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File:WiserEarth logo.jpg
WiserEarth logo

WiserEarth is a user-generated online community space for the social and environmental movement [1], tracking the work of non-profits around the world [2]. The site maps and connects non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, governments, groups and individuals addressing global issues such as climate change, poverty, the environment, peace, water, hunger, social justice, conservation, human rights and more. WISER is an acronym for World Index of Social and Environmental Responsibility. WiserEarth is a fiscally sponsored project of the Natural Capital Institute [2],[3].



WiserEarth.org launched on Earth Day (April 22nd) 2007 as an online directory of the 100,000+ organizations touched upon in Paul Hawken's book, Blessed Unrest[4]. The author had amassed a collection of business cards from thousands of organizations over the years, but had not found a comprehensive directory listing all non-profit organizations involved in the social justice and environmental sector. Estimating the number of organizations into total to be well over a million[5], Hawken launched WiserEarth.org as an online directory to help map out the work done by these organizations. Today, WiserEarth.org incorporates additional social networking features, such as groups[6] and messaging tools, to provide greater possibilities for collaboration. WiserEarth has also expanded its organization directory to includes listings for for-profit businesses and government agencies.

Facts and figures

As of September 2009, WiserEarth provided a directory of more than 110,000 organizations worldwide [7], over 30,000 registered members[8], and more than 1,500 groups[9], with content organized in 46 areas of focus and 379 sub-areas[10].

WiserEarth Directory

The WiserEarth Directory is organized around a master list of issues which are "networked" in such a way that registered users can edit the "connections" of each issue to organizations, resources, jobs, events, and groups. The website features groupware and social networking components including graphical "Network Maps". A unique "Solution form" allows any logged in user to state a serious social or environmental problem and propose a way to solve it. The Solution then becomes a named entity that can be shared, modified, and acted upon as the proposed solution is implemented in the real world. The solution form includes a place to record results and observations. Each Solution is provided with a publishing and networking page and a discussion forum. WiserEarth also incorporates embedded Google Maps integrated with the geographical data. The website is a non-profit venture and is free to the public. The data is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.

WiserEarth API

As of June 2009, WiserEarth offers a RESTful API developed under a Creative Commons 3.0 license. The WiserEarth API provides access to an extensive database of "entities" such as Organizations, Groups, Jobs, Events, Resources, and Solutions. There is an associated FAQ[11] and a Developer's Documentation[12] page.

See also


  1. Treehugger article
  2. 2.0 2.1 [1] "WiserEarth tracks the work of nonprofits around the world" by Elsa Wenzel cnet news, October 21, 2007
  3. About WiserEarth
  4. Hawken, P. (2007). Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. Viking Press. ISBN 978-0670038527
  5. MetropolisMag.com - Blessed Unrest
  6. [2]Beth's Blog - How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media
  7. "Paul Hawken Speaks about Social Change:The New Global Movement" by Felicia M. Tomasko Santa Barbara Independent, Thursday, May 10, 2007
  8. WiserEarth Members
  9. WiserEarth Groups
  10. WiserEarth Areas of Focus page
  11. WiserEarth API FAQ
  12. WiserEarth API Documentation

External links


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