Civic News
Apps / Social justice / Social media

How a local firm got Usher to tweet about its Earth Day app

L+R made and event app for an Earth Day extravaganza in D.C., allowing attendees to “unite around common causes.” It worked: over 13,000 actions were taken through the app.

Usher performs onstage during Global Citizen's 2015 Earth Day on the National Mall event. (Photo by Richard Chapin Downs Jr./Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Usher asked his fans to download an Earth Day app and push global finance ministers to take action on sustainability and inequality.
The R&B star offered up a gold crutch and his T-shirt as an incentive. (Editor’s note: Just look at that crutch!) He did it as part of his participation in Global Citizen’s Earth Day celebration in D.C. last Saturday.
The Global Citizen Earth Day app he promoted was built by local creative agency L+R.

13,256 actions were taken through the app on the day of the Earth Day event, according to L+R cofounder Alex Levin.
“The platform allows Global Citizens to unite around common causes on social media and create digital media outputs (emails, photos, videos, etc.) to push towards the new wave of public assembly and rallies,” Levin explained via email.
He wrote that most event apps feature static information about the gathering, schedules, guests, etc. Global Citizen had the idea to use the convenience of mobile to get participants to take action at the moment that they are most primed to do it: at the event, when the stars they came to see ask them to do it.
“Though this is the first test of this type of platform,” Levin said, “I think the app’s future and innovation is its approach combining education of social causes and an eloquent user experience to guide the population to make a difference.”
All that action at one time and place can clog a network, however. The team took that into consideration on the backend. If there’s no service for a given user at the moment they take action, the user won’t get a failure message. “The system allows users to take actions and sync with the backend database once they have service,” Levin wrote.

Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day On National Mall To End Extreme Poverty And Solve Climate Change

Gwen Stefani performing at Global Citizen’s Earth Day event near the Washington Monument. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

The app went live on the day of the event, April 18, and will come down soon, Levin told us. That said, its functionality will be rolled into a forthcoming Global Citizen app that will encourage users to take actions as they go about their daily routines.
“Launching the app enabled us to connect individuals with actions they could take in real-time,” Global Poverty Project CTO Matt Webster said in a statement (Global Citizen is a project of the Global Poverty Project). “At Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, we saw global citizens take nearly 15,000 actions on-site that included calling on Finance Ministers to attend and fund the Global Goals at the Financing for Development Conference in Ethiopia this July.”
Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day On National Mall To End Extreme Poverty And Solve Climate Change

Mobiles up. The crowd at the Global Citizen Earth Day event. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Companies: Levin + Riegner
Series: Brooklyn
People: Alex Levin

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