Digital Activism

Schedule and location

Friday November 28th
The workshop takes place in restaurant Chydenia (Runeberginkatu 22-24) in room G-107. Restaurant Chydenia is located in the premises of Aalto University’s School of Economics.


Closing date  November 14th


Assistant professor Lisen Selander (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Professor Sirkka Järvenpää (McCombs School of Business, University of Texas Austin / Aalto University School of Science)


Professor Matti Rossi (Aalto University School of Business)


Social media have opened up a new channel with unparalleled scale and extendibility for social movement and digital activism. Activists around the world are increasingly using digital tools seeking for social and political change and innovation. Research on the consequences of social media indicates its collective  force especially as a coordinator and a tool for direct in situ reports of social action and injustices. Whether up close or from a distance, we are all able to follow as political movements arise via social media. Most recently the uprisings in Hong Kong, the war in Syria, the reports from North Korea, and the Arabic spring, to mention a few, have made the injustices and struggles of individuals visible to those far removed from the conflict zones. Such uprisings are happening beyond politics in many facets of society and business where open governance battles mobilize  crowds.
In this seminar we aim to critically explore, analyze and assess developments in political activism and how they are impacting digital activism and hacktivism more broadly. What are the consequences of social media for resource mobilization? What are the key decisions and capabilities to leverage digital activism and hacktivism? What thinking tools can help us make sense of these social, political, and economic transformations? This seminar will examine recent digital activism trends broadly across industries and their implications for academic research and organizing. The seminar will also reflect on the previous day’s public seminar that features a wide range of digital activism and hacktivism examples.


Attention! Aalto Service Factory's thematic group, Open Service and Innovation Observatory (OSIO), organizes another event about Digital Activism a day before this seminar and all of the seminar participants are most welcome to this event too. The goal of this seminar is to gather the researchers and practitioners of digital activism to discuss the current state and future directions of citizen activism in the digital world. Further information and registration to this Digital Activism (Nov 27th) can be found in their Facebook event.

Detailed Program

09:00-10:30   Introduction to digital activism and hacktivism
                             Mapping the landscape
10:30-11:00   Coffee break
11:00-12:00   Making sense
                             Social movements:  Amnesty International and digital activism
                             Temporal organizing:  Finnair and Social Media
                             Online knowledge collaboration and open governance
                             Digital activism:  Amnesty International and the role of proximal others
12:00-13:00   Lunch
13:00-14:30   Making sense, continue
14:30-15:00   Tea break
15:00-16:00   Small group exercise
16:00-16.30   Reports from exercise and discussion
16:30              Close

Credit points

Doctoral students participating in the seminar can obtain credit points (1 ECTS). This requires participating in the workshop and completing the given assignments.


Coming soon!

Registration fee

This seminar is free-of-charge for member organization's staff and their PhD students. For others the participation fee is 750 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials. Lunch and dinner are not included.