Jordan Hewson founded her company on one premise: Millennials aren’t taking action on the issues they care about because the process is difficult, confusing, and time-consuming.
So Hewson created Speakable, a company that uses technology to make civic engagement more accessible. Since 2015, Speakable has been working on its first product, the Action Button, which goes live Thursday.
The Action Button links publishers to NGOs and nonprofits like Amnesty International and Planned Parenthood, and has been in beta testing with Huffington Post until now. Starting today, the Action Button will go live on articles on Huffington Post, Vice, and the Guardian.
Here’s how it works:
- On articles pertaining to issues that a reader could take action on — like getting girls an education in third-world countries, or the Syrian refugee crisis — the Action Button will appear at the bottom of the page
- The button is powered by an algorithm that matches vetted NGOs with a relevant article
- Readers can choose one of three ways to take action, like taking a poll, signing a petition, or donating to a cause
- The options don’t require readers to leave the page, even if they choose the donate option
Hewson said the idea stemmed from her experiences as a millennial and someone who’s passionate about the nonprofit space. As far as she knows, the Action Button is the first of its kind.
“Nothing like this has ever existed,” Hewson told Business Insider. “You’ve never been able to take action on news before.”
Hewson has worked in the nonprofit and NGO space for years, spending three years as a campaigner for Global Citizen, a social-action platform that aims to
fight poverty and inequality. Hewson is also the daughter of U2 frontman Bono, who helped create the ONE foundation and has worked to fight poverty and AIDS in Africa.
Hewson says she realised while she was working at Global Citizen that taking action on issues had to be easier, otherwise it wouldn’t happen.
“Millennials especially are demanding more from digital content,” Hewson said. “They don’t just want to read headlines, they want to change headlines. Our hope for the company is that if we can make it faster and easier for people to take action, they’re much more likely to do it. If it can be part of your daily online behaviour, it can be as easy as ordering an Uber or buying a dress.”
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