Ben Rattray was set on being an investment banker until his senior year of undergrad at Stanford University when one of his younger brothers came out as gay.

"He told me what hurt him most wasn't people who were explicitly anti-gay, but the people who refuse to stand up and speak out against them," Rattray said of his brother in an interview with AOL.

So the 31-year-old created a space where people could make a difference -- a change. He founded Change.org, an online petition site for people to come together for a cause, citing a generational need for giving power to people's voices that also harnesses social media.

Now named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2012, Rattray is still discovering just how great that need was.

"We had no idea how much power individuals could have, and what's unique now is not petitions specifically, but the combination of petitions and social media," Rattray said. "And the combination is much more viral, much more explosive than we possibly could have imagined."

Now that explosiveness is going international. Rattray said more petitions are being posted everyday from around the world -- a change he hopes continues.

"That desire for people to come together and make a difference isn't uniquely American," Rattray said. "It's a fundamental human desire to mobilize around the things people are passionate about -- and millions of people are joining every month, and it's happening every, every day."

Feeling inspired? Check out 10 Change.org and other petitions below you could sign right now!

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  • Stop Child Sex Trafficking

    Sign a petition to urge the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/sex-trafficking-changeorg-backpagecom_n_1317627.html" target="_hplink"><em>Village Voice</em> to close down its adult section, Backpage.com</a>, which politicians and activists believe is being used by pimps to traffic young girls. "Village Voice Media must ensure that children and teenagers are not being abused in the commercial sex industry with help from their website," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/sex-trafficking-changeorg-backpagecom_n_1317627.html" target="_hplink">said Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan/Bronx) in a press release.</a> Learn more about the petition -- and sign it -- <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-village-voice-media-to-stop-child-sex-trafficking-on-backpage-com" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Allow A Gay Mom To Volunteer With Tiger Scouts

    Jennifer Tyrrell was dismissed from her position as a den leader with her son's Tiger Scouts group because she's gay. "I'm heartbroken,"<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/22/jennifer-tyrrell-ousted-boy-scouts-den-mother-speaks_n_1443803.html" target="_hplink">Tyrell told the Huffington Post.</a> Despite the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy, Tyrell hopes to get her position back with the help of a <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/boy-scouts-of-america-reinstate-cub-scout-leader-who-was-removed-for-being-gay" target="_hplink">petition</a> that's garnered 275,744 signatures.

  • Help Teacher Fired For Supporting Trayvon Martin Fundraiser

    After offering to help her students organize a fundraiser for the family of slain teen Trayvon Martin, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/brooke-harris-michigan-teacher-fired-trayvon-martin-fundraiser_n_1414870.html" target="_hplink">a Michigan journalism teacher was fired from her job.</a> Learn more about Harris' mission and sign the petition to help reinstate Brooke Harris' position<a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/fired-for-teaching-about-trayvon-re-hire-brooke-harris-at-pontiac-academy-for-excellence" target="_hplink"> here</a>.

  • Protect Dogs In Puppy Mills

    To keep breeders from packing puppies into mills, a number of states are taking steps to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/puppy-protection-act-michigan-breeders-puppy-mills_n_1428512.html" target="_hplink">limit the number of female dogs they're allowed to own </a>, among other regulations. A <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/petland-usa-stop-selling-pets-fire-puppy-mills-petland-canada-has" target="_hplink">Change.org petition </a> is calling for even stricter regulations to be implemented on a national scale. It's urging Petland USA to stop buying dogs from puppy mills altogether, as its Canadian counterpart has. To learn more about the petition and to sign it, click <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/petland-usa-stop-selling-pets-fire-puppy-mills-petland-canada-has" target="_hplink"> here</a>.

  • Conflict-Free Apple Products

    As hot as Apple products are, some customers are eagerly pushing for an improved feature: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefani-jones/post_2850_b_1236815.html" target="_hplink">conflict-free products</a>. Advocates are specifically urging the company to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefani-jones/post_2850_b_1236815.html" target="_hplink">stop mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. </a> To push Apple CEO Tim Cooke to take the next step in manufacturing conflict-free products, sign the Change.org petition <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/ceo-of-apple-inc-make-a-conflict-free-product-that-includes-minerals-from-eastern-congo" target="_hplink"> here.</a>

  • Create Caylee's Law

    To help prevent such senseless tragedies as the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony from happening again, child advocates are pushing for the passing of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/07/caylees-law-petition-casey-anthony_n_892317.html" target="_hplink">Caylee's law</a>, which would make not reporting a missing child to police a crime. To learn more about the petition and to sign it, click <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/create-caylee-s-law-3" target="_hplink">here. </a>

  • Let Therapy Dog Into School

    To help improve his behavior and academic progress, Sean Forsythe, a second grader with autism, relies on his therapy dog -- a support system that isn't allowed in his Pennsylvania elementary school. "She sees things before we do," Sean's mother, <a href="http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/03/21/boy-with-autism-wants-to-bring-service-dog-to-school/" target="_hplink">told CBS</a> of the dog's role. To urge the administration reverse its decision, Sean's parents have set up a petition on Change.org, which you can learn more about and sign <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/let-sophia-into-school" target="_hplink"> here</a>.

  • End Hunger And Poverty

    As the G8 leaders prepare to meet, urge them to pay close attention to the global fight to end poverty and hunger. "Malnutrition leads to irreversibly stunted development and shorter, less productive lives," a petition addressed to the G8 leaders reads. "Less productive lives mean no escape from poverty. We have to break this cycle." To learn more about the petition and to sign it, click <a href="http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/382/826/972/" target="_hplink"> here</a>.

  • Protect Wolves

    Soon after Congress took wolves in the Northern Rockies off of the endangered species list, Idaho and Montana planned to allow wolf hunts, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/16/wolves-endangered-list-congress_n_850046.html" target="_hplink">the AP reports</a>. <a href="http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/wolf_torture_and_execution_continues_in_the_northern_rockies" target="_hplink">Outraged by the cruelty,</a> and determined to protect wolves from harm, the Center for Biological Diversity, started a <a href="http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/247/332/306/" target="_hplink"> campaign</a> to keep wolves save from hunters. To learn more about the petition and to sign it, click <a href="http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/247/332/306/" target="_hplink"> here</a>.

  • Save The Home Of 2 Sisters Suffering From Rare Diseases

    A community stepped in when Kathy Sontag's two daughters were diagnosed with rare immune disorders to install a better ventilation system in their home. Now, that improved house is up for foreclosure, <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/wells-fargo-save-the-home-of-bone-marrow-transplant-recipients" target="_hplink">according to Kathy's petition on Change.org</a>. "I just want to be able to live in the home I've lived in for years with my daughters and to continue to make mortgage payments at a reasonable level," Sontag writes. To learn more about the petition and to sign it, click <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/wells-fargo-save-the-home-of-bone-marrow-transplant-recipients" target="_hplink"> here</a>.