Ben Rattray is the founder and CEO of Change.org, the world's fastest-growing website for social action, a place where ordinary folks can mobilize extraordinary support for their causes. In 2012, he was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World. That same year, Rattray was named one of Fortune's 40 Under 40 Rising Young Business Leaders.
Change.org wields an impressive amount of influence: it has attracted over 240 million users, hundreds of thousands of causes and a mountain of media attention. Time writes: "Rattray's site has quietly enabled tens of thousands of people, many with little exposure to social activism, to launch homegrown crusades on issues ranging from corporate malpractice to immigration reform without ever gathering in a park or square. By marrying one of the world's oldest organizing tools, the petition, to one of its newest, the social-media loop, Change.org is putting companies and governments under tremendous pressure to change their policies, sometimes in a matter of a few weeks or less, and it has invited everyone around the globe to participate."
Ben Rattray is a graduate of Stanford University and the London School of Economics. Before Change.org, he was on his way to becoming an investment banker. But when his younger brother came out of the closet as gay, Rattray had an epiphany. "[My brother] says the most notable pain he experienced wasn't the people who were explicitly anti-gay. It was the people who stood by and didn't do anything about it." Ashamed of being one of those bystanders, Rattray decided "to never stay silent again." He founded Change.org so that others might feel empowered to make the same decision.
Today, Rattray leads Change.org's strategic vision and product development. He is a frequent public speaker about the intersection of technology and social change, and has appeared in various media outlets, including The Daily Show.
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