A bridge between learning and advocacy

How do we bring together learning and advocacy? I wanted to start this conversation by giving example of campaigns I’ve worked on in the past.

Case Study 1: How much do you know about Iran quiz


This campaign happened at Berim.org (which means let’s go in Farsi and whose mission was to support Iranian social innovators.) We were running a campaign to avoid war with Iran. What we found was that we were getting a lot of emails from our members who were confusing Iran with other groups or countries around the world. For example our members would write to us and say they wouldn’t take action anymore until women in Iran were allowed to drive. It was a clear case of misinformation as women in Saudi Arabia are restricted from driving not women in Iran.


Our goal was to be able to shatter misinformation about Iran in a way that was fun and that didn’t make our members – 90% of whom were not from an Iranian background -defensive.

The result:

As a result we launched a 10 question buzzfeed style quiz titled ‘how much do you know about Iran?’ We sent the quiz to our email list of 70,000+ people. The quiz was taken about 20,000 times and had a completion rate that was close to 90%. After the success of the quiz in our network it came to the notice of Upworthy who shared the quiz and then it reached over 100,000 people.

The majority of people got about 50% of the questions in the quiz right. This was intentional as we wanted our members to be challenged and realize that some of their assumptions were wrong. Our assumption was that doing so in the format of a fun quiz would be less confronting and more likely to sink in that doing it through a ‘mythbusting checklist.’ The feedback we received from members tended to indicate we were right:

Great!  Offerings like this which let us see the people and culture and humanity of Iran are the way.  Thanks! – Pat

Sara, very nice introduction to Iran. It’s a good way to begin the process to break down barriers.  -Dan

Great quiz…I missed two.  Sent it on to about 30 other folks. – Bob

The quiz was a great way to stimulate my thinking about Iran and correcting my misconceptions and adding to my knowledge about its products, way of life, historical events, etc.  Would love to see more.  – Sondra

How does this related to our work at Mozilla?

I wanted to use this case study to illustrate one tactic to use online organizing to educate people at scale. Right now we’re only conceptualizing the advocacy list as a way to mobilize people around legislative action – but in order to really build relationships and deep connections we can’t just ask people to take action we need to think about how we can serve our community.

That’s why I think it would be great for us to come together and create some learning goals for our list. For example – after a year of being on the list do we want people to be able to be able to articulate what net neutrality is? Do we want to know 5 things they can do to secure their privacy?

While the strategy and benchmarks is something we need to develop together – here are some tactical ideas to help illustrate the potential of this collaboration:

-Sending people a list of fun facts/anecdotes that relate to the open web that they can talk about with their families during thanksgiving

-Creating a list of gift ideas that will help people learn more about the open web during the holiday season.

– Running a campaign to ask people to make privacy a new year’s resolution and creating small things they can do each week to realize that resolution.


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