial to not control the message but be "open-source", where people had ownership of the campaign and local communities could adapt it to find resonance for their own cities or neighbourhoods.
Joining him for a discussion at the forum were Mr Walter Lim, director of Strategic Planning, Policy and Marketing Communications at the National Art Gallery; Dr Cherian George, Associate Professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University; and Mr Aseem Thakur, co-founder of GIVE.sg.
The panel agreed that people’s increased level of social consciousness presented a tremendous opportunity to harness the power of social media for good.