Emily Graves spoke with Craig Philbrick, the creator of the Tearfund Nudge app

Craig Philbrick
Craig Philbrick

Campaigners can now change the world from the palm of their hand, with the new Nudge app launched by Tearfund. The app makes it easy to lobby MPs, petition governments and share latest campaign news. To find out more about this little pocket protester Emily Graves spoke with Craig Philbrick, the creator of the Nudge app.

Emily: Can you start by telling us more about the app?

Craig: Yeah. Nudge is a little pocket protester. It's a little app that sits on your phone and it alerts you when there's an issue that Tearfund wants the local church to mobilise for. What we'd do is we'd say there's this issue; we'll give you the facts and then through your own mobile phone, be that an iPhone, or an Android or Facebook, you're empowered to take action.

Emily: So how does that work?

Craig: Basically what happens is we've done all the geeky stuff; stuff that we've learnt through our previous apps that we've done and what we do is we push it off to you on a popular site like Facebook or on your phone and we say this is the problem; this is what we as Christians can do about it; this is what the Bible says about it. If you agree with us and say yes I care about that; I think the church should be involved in that; then put your details in. You see a bit of copy; we really love it when people edit their copy to their MPs saying this is my name and this is what I want you to do about it and this is what the Bible says about it and then it sends. It goes off and your MP receives a letter from you with your details. The really exciting thing is that they go away and research about the issue that you care about; about the issue that the local church cares about and then they will write you a letter. So many people have told me in the last few weeks they've come home to see a letter from the House of Commons and thought, oh dear I'm being called up for jury service; I'm in trouble; but actually it's because they've used Nudge.

Emily: Tell us more about Tearfund and the type of issues that Tearfund will be pushing through this app?

Craig: Tearfund is all about the local church, so we only mobilise local Christians when we think that there's an issue that the church can have a clear voice on. You'll see that at the moment we're talking about climate change and we're also talking about the Enough Food If campaign. You know one in eight people go to bed hungry every night and it's a scandal. At Tearfund we believe that it's time to speak out against the injustice of hunger; but what you will see mostly through Nudge over the next six months are actions; simple actions that you can take to tell your MP that you really can make 2013 a start of the end of world hunger.

Emily: Where did the idea of this app come from?

Craig: I worked for Apple before I moved over to Tearfund, so I really bought into the notion that there's an app for everything. When I went to Tearfund I'd seen that in 2008 Tearfund had innovated an app called SuperBadger, which some of your listeners might have used and we knew that there are a lot of people active on our website. On mobile we've seen in the last two years alone that it's increased from 3% to 15%. Most of us know that people are switching over to tablets and less on computers. Even my Nan has an iPad and she can have Nudge on it. The idea came from the fact that we really want to make sure that Tearfund and its mission for the local church, being about justice, is networked where our supporters are.

Emily: Do you think that in the future there's going to be a lot more of this type of using technology to push issues and to make politicians aware of what is going on in the world?

Craig: Yes. It's really exciting. David Cameron's now on Twitter; all the key influencers are on there. We're moving into a stage where people want to be seen and connected and accessible. What we're doing is using technology for social good. We're always thinking about, can you have social media for social good? Could you change the world with a Tweet? I think you probably could.

Emily: If people want to find out more about the app and download it, where do they go?

Craig: You can go to tearfund.org/nudge. Please do download it today and share it with your friends and let us know what you think about it.

Emily: Can we also get it from the Apple Store?

Craig: Yeah you can get it from the Apple Store. If you go to the Apple Store and type in Nudge, or type in Tearfund you'll find it there. If you go on the Android Google Play or the Market Stall and do the same you'll find it there and also if you go on to Facebook and type in Nudge by Tearfund you'll find it there.

Emily: Do you have to pay for Nudge?

Craig: No, you can nudge away for free. Justice doesn't cost anything and Tearfund offers this platform because we want our supporters to be given a voice and a network with their MPs and say this is an issue. Nudge is free; it's accessible; so please download it today. CR

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