Six Positively Promising World Cup Campaigns You Might Have Missed

Amy Aminah Teachout contributed to this post.

As the glorious games wind down today and the eyes of the world turn elsewhere, South Africans, including myself, remain spectators: Will the World Cup--under the leadership of Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress party--deliver on its socio-economic promise? Despite the pessimism of my last post, I've been inspired by the creativity and entrepreneurism surrounding the spectacle. So in the spirit of optimism, here are 6 positively promising World Cup campaigns you might have missed:

1. Who Should I Cheer For? is a site from the World Development Movement that ranks all the teams playing in the World Cup to find the most supportable on the basis of their efforts to eradicate poverty and social injustice. All the statistics are from the UN Human Development Report except for 'Number of people without enough to eat', which is from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and Happiness, which is from the New Economics Foundation Life Satisfaction I (one of their indicators within their Happy Planet Index). Here's how they did it.

2. AMEN: Grassroots Football

AMEN: Grassroots Football is an incredible interactive roadbook from photographer Jessica Hilltout that depicts the essence of soccer as experienced throughout the African continent. As the New York Times reports, "With international teams playing on fields edged by ever-changing digital advertisements for the likes of Adidas, McDonalds and Coca-Cola, images of the highly commercialized, FIFA-sanctioned soccer will not be the only lasting ones."

3. Have You Heard From Johannesburg

Have You Heard From Johannesburg is a powerful seven-part documentary series by acclaimed filmmaker Connie Field that shines light on the global citizens' movement that took on South Africa's apartheid regime. Following three generations of the struggle inside South Africa and battles waged in sports arenas and cathedrals, in embassies and corporate boardrooms, at rock concerts and in gas stations around the globe, Have You Heard From Johannesburg is an inspiring example for citizens and movements around the world.

Visit the filmmaker's webpage for trailers and full descriptions of the episodes.

4. Man Up

Man Up is a global campaign to activate youth to stop violence against women and girls.
The Campaign launched at Man Up's first Young Leaders Summit during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa at the University of Johannesburg with delegates from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean. A second Summit will convene delegates from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These international forums are the first of their kind to develop capacity and technical expertise among young people of both genders, who are committed to stopping violence against women and girls.

5. Scoring for Africa

Scoring for Africa illustrates key development issues between countries competing in the World Cup. The guide compiles a series of statistics to show how the teams rank in the global tables of economic and social development, women's empowerment and governance. For each selected game, the guide provided a brief overview of the relationship or "match history" between the competitors identifying "attempts on target" and "attempts off target" from a development perspective. It goes on to present a "game plan" that outlines policy recommendations and possible areas for action.

Download the complete stats table here.

6. The sOccket

The sOccket is a soccer ball that captures the energy during game play to charge LEDs and batteries. After playing with the ball, children can return home and use the ball to connect a LED lamp to read, study, or illuminate the home. The ball uses an inductive coil mechanism to generate energy. Still in prototype stage, 15 minutes of play can light 3 hours of LED light.

...XYZ from ...XYZ on Vimeo.

Visit to read more.