Three Great Women Who Rock Tech
For political groups and the tech savvy women who masterminded online technology and strategies that helped hold back some of the most regressive parts of the Bush agenda, the Clinton era may seem like an eternity ago. Then, the Internet was still in a state of relative infancy, and a friendlier White House was backing stem cell research, choice and expanding the health care system.
As a woman working in technology for several progressive causes, it's been truly amazing to watch my colleagues rise to the challenges of the Bush agenda. We've confronted wave after wave of attacks on our rights by creating and leveraging Internet tools and fostering e-advocacy. The dedicated tech savvy women didn't just beat back the flood. In the process they changed the way politics and public discourse happens in this country. They brought in and amplified new voices and laid the foundation for a post-Bush era that I believe will be marked by tolerance, prosperity and opportunity.
As the founder of Moveon.org and MomsRising.org, Joan Blades has revolutionized the way we fight for social justice in the US. Moveon.org was one of the first major online campaigns to mobilize millions of ordinary citizens and advocate against the invasion in Iraq. On Mother's Day 2006, Blades started MomsRising.org with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner to tap the power of grassroots organizing for mothers and families in the U.S. MomsRising.org is bringing important mothering and family issues to the forefront such as paid maternity and paternity leave, open flexible work weeks, health care for all children, and fair wages.
Both of Blades' campaigns empower citizens and mothers to get involved in the democratic process and fight for the issues they believe in.
Live Earth rallied millions of people across the world to take personal action to help reverse the global climate crisis using a 24-hour music festival on July 7, 2007 with concerts in several cities icluding New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Johannesburg and broadcasted on TV to inspire individuals to answer the call to action. Thanks to Catherine Geanuracos Live Earth will also go down in history as one of the most successful mobile activism campaigns in this decade. Geanuracos spearheaded a clever SMS (Short Messaging Service) campaign that spread across the globe and got millions of personal commitments to make a difference by learning how everyday choices have huge impacts on the environment. Commitments were made via the web and text messages in 178 countries and 35 territories. This past fall, Live Earth released a report stating that since the concerts they have already seen a reduction in CO2 emissions and waste.
Geanuracos's latest project is YrMomma4Obama.com, a first of its kind multi-platform campaign launched on the ground in Texas two weeks ago with a diverse group of students, political activists, and entertainment professionals to support Barack Obama's candidacy using the latest social networking, viral, and peer-to-peer marketing.
When April Pedersen saw a void in the lack of affordable and powerful constituent relationship management systems (CRM) for progressive non-profits she took her technical and business savvy skills and formed Democracy In Action (DIA). "We're a progressive nonprofit whose core activity is providing e-advocacy tools to other progressive nonprofits for pennies on the dollar relative to the fees demanded by the private sector, says Pedersen. "It's about lowering the barrier to entry so that all nonprofits regardless of size, budget, or technical sophistication can participate in online organizing."
Since 2004 Pedersen has grown DIA into one of the most competitive e-advocacy Application Service Providers (ASP). Between DIA and it's offshoot for profit business Wired for Change, Pedersen has truly transformed the technology world and inspired change by bringing her suite of tools to over 400 organizations with over 14 million members.
Aside from these three stellar women in tech, the Women Who Tech TeleSummit on March 31, 2008 will bring together hundreds of women in technology who are making great strides in technology and towards equality.