When women wear shorter skirts, the economy feels better. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Geoff Livingston uses the old “hemline” maxim to illustrate the power of positive social expression.
“When we feel more aggressive, we take more risks. When we’re depressed we wear conservative clothing and take fewer risks,” says Geoff, an author, public speaker, blogger, and marketing strategist who will grace the TEDxPeachtree stage November 2 at Buckhead Theatre. “I think there is a human sociological aspect we need to look at.”
Leveraging the sociological aspect of new media technology is at the heart of Geoff’s work. He has dedicated his career to helping mindful companies and nonprofits achieve social change by bringing people together, virtually and physically.
As a marketing and communication professional, he has advised United Way of America, The Case Foundation, Razoo, Environmental Defense Fund, Ford, Google, Live Earth, PayPal, and more. He’s won awards from the Society of New Communications Research, the American Marketing Association, and the International Association of Business Communicators.
And in 2011, despite the economy, Geoff proved how powerful online media can be when he organized the first Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington. The 24-hour event engaged more than 17,000 people in the Washington region to donate more than $2 million to 1,000+ local nonprofits using online media tools. Despite Congressional budget cuts and economic hardship, Geoff successfully helped link the traditional nonprofit community in DC with the booming second wave of digital start-ups.
“I’d like to be an influence,” he says. “Everybody can really make a difference.”
As members of what Geoff refers to as the Fifth Estate, or citizen media, all of us really have the power to generate difference. Geoff has worked on numerous social change campaigns, and he’s learned that engendering behavior today requires a new kind of inspiration. He challenges us to “defy the normal convention of a dominant individual leading the charge. Too many people qualify input with clout and relish the super popular,” says Geoff. But that is not how change happens online.
“If more people post about the environment, then more people will post about the environment,” he says. “Collectively, the small acts make for bigger acts.”
So if you don’t like wearing short skirts, do the economy a solid and at least blog about it.
Geoff blogs prolifically about nonprofits on Inspiring Generosity and Mashable, and about social media at GeoffLivingston.com. He has authored three books that focus on social media and marketing communication. Most recently he co-authored Marketing in the Round with award-winning blogger and communication professional Gini Dietrich. The book teaches organizations to take a holistic look at how individuals and stakeholders experience life and explains how to strategize marketing from that approach. In Welcome to the Fifth Estate, Geoff provides practical advice on how to sustainably manage and use citizen media.
Currently, Geoff resides in DC where he studied at Georgetown, earning a Master’s of Communications Culture in Technology degree, and where he also teaches. He’s excited about coming to Atlanta for his upcoming TEDx Peachtree Talk. Geoff has spoken at several social media conferences here, and his blog mentor, Toby Bloomberg of the Diva Marketing Blog, lives in Atlanta.
Post written by Rachel Bailey/ Contributor