Digital Technology is a Global Game-Changer for Social Change, Says New Walden University Survey

Minneapolis—December 13, 2011—Global events in 2011 demonstrated the impact that technology plays in driving social change movements. A new Walden University survey of 11 countries shows that most adults in countries around the world (89%, on average) agree that technology can turn a cause into a movement faster than anything else can. These views were particularly prevalent in Spain (93%), Canada (91%), Brazil (91%), Great Britain (91%) and China (91%).

The Social Change Impact Report: Global Survey was commissioned by Walden University and conducted online by Harris Interactive in September 2011. A continuation from the American survey released in the fall, the Global Survey includes the perspectives of more than 12,000 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United States and describes their perceptions on the importance of social change, the top issues in their country and the future of social change.

According to the global survey, in many countries, men are more likely than women to use mobile devices to text messages related to a positive social change issue, specifically in Mexico (23% vs. 16% of women), the United States (7% vs. 4%), France (7% vs. 1%), Japan (5% vs. 2%) and Germany (4% vs. 1%).

The survey also reveals that when it comes to positive social change, young adults across the globe are leveraging social networking to get involved; an average of 29% of young adults1 have used social networking sites in the past six months to engage in social change.

“Social technology has opened the door to global change, making information pass from person to person, regardless of location, at lightning speed. It's never been easier to connect with others and take action. Individuals now have remarkable power,” said Andy Smith, author of The Dragonfly Effect. “But it’s those who harness digital technology and social media for pro-social ends who will create the greatest positive social change in the future.”

Additionally, social networking is more common than using blogs or texting to engage in social change among young adults in nearly all of the countries. Of the young adults who have used social networking in the past six months to engage in social change, the highest reported use is in Mexico (40%), India (39%) and Great Britain (37%). In China (50%) and Japan (12%), blogging is the top digital way of engaging in social change among young adults. Texting to engage in social change is particularly common in India (38% of 18–25-year-olds).

About the Study
Walden University commissioned this survey to discover the current state of social change engagement in America and around the world. The Social Change Impact Report: Global Survey is a continuation of Walden’s Social Change Impact Report, which was designed to provide a barometer of who is engaged in social change, what is important to them and how they work together to advance social change issues of interest now and in the future. The Global Survey includes attitudes, behaviors and motivations from Americans as well as the international community.

The Social Change Impact Report: Global Survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Walden University between September 12 and 21, 2011, among a total of 12,208 adults within Brazil (1,007 adults ages 18–59), Canada (1,013 adults ages 18 and older), China (1,011 adults ages 18–60), France (1,010 adults ages 16 and older), Germany (1,013 adults ages 16 and older), Great Britain (1,077 adults ages 16 and older), India (1,010 adults ages 18–64), Japan (1,017 adults ages 18–64), Mexico (1,010 adults ages 18–64), Spain (1,012 adults ages 16 and older) and the United States (2,028 adults ages 18 and older) via Harris Interactive’s QuickQuery and Global Omnibus. Data for each country were weighted to the general or online population within each country. Data for each individual country are representative of that country. The “Average Result” is the arithmetic averages across all 11 countries. This measure does not account for differences in population size and thus is not representative. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A complete survey methodology, including base sizes for young adults in each country, is available upon request by contacting Jen Raider at 1-443-627-7452 or jen.raider@waldenu.edu.

For more detailed findings from Walden’s Social Change Impact Report, visit www.WaldenU.edu/impactreport.

About Walden University
For more than 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 46,500 students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 55 campus-based and online universities in 28 countries. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org.

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

1Ages 18–24 in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico and Spain; 18–25 in India; and 18–34 in the United States.