Amanda Rose and Twestival, empowering the world for good

Jan 3 • Empowering Women, Social Entrepreneurs, Social Media • 450 Views • No Comments

I have been enjoying reading Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s book – Twitter for Good which we featured before Christmas. Claire is hosting the Twitter for Good Unconference this month which you might like to check out.  If it is anything like Claire’s book, I’m sure it will be worth while attending this online online event.

Over the next few days we will feature some of the great people Claire highlights in her book, all working for good. My aim is to inspire creative thinking as we begin the New Year with hope and positivity. Today we meet Amanda Rose, founder of Twestival. In 2008, Canadian entrepreneur Rose sought to prove that fundraising could work on Twitter. On February, 12, 2009, she launched the first Twestival.  A grassroots movement replying on volunteers all over the United States and in many foreign countries. Twestival and its volunteer driven events has raised since its inception $1.75 million, impacting over 275 charities.

Abour Amanda Rose

Amanda has lived and worked in Toronto, Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Madrid, London and lately home seems to be wherever her suitcase is parked. She is Founder of Connect the Dots Foundation; established in 2009 to incubate and craft fresh global campaigns and initiatives that use technology to connect people offline for a good cause.  This is a collection of all things digital, creative, inspiring, informative and innovative connected to causes.

Depending who you ask, you might get a different description of exactly what Amanda does. According to some she is a free agent, an entrepreneur, communicator, events manager, digital strategist, advisor. Amanda has never been one to get stuck on titles – but has always gravitated towards opportunities where she can be creative and instrumental in growing a great idea.

Amanda spent the first part of her career working in non-traditional roles within boutique creative agencies and communication firms. She then delved deeper into event management and commercial property eventually co-founding Space-2, an innovative film and event locations consultancy.  She has coordinated events for British Royalty and the Prime Minister of Canada, the Brit Awards and London Fashion Week.  In addition to spending countless hours on rooftops and insane locations with photographers and film crews including the BBC, ITV, Kudos, and Elle.

In 2007, inspired by the shift towards social networks Amanda decided to complete a Masters in Communications Management and spent a year researching a newly forming communications platform called Twitter. This offered unique insight as the global founder and architect of a movement called Twestival, an international volunteer effort to use social media like Twitter to raise money for important causes. Twestival has been able to build 55 wells with charity: water and recent efforts with Concern Worldwide will give thousands of students the chance at an education.

Advising technology startups and those with a social good focus keep her energized. She is passionate about developing unique digital and creative strategies for brands and organizations looking to take the next step.  Amanda is currently in development on an exciting new project to be announced in early 2011.

Photo credit: mural painted during Kota Kinabalu Twestival, 2011

Let’s Meet Amanda and hear her story of Twestival

The Twestival journey for me started in September 2008 with a single event in London and it was a remarkable time to be launching something as part of the fast growing Twitter ecosystem. Over the last three years I have been humbled to lead four successful global campaigns and together, Twestival has raised $1.75 million, impacting over 275 charities.

In 2009, we showed the world that Twitter can be used to create real world action by uniting around charity: water and their goal to bring clean and safe drinking water to a billion people living without. In 2010, we chose to give our international voice to Concern Worldwide and highlight the 72 million children that deserve the opportunity of an education.

I never planned to turn Twestival into a full-time role. It was just a crazy idea that I thought I could make happen. After the first one, I saw a desire for other cities to join the movement. Knowing I would not be able to recapture the exact energy and virality of early 2009, I continued to experiment with the Twestival model and connect with local causes. Many people thought it wouldn’t work, yet again and again international teams brought their enthusiasm to be a part of something bigger. This year we saw cities in Tunisia, Paraguay and Mongolia participate in Twestival for the very first time.

It is with these achievements in mind that I feel it is now the right time to give Twestival an indefinite rest.

Twestival is a campaign that takes an enormous amount of time, organization and trust to execute. While it would not be possible without the thousands of volunteers who commit their time and talents; Twestival does not function without my leadership and creatively, I need to put my energy into fresh projects. I believe I have done almost all I can do with Twestival, continuing to honour its grassroots. I am incredibly proud to have worked with so many amazing volunteers, organizations and partners. It has offered me a unique insight into global fundraising and those special ingredients to bring an idea to scale.

My personal decision does not completely close the door to a future Twestival. However, it will remain on hold until I am assured there is strong leadership and vision to move it forward. It has been important for me from the very beginning to protect the Twestival brand and while I welcome a viable opportunity to help it grow, this must be aligned to the core principals in order to work.  After much thought and deliberation,

Credit – blog post

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