The Amplification Project draws motivation from our nation’s original social reform movement, the Transcendentalist ethos of Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson, who believed that to inspire is worthier than to explain - that ordinarily under-activated human potential is not to be reasoned into being so much as ignited. Today, as in the 19th century, facts and data are necessary but not sufficient to achieve reform (just as compelling testimonials are necessary but not sufficient to secure lasting change). The beautifully written, exhaustively footnoted white paper will fulfill its potential to inspire only when it is joined with digital companion stories that show what the facts tell. The Amplification Project updates the Transcendentalist three-part recipe for reform, books/humanity/action, to meet today’s 21st century policymaking demands. The Project’s three-part formula - policy research and digital storytelling coordinated with on-the-ground advocacy - is driving social reform in a new and powerful way.
The Amplification Project marries digital media with advocates and their movements; policy papers and their institutional authors; and working families and their daily struggles to make ends meet and realize the American dream. The Project’s unique data-backed digital storytelling methodology 1) brings policy reform agendas to life by translating ‘wonky’ data-driven arguments into visual, multimedia portrayals of ordinary Americans contending with the real-life hardships advocates seek to address and 2) empowers citizens to amplify policy reform agendas by positioning them to use low-cost, point-and-shoot digital media technology to document their everyday experiences and low-cost, click-and-share social media technology to contribute to advocacy campaigns.
The Amplification Project uses a networked state-based structure to achieve national impact. Project staff work with a lead policy research and advocacy organization in each participating state, a dedicated stable of national think tanks and messaging experts, and an in-house board of advisors to aggregate knowledge and create a strategy to guide each policy reform campaign. Working in partnership with each participating state’s lead organization, the Project provides fast, inexpensive, and high-quality new media production and strategic distribution services for the concerned organizations and coalitions in each participating state.