“As an entrepreneur I wanted to give back to Taiwan for how it welcomed and inspired me, and I wanted to improve human rights & freedoms around the globe – but it wasn’t clear how.
I felt hopeless and helpless that I, as a single individual, could have an impact. So I discussed this with my business partner, and we looked to the examples of groups that are greater than their sums, affecting change through focused collective effort.
We noticed the rising trend of normal people taking joint actions to achieve impressive results.
THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
Starting in 2016, a group of inspiring organizers, mostly women, formed the Boycott Trump campaign, listing major corporations doing business with Trump’s companies or his campaign. Ending it after Trump’s 4 years in office, they’re credited with over 70 major companies severing ties that financially benefited Trump.
In January, a random group of strangers, many of them amateur stock traders, started gaining attention for their focus on a poorly-rated stock, GameStop. This ragtag group on Reddit’s WallStreetBets continued to put huge price pressure on the overcommitted short selling hedge funds, leading to some rare wins for the “little guy” versus entrenched financial giants.
During February in Taiwan, the surge of support for Taiwan’s pineapple farmers led to higher sales than the drop from China, and a PR win for Taiwan as well!
From GameStop traders on WallStreetBets to the surge of support for Taiwan’s Pineapple farmers, we believe that ordinary people can have a huge impact, if we work together.
THE SNOWBALL EFFECT
So we created a community to discuss and organize how we can create change, and later we’ll launch a startup to build tools for amplifying this impact around the world. It’s called [Snowball](http://www.snowballforgood.com/), after the “snowball effect” we hope to have as more and more good people join forces for good.
Snowball’s mission is to bring together diverse people to create an impact on human rights & freedoms in Asia.
We want to harness the power of regular people – *through our voices and our purchasing decisions* – to spark change in people, companies, and governments.
Snowball welcomes people with diverse backgrounds to generate ideas on how to have a larger impact: foreigners & locals, makers & thinkers, entrepreneurs & activists, etc.
We can create actual impact through group action: focused on collective effort and execution, not just awareness or talk.
Part of our aim is to lower barriers to support: increase participation by average people in supporting the cause, not just those with deep knowledge, through lower friction products & lighter-weight discussions.
By growing this movement, we will help raise awareness of Taiwan as a powerful ally for human rights, freedoms, and democracy.”
Read more as published in CommonWealth Magazine
–Colin Hodge, Co-founder of Snowball
“After a decade in the tech industry, designing consumer products including livestreaming video and social beauty tech, I couldn’t resist the call to try to have a more profound impact on the world.
As a dual-citizen of Israel and The United States, growing up the son of a mother who is both an NGO expert and sexual educator, I was instilled with a strong appreciation for human rights and personal freedoms. I’ve seen first-hand the tragedy of human rights abuses in some areas, and felt a strong need to use the skills I honed in the startup world for the greater good.
I feel grateful to be a Taiwan Gold Card holder, and I established a startup in Taiwan as co-founder with Colin, which employs around 10 Taiwanese workers.”
– Nadav Mills, Co-founder of Snowball