How an 8-Year-Old Changed the World, with Twitter

By Shlomo  Maital    


Vivienne Harr 

Nine-year-old Vivienne Harr, shown above in the blue “Princess” dress, was chosen by Twitter as one of three key Twitter users to ring the bell at the opening of the New York Stock Exchange, after Twitter launched its path-breaking initial public offering of stock (IPO).

    Why Vivienne?  Why a nine-year-old?   The New York Times reports that when she was 8, her parents showed her a photo of two young Nepalese boys hauling huge rocks down a mountain.  The whole quarry was filled with child slaves forced to do this work every single day.  Vivienne started a lemonade stand to raise money to end child slavery, with the goal of $100,000 by selling lemonade for a year.  By day 173, she hit her mark, giving $101,320 to the charity Not for Sale.

     Vivienne’s father Eric Harr is a social media expert.  He led a media-savvy Twitter campaign that attracted national attention for Vivienne’s cause – and made it possible for her to raise the huge sum.

    Then, the story gets better. The Harr’s built a business around the Nepalese cause.  Harr raised $982,000 in financing and incorporated Make a Stand.  The company sells fair-trade organic lemonade. Using special Washington State laws,  Make a Stand will give five per cent of its profit to charities that combat child slavery.   The business model?  Customers have no set price for the lemonade. They pay what they wish.  This is pure marketing genius.  Harr says, “no-one ever pays less” because of the cause – they pay more.   People don’t want a product, these days, he says, they want a cause. In other words, today, people buy WHY you make the product, not WHAT you make. 

    Vivienne is only 9 years old. And she has already made the world better for many Nepalese children.   What about us adults?  What are we doing to achieve just a fraction of what Vivienne has done so far?   Check out Make a Stand’s website.