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by Alex Palmer | August 21, 2012
To help raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian NGO, launched a four-day “Think In” to create a social media conversation between students and the public at large.
 
Over four days beginning August 16, 450 students at Hyper Island were tasked with generating ideas that could engage the public and inspire them to donate to programs working to overcome violence against women in developing countries. The session was led by Gyro, the IRC’s creative agency and a long-time collaborator with Hyper Island.
 
The students at Hyper Island, who come from more than 31 countries and a variety of disciplines in the digital and creative fields, not only brainstormed ideas themselves but asked the public for their thoughts at IRCThinkIn.com. They also used the Twitter hashtag #ircthinkin; the Facebook page, Facebook.com/ircthinkin; and the video-sharing application, Viddy.com, to share what they learned and draw in additional ideas.
 
One of the campaign’s major goals was to get discussion brewing among young people in particular.
 
“It's important for everyone to be involved in this discussion,” Keith Loell, executive creative director, Gyro New York says. “But let's face it: These students are our future, and if this problem is going to get solved, they're going to have to be a part of that. Sometimes the most difficult causes or challenges require young minds and new ways of approaching a problem. It's an issue that's been around as long as we have — and we need a fresh perspective.”
 
The project concluded with the students sharing 70 of the strongest ideas that they had devised with IRC and Gyro leadership; the videos will be posted at IRCThinkIn.com.
 
The campaign has already shown results, with discussion growing on social media outlets and elsewhere. Now that the program has concluded, individuals can visit IRCThinkIn.com to watch the videos made by the students, learn more about the issue of domestic violence, and donate to the cause.
 
“We also hope that a few of the ideas that come out of the think-in will be strong enough to produce and deploy,” says Loell. He added that they will also be creating a compilation video that can be sent to world leaders, “encouraging them to enact laws against domestic violence if no laws currently exist —  or to enforce the laws in the countries that already have them.”