On February 2 a virtual army will descend on the United Nations headquarters to protest against bullying. The protest will be virtual – in other words, no one is actually going to the real headquarters of the UN in New York. The protest is being put together by the U.K. not-for-profit group Beatbullying.org and will take place online February 2 using cute and adorable avatars.
Richard Piggin, deputy CEO of the group, recently sat down with Fast Company to explain why they are doing their protesting in the virtual world as opposed to the real world.
"It's a march for the 21st century," said Piggin. "If you're 6 years old, you can join. If you're 80 years old, you can join. If you're in India, you can make your presence felt. It doesn't matter where you are. This captures the imagination of a lot of people."
Piggin says that he expects close to two million protestors to create virtual avatars and protest banners, and take part in the event around the world thanks to partnerships with Facebook and 100 other websites. When asked what they are looking for from the UN, Piggin said:
"Last year, we held a virtual march in the U.K., and we presented a petition with our requests to the deputy prime minister. As a result, our CyberMentors program is now funded by the government. This year, on a global stage, we're asking to include the term 'bullying' in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It would then explicitly state that every child has the right to be safe from bullying. If ratified, all countries are obliged to take action. It will be a unified message that bullying is fundamentally unacceptable."