Keeping up the heat on climate change

As part of this years International Day of Climate Action on October 24th, – with support from Tactical Technology Collective – are planning a new and innovative text messaging campaign designed to mobilise citizens around the world

“Project MOBiLIZE” will use decentralised, country-specific FrontlineSMS servers to deliver targeted messaging blasts to supporters in over twenty countries. The project will also collect SMS reports after the October 24th main event and deliver them to world leaders via Twitter, web and projection at the UN Climate Talks due to take place in Copenhagen in December.

"Project MOBiLIZE"

This is how it works. To start things off, the central server sends out an SMS to each of the country nodes, taking into account timing, language and message. Cost is minimal – just 20 international messages, one per node. Once the message is received, the country nodes automatically blast it out to lists of in-country mobile numbers, sourced from and local partner organisations. Costs are approximately 5 cents per SMS. Cascading SMS this way reduces costs considerably, and allows better local control.

Country nodes can also collect new mobile numbers through the FrontlineSMS servers, using SMS keywords and by publicising country-specific phone numbers on the web and at events.

This is the first time FrontlineSMS has been used to ‘cascade’ messages to and from the local level through a chain of servers. It could also be a first for any grassroots global SMS campaign, and if it works could present an exciting new model for others to follow. Not only is the system cheaper to run but it presents the potential for considerably wider reach, and thanks to some neat work by Bobby – the brains behind it – the pre-configured software can be quickly adopted in any country.

If you are interested in taking part in this ground-breaking campaign, either as an in-country node or in any other capacity, post a comment here, check out Bobby’s post on the FrontlineSMS Community pages


The website has a post about the project
Tactical Tech also have a post here


New numbers are being added all the time. Here are the various local access points as at 12th October:

USA – 30644
Australia – 0411694094
Maldives – 9900350
Macedonia – 077594209
Philippines – 09088770350
Hong Kong – 85262757489
Panama – Coming Soon!
New Zealand – 0226070672
Israel Coming – Soon!
Malaysia – 0163050973
Cambodia – 081666120
Sweden – 0733185314
Germany – Coming Soon!
India – Coming Soon!
Lebanon – Coming Soon!

30 thoughts on “Keeping up the heat on climate change

  1. Jake Harmer says:

    This is awesome!! I’ve heard people talk about doing this kind of thing, but haven’t seen anyone try it. Will be watching with interest. Nice one.. 🙂

  2. Daniel Taghioff says:

    This is a great tool. I think it suits climate change perfectly, mobile is the medium that will most likely reach those most affected.

    Ken, can we discuss this sometime?

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  12. kiwanja says:

    @Daniel – Sure, happy to speak whenever. Drop me an email (or Facebook message me) and we can try to set something up

    @Ben – it’s being put together as we speak, with Bobby from Tactical Tech leading implementation. The system has already been tested and works, it just needs the country-nodes to be set up, ready for the climate event at the end of the month

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  15. Phil Aroneanu says:

    And yes, doing it this way cuts down on costs, because we blast out and receive back on local nodes, from local #s. In some places (like USA, Panama, New Zealand) we’re using clickatell and vendors to get better rates.

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