EP #69 Jeremy Heimans, New Power: The shift from currency to currents, and viral to vital 

Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence – to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice – and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a nation.

Now, it’s a pretty reliable fact of life that new will always replace old. New ideas, new approaches, new ways of thinking and communicating, new tech, new platforms; new music.

However nostalgic you feel about the old, the new will usually get you eventually.

But who’s heard of the phrase New Power? Well, whether you’ve heard of it or not there’s a pretty high chance that New Power has influenced your life in some way. Anything from riding an Uber or booking an AirBnB through to contributing to the MeToo or the Extinction Rebellion Movements – all these things fall under the banner of New Power.

So what is New Power? Well, unlike old power which is traditionally driven by command and control, New Power is an open, collaborative and usually tech-driven force. And if used correctly, New Power is probably the most influential tool on the planet today. The fact that in under a year – from the age of 15 to 16 – Greta Thunberg can go from protesting alone outside Parliament – to mobilising millions of people in protest around the world… is testament to that.

So how do we harness this New Power and make it work for our businesses, our organisations or our beliefs? Step forward my guest for this episode: Jeremy Heimans – entrepreneur, political activist and author of the book: ‘New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World – and How to Make It Work for You.’

Not unlike Greta, Jeremy started his activism young; aged 8 in fact, and by the age of 12, his first steps into New Power involved trying to stop the Gulf War – armed only with a fax machine. History may have had different plans there, but un-phased Jeremy went on to form GetUp; an Australian political organisation. Following its success, in 2007 he went on to co-found Avaaz.org, an online activist network that now has over forty million members across the globe.

Two years later and now based in New York – he co-founded Purpose; a social impact agency working alongside brands like Google, Starbucks and the World Health Organisation. Developing the strategies campaigns an tech to thrive in a new world. A world fuelled by currents of attention rather than currency – and letting go of control rather than tightening your grip.

If, like me, that sounds in equal parts terrifying and exciting. Stay curious. New Power isn’t coming. It’s already woven deep into the fabric of all our lives. In this episode, we jump into…

● The four vital things to consider before launching a new movement, vision or community.
● What every organisation needs to learn from the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement – including why you should occupy yourself before you get occupied.
● How to reach the people you’re targeting – and once you get to them – how to set off the spark that drives them to participate.
● How New Power is enabled by more than just tech; yes the tech has changed, but alongside it so have we…
● And most importantly, how old power still has a place in this brave new world – which parts of structure and control we need to hold onto (like seeing actual Dr’s rather than self-diagnosing on internet forums at 2am – cue me hanging my head in shame) and how to apply them in a world where the power now belongs in the hands of the many – rather than the few

As I’m recording this intro we’re deep into the COVID-19 pandemic – over 1.6 million cases and climbing. Thinking back to this interview, and now knowing the world we’re launching it into. It’s interesting to reflect on how relevant understanding new power has become.

Any leader that now needs to motivate and harness the collective power of their teams remotely – needs New Power. Any organisation that previously relied on face-to-face interaction and now needs to pivot into engaging or creating online communities – has to understand New Power. Anyone isolated, struggling with loneliness and leaning on the support of online communities of friends or the likeminded – is grateful for New Power. The government itself, as it tries to spread community awareness and participation in reducing the spread of the virus – is banking on New Power. We may have felt we had more time to understand and try to consciously and responsibly harness this new force. But maybe we don’t. Maybe this is the moment. The pivot point when New Power finally comes into its own.

On that note, I’ll leave you to sit back, or head out for your blissful 30 minutes of the outside world – and enjoy my conversation with the force of nature who is Jeremy Heimans.

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