SmartMeme was conceived in 2002 as an experimental strategy & training project to innovate social change practices and develop story-based strategies. Collaborating to use culture, memes, and stories, we aim to shift the assumptions that are holding back the imagining of real change. Our holistic, intergenerational approach is about shifting from issues to values, supplementing organization building with movement building, focusing on story telling, relational organizing, and creative new forms of civic engagement and action that speak to this historical moment. SmartMeme acts at the intersections of the critical issues of our times, and our goal is nothing less than to change the stories that shape the dominant culture in the United States.
Our Mission: SmartMeme builds movements and amplifies the impact of grassroots organizing with new strategy and training resources, values based communications, collaborations, and meme campaigning. SmartMeme uses the power of narrative to advance a holistic vision of grassroots social change that connects struggles for democracy, peace, justice, and ecological sanity.
We Envision: a world of peace, compassion, cooperation, and solidarity, built upon an economy of justice that operates in balance with an ecologically restored and bountiful planet. We’re inspired by Dr. King’s vision of the “beloved community," as well as the efforts of communities around the globe who are building a better world from the ground up, with actions great and small.
We Understand: this historical moment as complex, and defined by overarching forces such as a globalized economy, US unipolarity, persistent patterns of oppression, and accelerating technological convergences—all in an overwhelming context of escalating ecological crisis.
We Believe: that the stories that hold these forces together are unraveling; that this period is also an “Era of Outdated Stories.” The story of progress, the story of salvation-through-consumption, and the story that humans can dominate nature…all are being exposed as myths that have pushed Earth’s life support systems to the brink of collapse.
We believe in the power and potential of new (and reclaimed) stories to shift the dominant culture and recapture a collective imagination capable of crafting collaborative solutions to this crisis.