In 2012, Trayvon Martin’s mother put up a petition on Change.org to prosecute the killer of her son, after he had been released. Soon, the petition had over 2.2 million signatures, and the killer was brought to trial the following month.
Change.org is one of the leading petition platforms online, with over 65 million users. Anyone can sign up and create a petition, from asking McDonald’s to stop torturing hens to imploring Rockstar Games to release Grand Theft Auto V on PC.
Keeping with their goal of creating change – not just calling for it – Change.org also tracks victories. For example, the Barenaked Ladies canceled a performance at Seaworld after over 11,000 supporters signed a petition calling Seaworld cruel to animals. Two Canadians were released from Egyptian prison after a petition saw over 150,000 supporters.
“We’re working for a world where no one is powerless, and where creating change is a part of everyday life,” says the Change.org website.
A B Corporation, Change.org was founded in 2007 by Ben Rattray. Jake Brewer, Change.org’s managing director of external affairs, joined us at our SXSW Startup Celebration sponsored by .CO and CEA. He talked about the history of petitions, how the Internet has changed everything, and his favorite petitions. Here’s the video.