Jeremy Heimans is co-founder and CEO of Purpose.com, an organisation that builds social movements to address global challenges. A graduate of Harvard University, he co-founded Avaaz, a global online political movement, and GetUp, a grassroots movement in Australia. In a recent interview with ISB alumnus Praveen Gonabal from the Class of 2006, Heimans discussed the concept of movement entrepreneurship, the role of technology in social movements, and the formula for Purpose’s success.
There has been a lot of discussion on the extent to which Twitter, Facebook and other media platforms have been the enabling factors in social movements. They have received a lot of credit for this, but there have been questions – most notably from author Malcolm Gladwell – about whether they really made a difference. What is your view of the role of technology in catalysing movements for social change?