Impactr Brand Ambassador Lead and WILD Deputy Online Editor Louis Saunderson introduces us to Impactr, a social change video-action app built to link millions of people and their positive small actions together – adding up to a big impact on sustainability, social justice and climate change.
Social media stands ever more prominent as a key venue for social and political discussion and debate – something seen particularly over the last year, as many of our social environments became increasingly digital. Whether as a temporary crisis response, or as the start of a more permanent social commitment, 2020 has been “the year of internet activism” and its momentum carries the ability to shape the near future of activism in the digital space.
But as activism has moved increasingly into the digital space, so too has the potential for ‘slacktivism’ expanded. With this expansion, relating online engagement to real-world action and change is vital, to truly harness the change-making capabilities of online and directed community action. Set up in 2019 to provide this kind of platform, a place to concentrate action, information and eco-friendly alternatives, Impactr hopes to step in ensuring online engagement generates real-world impact, by directly relating the two, and ultimately empowering young people to create a better world through small collective action.
Currently in beta, Impactr is a social change video-action app built to link millions of people and their small positive actions together, creating a much larger collective and real-world positive impact. Using video action chains to turn likes and engagement into action, the ethos behind the app’s design is that anyone can join any action any day, knowing they will be part of a larger collective social impact. Users either start or add to an existing video chain, replicating the initial action, contributing to the discussion on the initial topic, or adding their flair in line with the chain’s topic.
Along the way, posts and chains can be liked, commented on, or endorsed, furthering their reach and their potential to make a difference.
To keep a track of the scale of your change-making, the number of actions you’ve taken, the number of people you’ve influenced through those actions, and the number of endorsements you’ve received from trusted, expert users are all recorded on an app-wide leaderboard – letting you visualise all the impact and influence you create, and your progress in The Ultimate Competition to Save The World.
Youth-led, international, and ambitious, Impactr’s vision is to inspire simple, bite-sized everyday actions that make a real difference, and to shift the entire world’s spending and behavioural habits towards sustainable brands and lifestyles that are genuinely making a positive impact.
Impactr aims to inspire 1 billion positive social-impact actions by 2023, a goal supported by the key belief that one person can create a ripple that grows into waves of change!
Harnessing the power of exponential growth within an active community, Impactr is founded upon the principle that one small action leads to another and that small actions multiplied by millions of people can transform the world. Incorporating aspects of competition, gamification, education, collectivity and sustainable consumption, the app functions as a social video-sharing platform. It’s a platform where you can make an impact, express yourself, and be part of the change you want to see in the world. Furthering sustainability, social justice and more climate-friendly lifestyles does not need to be something restricted to one area of life.
Whether you’re experienced along your change-making journey, a fresh-starter, or someone with intention that’s arrived a little earlier than the action to back it up, sustainable living isn’t a goal you need to try and make it to on your own.
No matter the stage you’re at towards taking action and change-making – intention, education, implementation, experimentation or communication – involving others on your journey is a great way to boost not just yourself, but also those who share your goal.
In this way, Impactr works to make change more social, and something more widespread too. Pairing causes with supporters, educators with those looking to be educated, and actors with actions, it is a place to join a community of like-minded creators, experts, trusted brands, and Impactrs.
To delve a bit more into using the app, below is a concise bulleted summary of how Impactr works. As an Impactr, you:
- Make (((((Ripples))))) and join actions by adding your short video reply with our unique action button.
- Create new videos that inspire others to join meaningful actions and promote trusted brands & causes.
- Challenge your friends and climb the leaderboard in the ultimate competition to save the world.
- Browse and build your ‘inspo’ wall – Save your favourite actions & brands on your profile.
In joining the app and the online community, you are free to engage with actions and content in the way you most enjoy – whether that is taking a more direct role in generating new action chains, supporting others by hopping on their existing chains or sharing your reactions, thoughts, and opinions in action comments.
If you are a bit of a sustainability expert, you can apply for Trusted Status and use its special power to further the influence of the action chains you find most rewarding and beneficial. Whatever the role you’d like to take or feel best suited to, there’s an avenue for contribution and supporting action for everyone.
I met the Impactr team through a House Hack Innovation Challenge, a student and graduate challenge event that I would recommend to anyone looking for quick experience in presenting, ideating, problem-solving and team-working.
Post-event, Impactr’s concept, mission, and idea were all something that I bought into, and a few weeks later I was able to join the team in an unpaid intern role, as Brand Ambassador Lead. My affiliation with Impactr is something I want to disclose and make clear, but at the same time, I hope my experience below comes across as genuine, honest, and balanced.
Personally, sustainable living and social action have long been things I have sought to further – but at times I have run into the common issue of intention preceding action. My planning and preparation turned more into procrastination than execution, and the result was that I would hold off on making lifestyle changes that I had already recognised I wanted to make.
While I am not a driver, I have recently discovered quite how much I prefer cycling to taking the bus, and for the last few months I have been delving into an eco-friendlier (and still just as tasty) diet. I have long been a fan of the drying rack over the dryer, and as an avid environment student climate literature is a significant share of what I’ve read the last year – but I know I need to replace a few more toiletry bottles with bars and do more of my bit to make the world a better place.
For me, the sustainable and socially minded community Impactr has introduced me to is a boost along my lifestyle journey, in terms of both sharing my contributions to sustainability and social justice, and greatly benefiting from others sharing theirs. It is hard to distil sustainable living into a thirty-second video and ten-second replies. But this is not the aim – it is more of a helper, sharing tips, tricks, and progress with others to help make the whole journey more social, more impactful and better informed. Impactr has helped me surround myself with the kinds of content I want to emulate, incorporate, and contribute to.
As a community of like-minded individuals, it is multi-purpose – sometimes a well-timed prompt towards the kind of lifestyle you want to further, sometimes an eye-opening and informative tool for learning, and sometimes a place for funny, accessible, humorous content with a message underneath.
As an online community, Impactr’s one I am glad to be a part of and one I am excited to see grow. It is a fun and accessible way to track and share easy actions in your everyday life that work to make the world a bit better, and it is great seeing others get involved in doing an action with you.
For me, it has been motivation, encouragement, and education in equal measure, with a worthwhile mission and message behind it. With an upcoming launch, the app’s currently in beta, but if you are interested in subscribing for news on the launch and maybe hopping on the beta, I have included resources below.
If you are eager to learn a bit more about the app and get signed up, and if you would like to, also feel free to get in touch with me about it.
All assets and images courtesy of Impactr.
About the Author: Louis Saunderson is WILD Deputy Online Editor and currently Impactr Brand Ambassador Lead. He is a 2nd Year Environment, Economics and Ecology student, or as his friends say; a “Treehugger”.
Disclaimer: The author wishes to make clear they are non-monetarily affiliated with the company this article covers