Uniting the ‘Unconnected’ ..
“I am only one - but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”(Hellen Keller) –
What can one individual do to change the world for better? - Change themselves? educate others ? join politics ? become a preacher? -- How about take a flip camera,create a Youtube/Twitter/Flicker/FB account and report and create awareness about stories/ issues from an angle you consider warrants world’s attention? - Ordinary citizens shaped discussions in media, culture, education and politics using Web 2.0. But can Web 2.0 tools do more about global issues and foster real, lasting change?
The prospect of using Web 2.0 to explore and create solutions is fascinating! This is exactly what electrifies me about Web 2.0 and this is exactly what the Uncultured Project does effectively – Finding solutions using Web2.0 !
The “UP “ is not a charity, NGO or any other formal institution – it was initiated by a simple, 29 yr old Canadian,Shawn Ahmed,who withdrew from grad school, packed his bags, grabbed a laptop & camcorder, and flew to Bangladesh (where his parents were born) to see how he could make a difference!!
His personal, connected approach and refreshing outlook on extreme global poverty has made UP more popular on Youtube than UNDP, WFP,Oxfam, Save the children’s channel (in terms of subscribers). The success of the project clearly exhibits that you don’t need to join the UN or a charity, be a part of formal organization or work in traditional media to make your point.
Shawn’s work not only aspires to reduce poverty, but also inspire many to do so. It’s more inspiring for me as a women since we face various organizational, social, economical bottlenecks in our society when we attempt to do something we’re passionate about.
Web2.0 platform provides a golden opportunity for us, 'the unconnected' , in bypassing these bottlenecks that seemed impossible few years ago
It’s interesting that many still assume women are just 'users' of Web 2.0 tools and do not participate in its development.
Well, think again! Rashmi Sinha of Slideshare; Marissa Mayer of Google; Caterina Fake of Flickr; Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post are visible examples of women shaping Web 2.0 technology itself. Women are building/collaborating with tech tools in helping women,too! HarassMap http://harassmap.wordpress.com seems like a good example of one such initiative to be launched soon in Egypt - Rebecca Chiao & others are using mapping system to enable women, anonymously report sexual harassment via sms as they happen!
My experience with Web2.0 is ever-evolving - my work with traditional media originated from a job posting on social media! working with old media really allowed me to comprehend addiction and excitement provided by new media. Using Web 2.0 tools, I am passionate about encouraging constructive dialogue and turning various views into tangible action.
I think the power of Web 2.0 is still largely untapped – it’s usage is in its infant stage and I dream to see women at the forefront tapping this power for social good !