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Momentum, by Allison Fine

By an everyday book reader
May 1, 2007

Learn why it is so revolutionary that emails don't wear skirts and why learning about a zoning board hearing through emails from your friends is critically important to social change efforts.

How can we move from serving soup until our elbows ache to solving chronic social ills like hunger or homelessness? How can we break the disastrous cycle of low expectations that leads to chronic social failures?

The answers to these questions lie within Momentum, a fresh, zestful way of thinking about and organizing social change work.

Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age
by Allison H. FineBook Picture

Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN: 9780787984441, 0787984442
Wiley & Sons
September 2006

Momentum reveals how democratizing access to information, leveraging existing social networks, and "powering the edges" can transform social change efforts.

Discover ways that we can close our enormous communication deficit to create authentic conversations between professionals and volunteers.

Momentum celebrates the courage and tenacity of activists, within and outside of organizations, who persevere despite enormous frustrations and challenges simply because they continue to pursue their desire to make the world a better place.

Upbeat and with a wry wit, Fine rejects the blame game. Instead, she offers activists and their supporters constructive new routes to more powerful, fulfilling, and successful approaches to social change.

Today's digital tools - including but not limited to e-mail, the Web, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), even iPods - promote interactivity and connectedness. But as Momentum shows, these new social media tools are important not for their wizardry but because they connect us to one another in inexpensive, accessible and massively scalable ways.

Allison H. Fine is a successful social entrepreneur and writer dedicated to helping grassroots organizations and activists implement and sustain social change efforts. Fine is a senior fellow at Demos, a network of action and ideas based in New York City. She is the founder of Innovation Network, Inc. (InnoNet), and the former CEO of E-Volve Foundation. Currently she serves on the board of directors of Just Vision. She lives on the banks of the Hudson River with her husband, Scott, and three sons, Jack, Zack, and Max. Join her interactive conversation on social change in the digital age.

"Momentum is a bold, engaging volume with Fine's unique and insightful approach to using 21st-century tools to organize and connect people. This easy-to-read guide offers fresh faces, new voices and cool tools for building strong, effective, and enduring social change networks." -- Diana Aviv, president and CEO, Independent Sector

"Momentum is a clear, timely roadmap for activists and funders. Never has the need to change how we think about our work been greater. Momentum is a must-read for doers and funders serious about social change work." -- Pablo Eisenberg, senior fellow, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University

"Those of us engaged in social change work know that change is coming fast, but changing how we work is happening slowly. We need to work differently and better, and Fine shows us how in fun and inspiring ways. If you are an activist, a funder, a volunteer, or a board member, or just plain care about your community and democracy, Momentum is the book for you!" -- Paul Shoemaker, director, Social Venture Partners, Seattle

"Momentum provides donors with a clear understanding of how to succeed in the new Connected Age. What felt like a blur of digital tools to me before now makes good sense, thanks to Fine's lively lexicon and funny stories. I've been waiting for a book like this, and here it is at last!" -- Michael Hirschhorn, president, Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation

"Fine, a New York social entrepreneur, writes on the way new social media - the Internet, cell phones, digital tools - allow activists to create new groupings of self-directed and self-responsible progressives. She believes that in this new connected era of the Internet, activist networks trump hierarchy, and she touches on how social media have already facilitated progressive actions. She points out the need for activists and progressive organizations to harness the new technologies while genuinely listening to those engaged in the new social media. She also ponders the future of activism in a connected age. This work contains some practical - and even inspiring - advice but is really a meditation on the interaction between technology and traditional activism." - Library Journal

"Fine outlines strategies for 'connected activism' in this idealistic, lucidly written account about using the Internet to build up networks among activists who can pool information and other resources to help create lasting solutions that address the roots of social problems. Citing organizations such as the advocacy group MoveOn.org and MeetUp.com, which promotes off-line gatherings like those that propelled the Dean for President campaign, Fine emphasizes a mind-set of self-determination among citizens and two-way rather than top-down communication from organizations." - Publishers Weekly

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