Twestival is taking the world by storm as one of the first international festivals and fundraising events taking advantage of the popular social networking and microblogging site, Twitter, to spread the word and generate enthusiasm.
On February 12, 2009, cities from around the world will celebrate with a Tweet-up style festival to raise money for charity: water, a non-profit organization that works to bring clean, safe drinking water to developing nation citizens by funding sustainable clean water solutions.
Currently, more than 175 cities world-wide will be celebrating their own Twestivals, including my new home town, Portland, Oregon, and town of my birth, Seattle, as well as a virtual Twestival on Second Life.
There are many ways to get involved. You can attend a gathering in your city (some listed below), upload or buy music from Twestival.fm, participate in the t-shirt design competition, or donate directly. There will be podcasts, videocasts, news reports, and live streaming from many of the event locations, too.
According to the site, the Twestival is being closely monitored “100% by volunteers in cities around the world and 100% of the money raised from these events will go directly to support charity: water projects.”
The event’s conception began in London in September of 2008 with a group of Twitter fans who wanted to bring together fellow Twitter fans face-to-face and raise money for a local homeless charity. The event was so popular, they decided to take it globally, working with the same short-term time constraints and financial limitations, taking advantage of the power of social media in today’s world to spread the word without wearing down volunteer involvement and energies.
The speed at which so many communities are embracing this fundraising event is amazing. The idea of a low cost, social networking fundraising event that brings such an important issue to light while involving communities across the globe is earth shattering. It represents the major changes in the world and world economy today, the ability of a few to impact a minority and influence them to work together to change the lives of the majority in the world. According to the site:
Right now 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. That’s one in six of us. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Many communities in developing nations often have a plentiful supply of clean drinking water just below the ground, but no way to get to it.
The issue of water sustainability impacts the majority of the world, and will impact everyone on the planet within a short time if something isn’t done right now to protect our valuable and limited fresh water supply.
A video showcases the event in a Public Service Announcement featuring Jennifer Connelly.
Is your community participating? Here is a short list of a few cities around the world with volunteers participating:
- Cape Town
- Hong Kong
- Mar del Plata
- Rio de Janeiro
- San Francisco