• Second Chance Trees, an innovative project using the virtual world Second Life to help reforestation of endangered species of trees, has been selected as one of the 50 finalists in the American Express Members Project contest. Second Chance Trees is the only Second Life initiative featured in the final 50.
• The Members Project gives American Express Cardmembers the chance to select and vote for one idea that will have a positive impact worldwide. American Express will fund the winning idea with up to $5 million.
• Plant It 2020 has been selected as the fulfilling organization for the ‘Virtual Forest Project’. American Express Members can vote for this idea until the final 25 are selected on July 15. The next voting round selects a final five ideas by July 24 before the winner is announced on August 7, 2007.
• Second Chance Trees was conceived, developed and built by social media agency Converseon in partnership with 501 (c)(3) non-profit Plant It 2020. Second Life residents can plant a virtual tree at Second Chance Trees Island for 300 Linden dollars (about $1.50), which triggers the planting of a corresponding tree in endangered rainforest regions in the real world.
• If selected as the winner of the American Express Members Project Plant It 2020 would plant in excess of one million indigenous trees in endangered rainforest regions.
• USA-based American Express cardholders can vote for the ‘Virtual Forest Project’ at http://www.membersproject.com/Environment_Wildlife/991 until July 17, 2007.
Rob Key quote:
“Effective global environmental initiatives require not only physical implementation that embraces local communities and cultures, they must also have a powerful educational component. While most people won’t every fly to India to plant a Neem tree, the Second Chance Trees project creates the closest approximation of the experience and is sparking positive word-of-mouth that will hopefully spur others to greater awareness and action. The power of social media is that it can transcend traditional approaches and antiquated structures to rapidly galvanize communities to action and raise awareness for reforestation and other important global issues. We hope others will support this initiative to demonstrate the power of social media to motivate positive, socially-responsible action.”
Michael Thau quote:
“If selected as the winner of the American Express Members Project we would look forward to planting one million trees in locations throughout Latin America and Africa.”
“This reforestation project will not only reduce harmful greenhouse gasses but will also help to feed tens of thousands of people.”
Founded in 2001, Converseon is a leading social media communications company designed to help organizations "join the conversation" to meet communications objectives.
Plant-It 2020 is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit foundation dedicated to properly planting, maintaining and protecting as many indigenous trees as possible worldwide.
With more than 5 million residents, Second Life is a 3D online world with a rapidly growing population from 100 countries around the globe, in which the Residents themselves create and build the world which includes homes, vehicles, nightclubs, stores, landscapes, clothing, and games.