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Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

Tweeting for a better world

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Victoria Marzilli is Oxfam America’s social media specialist.

An Oxfam advocate poses for a picture in front of Oxfam's #WorldIWant posters at the Stand Up Against Poverty event at Lincoln Center in New York, New York, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, just prior to the UN MDG Summit. Photo: Jacob Silberberg / Oxfam America
An Oxfam advocate poses for a picture in front of Oxfam's #WorldIWant posters at the Stand Up Against Poverty event at Lincoln Center in New York, New York, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, just prior to the UN MDG Summit. Photo: Jacob Silberberg / Oxfam America

Yesterday, President Obama announced a global development policy at the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit—a big step towards fulfilling US development promises and helping people lift themselves out of poverty. In addition to organizing events outside the UN summit and working to influence US officials, Oxfam America used social media to raise awareness and spur a conversation about how the MDGs can help us achieve the world we want.

Earlier this month, I posed that same question to Oxfam America’s Twitter followers: What does the world you want look like? Not just out of curiosity, but in order to raise awareness about the MDGs and how they help us achieve a better world—one without poverty, hunger, and social injustice.

Using the hashtag #worldiwant, we captured thousands of tweets from all over the world and brought a select few to this week’s UN MDGs summit in New York City, in the form of posters displayed during the event at Lincoln Center (see more photos on Flickr).  Here are a few of your creative responses that were among my favorites:

 @ClaudiaCostin: I want a world where kids go to school every day, knowing that this will make the difference in their lives. #worldIwant
*Claudia Costin is Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of Education.

@voiceteam: #worldiwant – people can hold leaders to account and decisions that affect the poorest people are made openly and transparently
*Voice connects bloggers with important political events.

@SocialCauseGuru: #WorldIwant A world where violence against women is NEVER tolerated

To most Americans, the MDGs might be a vague, confusing, or even unknown concept. These tweets help bring it down to earth by focusing on the ends rather than the means.  Individually, the eight goals focus on reducing hunger and poverty, and improving health, education, sustainability, and global partnerships.  But combined, they are a blueprint to reduce suffering and save lives.

By bringing your tweets with us to New York, our goal was to show world leaders that people everywhere are holding them accountable to achieving the MDGs and making sure that we’re creating a better world for us all. It’s a simple, yet powerful way to use social media for social good.

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