The Inner Impact of Web 2.0
In seeking to capture the potential of web 2.0 my first impulse is to write about how it can contribute to getting women’s stories, perspectives and ideas out into the world. It’s to speak of the improvement bound to follow as our diverse voices gain access to, and influence, the dominant storyline. Yet, as I consider this more deeply, another aspect catches my attention, and demands to be heard, one, which may in fact have far deeper repercussions: Namely that of women finding their voice.
My deeper excitement stems from the potential of new media to help us recognize the value of our voice, trust it, and let it speak more freely. This comes from the courage to announce myself to the world, as I share my experience using new media, but also from the reciprocal act of being heard and answered. In that I imagine an unfurling of confidence, clarity and courage. As people listen, my courage grows and my sense of self deepens: ‘I am a woman with a role to play. My journey matters’.
When I first began the work of constructing Kufunda Learning Village, a learning centre dedicated to learning our way into healthy and vibrant community, I felt very alone. I was a pioneer with a vision that people around me were attracted to, but did not really understand. This was ten years ago, before the time of Blogs and Facebook, and so I reached out through my journals to friends around the world; people who it turned out understood me more than many of those working side by side with me in Zimbabwe. They could send encouragement and affirmation from afar. I was lucky, I had a global network of fellow travelers, but for those who don’t, and even for me today, it feels that this act of sharing from an intimate place one’s quest, and hearing back voices of recognition and receiving acts of support, can strengthen and give real juice to each woman’s journey of creation. A friend of mine, a remarkable young woman, told me that she wants to create a blog and a website of her work with orphans, but that she has to wait until she can share her success. I gently challenged her to begin to share now, good and bad. This will surely help her grow her learning, her resolve and her community of support towards her aims, much more so than only sharing her success in some distant future.
As for me, I have just created my own platform, where I can continue to give voice to my experiences, and in that connect with others on a similar journey of bringing their unique and needed gifts to expression. For many of us, the Web 2.0 will not be our main platform, but it will help us connect more deeply to our selves, and our agency, as we dare reach out and connect to each other.
And out of this fertile ground anything is possible.