Global poverty is a problem with a lot of moving parts, so there’s a lot anyone can do to fight it. What if you could take action, track it online, and get rewarded with amazing music? Now, with GlobalCitizen.org, you can earn points for working to end poverty, and maybe get to see the concerts of your dreams.
Global Citizen is powered by the Global Poverty Project, which launched in 2008 with the aim of increasing the number and effectiveness of people taking action to end extreme poverty. Last year, the Global Citizen Festival, which rewarded Global Citizen’s activists with a live show, was staged in Central Park. It was during the organization of this event that Kelly Curtis, Pearl Jam’s manager, and Hugh Evans, Chief Executive of the Global Poverty Project, cooked up the idea for the current project: The Global Citizen Tickets Initiative. The Initiative, which was officially launched on May 1st, sees artists including Beyoncé, Grizzly Bear, Kanye West, Fleet Foxes, and ‘The Boss’ himself, Bruce Springsteen, donate two tickets to each of their shows over the next three years. Participants in the campaign set up an account on the Global Citizen webpage and start taking actions for change. Actions are then rewarded with varying numbers of points, bringing a gaming element to taking action. The points can then be used to enter a ticket lottery for a chosen show or festival, or redeemed through Global Citizen’s rewards program for other perks. Evans says that the festival in Central Park showed him that Citizens respond to the incentive of music tickets to take action, explaining, “We saw close to 700,000 actions taken in just one month before the Global Citizen Festival.” He is a firm believer in the power of music and activism combined; “The (Global Citizen) site […] in partnership with the music industry, can be an enormous incentive for activists to really do the things they care about.”
The project will target many issues that contribute to extreme poverty, from polio and malaria to women’s empowerment, education, and more. When the Global Citizen site asked, “What is a Global Citizen?” participants in the project explained the significance of the movement. One describes a world with equality of access to justice, freedom, and health: “That is the world we’re gonna make, and it’s gonna be beautiful.” One of the campaign’s biggest advantages is that it’s extremely user-friendly, making it easy for those who want to make a difference — but aren’t sure how to go about it — to learn more. The website asks at what level activists want to participate, and explains the missions at Rookie, Savvy, and Pro levels. The campaign also taps into the targeted generation’s social media know-how. For example, by sharing a Facebook video dealing with extreme poverty, fans can earn one point.
According to GlobalCitizen.org, “The world has halved extreme poverty in the last thirty years, and we have what it takes to end it within a generation.” And by we, they mean us: “We need the will power and energy of a movement, an active audience: you.”