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From 'Cope' to 'Hope': Twitter to the Rescue

By Bill Becker

Sep 28, 2009

One of my favorites (in part because I’ve been a sometime advisor on it) is a campaign called Hopenhagen, launched last week during “climate week” in New York City. At the request of the United Nations, the International Advertising Association is applying its creative powers to a viral effort in which young people will petition for a “definitive, equitable and effective” climate agreement at COP-15.

Led by the global communications powerhouse Ogilvy & Mather, the campaign urges young people to become citizens of a Hopenhagen community, complete with a virtual passport. With help from corporate giants Coca Cola, Siemens and SAP, and with support from a growing list of “Friends of Hopenhagen,” who range from Reader’s Digest and the Wall Street Journal to Mother Jones magazine, Ogilvy will deploy media and billboards in major cities to promote the power of the grassroots.

Rather than complaining about an infringement on its name, the City of Copenhagen has agreed enthusiastically to rename itself “Hopenhagen” in December, replacing C's with H's where the city’s name appears at the airport and on highway signs leading to COP-15.

is one of several current opportunities for youth to help shape the future they will inherit, and for old-timers like me to improve the future we will pass along. Here are some of the others:

Organized by the Global Campaign for Climate Action, Tck Tck Tck is an alliance of civil society organizations, trade unions, faith groups and individuals using social media and the internet to demand a “fair, ambitious and binding” climate treaty. Partners include the World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam and Amnesty International, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the World Council of Churches and the Global Campaign Against Poverty, among others. is a coalition of more than 200 organizations encouraging local people to hold thousands of events around the world on Oct. 24 to “show our world and its decision-makers just how big, beautiful and unified the climate movement really is”. The group’s web site offers a tool kit to help local activists organize their events.

So far, 1,578 events are scheduled in 125 countries. The goal is to push for a global agreement that reduces atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to a maximum of 350 parts per million – the ambitious emissions reduction target advocated by Dr. James Hansen, the outspoken chief climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Back in the United States, the meta-group 1Sky is mobilizing people to shower Senators with telephone calls in call for action on a climate bill this year. 1Sky has set up a system that makes it easy to let your fingers to do the marching straight into the offices of your Senators.


Twitter is going to be a great way to find out what people in the world think about many situations. This is of course dependent upon pl using it wisely.

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