International development agency Christian Aid has created Ctrl.Alt.Shift, a global online community to help young people get engaged in global development issues.
Research for the charity confirmed that the vast majority (85%) of British young people are keen to understand and get involved in these issues, but did not know how to effect change.
One in four 18-25 year olds spoken to agreed that traditional methods of charity engagement do not feel appropriate for them. A further 48% agreed that they would be more inclined to get on board with charity activity if the call to action felt more accessible, relevant to their lives or involved doing something they actually enjoyed.
Ctrl.Alt.Shift is an experiment designed to harness this energy and “create a global community of proactive, outspoken agitators seeking change,” a social networking site for young charity supporters.
Users can learn about issues, sign up for petitions, upload their own content and involve themselves in action groups. They can come up with their own ideas for action by generating content, campaigns, sharing ideas and inspiring each other. They can also get involved in fundraising.
Katrin Owusu, Head of Youth Marketing and Innovations at Christian Aid, said: “The key mission of Ctrl.Alt.Shift is to bring about the democratisation of Charity, by being the first ‘consumer generated’ charity brand. Using concepts of co-creation, the project will act as a vehicle for people to connect and take action by creating content and campaigns, sharing ideas and inspiring each other”.
The Ctrl.Alt.Shift initiative will include partnerships with cultural institutions, projects with higher and further education in the arena of music and film, digital social networking and a youth focused magazine.
The project will also see the release of a new magazine, edited by youth culture journalist Chantelle Fiddy, and former editor of Sleazenation, Neil Boorman. The publication tackles some issues such as HIV, prostitution, slave labour, and conflict “in a way that is both relevant and arresting for young people”.
Christian Aid compiled research by YouGov, Ramp and LOVE, based on a sample size of over 2,000 18-25 year olds from across the UK from July 2007 to June 2008.