In the media:
… Another drawback is that people don't log on to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for the express purpose of making a charitable donation. "We go to social media to make friends, hear great stories and consume content," says Caleb Gardner, founder and managing partner at 18 Coffees, a digital strategy consultancy in Chicago. When nonprofits use social media to cultivate long-term relationships with donors, "you can have the trusted moments beyond the Giving Tuesdays of the world," he says.
The entrepreneur and one-time Obama staffer is putting his digital prowess to good use—literally. Having worked for Barack Obama for three years—running the former president’s Twitter account, no less—Caleb Gardner is no stranger to mission-driven work. But in recent years, he felt that digital efforts in that realm had sometimes been misguided. With his startup digital consulting firm 18 Coffees, he is “hoping to blow up the way people think about how digital problems are solved,” he says. The catch? He only takes on clients doing purposeful work.
Idea of the Day: The divide between social entrepreneurship and regular business is increasingly blurred, writes 18 Coffees’ Caleb Gardner.
“Being more socially conscious as an entrepreneur is not just the right thing to do; it’s good for business.”
Have something you’d like to say to President Donald Trump? You can, of course, turn to Twitter. But a new Chicago startup is working to make it easier than ever to communicate with elected government officials the old fashioned way—via snail mail.
Get Loud Now, which just launched in June, makes an online platform where anyone in the U.S. can pick a postcard, write a message on it and mail it to any elected official, all the way from officials in the President’s cabinet to the local alderman in your city.
Caleb Gardner is helping mission-based companies get a digital foothold through his consultancy. It’s a difficult landscape, but Gardner’s company, 18 Coffees knows that changing the world is no easy task.
One of the most powerful paradigm shifts taking place in our country right now is that of energized and emboldened new levels of civic participation as they directly intersect with youth culture, diverse voices and technology. Call it the next level of the disruptive "leaderful" era, an era in which everyone begins to not only recognize but also leverage one's own personal power and mindset to encourage rapid, dynamic social change. This bottom-up approach is increasingly challenging traditional forms of authority, social norms and hierarchy to try to push through to a new social model. Such actions are buoyed in large part, by the ability to directly connect, influence and exchange with others via tech platforms. But as traditional American politics collides with the rise of everything from surprising new formations of organizations challenging its judgment to unexpected repercussions from actions by prominent individuals and companies, how will the gatekeepers navigate this new cultural trend?
Stratège digital insatiablement curieux doué d’un parcours professionnel unique, Caleb Gardner a été pendant plus de trois ans le conseiller principal de l’OFA, groupe de défense des intérêts politiques de Barack Obama. Il dirige aujourd’hui l’agence qu’il a co-créée, 18 Coffees, société de conseil en stratégie et innovation digitale. Il revient pour nous sur ses expériences et nous livre son regard sur les rapports entre technologie et communication. Rencontre.
Just three years after Iran’s crackdown on the Internet, in 2012, the country’s supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined Instagram, a service technically banned by the state. @khamenei_ir has 4643 posts, 1.6 million followers and follows just 12 accounts on the popular photo sharing site owned by Facebook. Ayatollah Khamenei’s account is a far cry from the typical Instagram fare. Here you won’t find artistic portraits of a plate of chelo kebab or candid shots of the Ayatollah cuddling kittens. Instead, the page is filled with propaganda including videos of his speeches, some over a minute long. A feat that left many users wondering how the Supreme Leader managed to beat Instagram’s non-negotiable 15-second cut-off. It was a technical glitch, said Instagram.
Caleb Gardner is the founder of 18 Coffees, a digital content strategy and community development firm. Before that, Gardner worked as social media manager for Barack Obama. So, what has Gardner learned from working with one of the most powerful men in the world? What has he learned from collaborating with Fortune 500 clients at 18 Coffees?