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Web Connectivity Empowers Humanity

In 2004, on a cross-country flight, I asked my seatmate her profession and she replied “brain surgeon”. I replied, “Wow, my son had brain surgery.” She made the same inquiry of me and I replied, “rocket scientist” to which she replied, “No way. My husband is a rocket scientist.” When I arrived home my husband and our 5-year old son were there to greet me, and I confronted the reality that while others were working to improve our quality of life, I was working to make better missiles more affordable. I quit my job the next day, though it took my employer months to accept my resignation.

I have been truly blessed for despite its troubled past and recent problems, a female in America can attend the best universities in the world yet feel free to change her mind about her profession without fear or stigma. I have sat in classrooms with women whose daily lives were filled with fear, and yet these women, even when given the opportunity to remain in safety, choose to return to their homelands to help their fellow citizens. They give me hope for the world, while at the same time making me aware of my responsibility to do more.

As an electrical engineer, I am naturally excited about technologies that advance humankind. I grasp that Web 2.0 allows women to safely speak their minds much like the automobile improved women’s ability to travel. With the advent of social media, women can now safely seek or provide help. Atrocities once hidden are easily made visible. Barbaric or corrupt policies are straightforwardly exposed. Through the use of social media, I can coordinate resources from around the world to help people in a distant land safely from my home. I can connect with women around the globe and peer into their lives.

Web 2.0 aids in the formation of coalitions to affect change in remote places. By capitalizing on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, PayPal and Webinaires, we can inform and ignite the masses to quickly mobilize people in ways only previously imagined. For instance, when the recent earthquake devastated Haiti, with a few posts and clicks on the “Share” button I was able to connect with resources throughout the U.S. to coordinate relief to Haiti.

Web 2.0 allows me to interact with others at a scale my parents never envisioned they would experience, and despite their advanced age they are computer literate, as is my sight impaired brain damaged cerebral palsied son. Web 2.0 facilitates his home schooling. The friends I have made through my social networks are a source of strength for me as I try to create a new reality, one in which I am a Peace Advocate. I now have over 2,800 Facebook friends from around the world and hearing of the similar and dissimilar challenges and experiences invigorates me.

I am still trying to find my voice and I am excited that Web 2.0 is there to help me be heard.


Christine L's picture

So inspirational.

Karen, your personal narrative and how it is shaped by technology is an inspiration and speaks volumes about the potential of Web 2.0 as a support system, advocacy tool and learning resource. Thank you for sharing this.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi

Myrthe's picture

Thank you!

Karen, thank you for a very inspirational post. I loved how you showed how technology and web 2.0 shaped and influenced you (and still do) and how they can be used to improve other people's and our own lives.


amymorros's picture

Forming Coalitions

Thank you for your thoughts on 2.0. The personal story you shared made your insights so powerful and I appreciated your comments on the opportunity we all have to form coalitions.


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