Business

Phone2Action: Advocacy at Your Fingertips

A mobile app that organizes willpower into real power. Just don’t call it slacktivism.

Today, news travels at mind-numbing speeds thanks to technology. More quickly than a letter can reach the correct state representative’s office, Phone2Action can amplify the voice of an individual or a group of individuals to initiate change on a larger, more efficient scale.

Jeb Ory and Ximena Hartsock started Phone2Action as a prototype in Startup Weekend Las Vegas, then relocated to the Think Big Partners Accelerator in Kansas City and won the prestigious South by Southwest Interactive Accelerator (SXSW) in New Technologies in March 2013.

Phone2Action works with a wide variety of issue-advocacy groups like the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and also trade associations such as the Consumer Electronics Association, helping them acquire and engage their supporters.

“In a previous career, our cofounder [Hartsock] was responsible for building grassroots support in many states across the U.S., but the tools she needed to be successful were lacking. Applying mobile technology to solving these challenges seemed to be a good solution to this problem. I have a background in technology commercialization, so it was a natural fit for us to work together,” cofounder Jeb Ory says.

Watch the demonstration video for Phone2Action at YouTube.com

Phone2Action uses mobile web technologies, which work equally well on any smartphone or desktop browser. One of their products makes it easy for people to reach local representatives and engage their friends and followers to help various causes. In early February, Phone2Action engaged in a partnership with the Black Alliance for Educational Options and the award-winning gospel singer Marvin Sapp, who made use of Phone2Action’s grassroots tools during a six-city tour earlier this year. Thousands of people used the technology generating more than 20,000 emails to elected officials across five states.

“Advocacy is moving into a new phase now. The smartphone adds a democratizing element to organizing, but we are just on the cusp of the developments to come,” Ory says.

This revolutionary organizational platform not only gives users a means to speak out for causes they are passionate about, but it also serves as an effective tool for getting these messages into the right hands. As the music and speeches die down at the end of a rally, Phone2Action allows users to speak out and affect change before they return home.

Phone2Action won’t end there. Ory and Hartsock are already looking to the future for ways to improve their outreach.

“Advocacy is dynamic. Our philosophy, which drives our development, is that mobile is really a mindset more than a piece of hardware. We now consider desktop access to be a mobile solution because of how mobile the workforce has become,” Ory says. A philosopy which places Phone2Action ahead of other advocacy groups and technology in general.