Media for Change is a Florida based non-profit organization committed to discovering, defining and sharing best practices in media change making of the 21st century.
On November 17, 2016 we will hold a global virtual event that will bring together top media makers and thinkers internationally to discuss the role of media in building a better world.
Media makers around the world are addressing globally cross-cutting themes like climate change, sustainability, poverty, security, labor and migration… While mainstream media play a significant role in shaping public perceptions on such issues, independent voices have lost ground as a public sphere influence. This conference is one effort to link up and shine a light on independent thinking and media making about global problems and their potential solutions.
The 12-hour event will consist of 4 global hubs where people will gather for 3 hours before passing the baton to the next venue. Each venue will have a keynote and 2 panels. Screenings and exhibitions of submitted works will take place asynchronously and a virtual exhibit that attendees can visit starting a week leading up to the conference and during the conference. The exhibition will close two weeks after the conference.
Four institutions will serve as international hubs for the event. They are:
- Temple University, Japan Campus, Tokyo.
- School of Journalism, English and Communication, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK
- School of Communication, University of Miami, USA
- SENAC, São Paulo, Brazil
- The Engagement Lab at Emerson College, Boston, USA will serve as the curator of all exhibits at the conference.
The conference will be hosted on the multi-feature professional platform vConferenceOnline. While a screen will be dedicated to live streaming of conference events, online viewers will be able to participate in the conversation in real time through social media channels such as twitter, facebook etc. A virtual exhibition hall will be constructed under a separate tab. Exhibitors and sponsors will have access to multi-feature virtual booths to showcase their work.
The live program will be archived online for posterity.
Temple University, Tokyo, Japan
Digital Cities: Communities and Connectivity in the 21st Century
Cities are large human settlements with a high concentration of people and often the center of a nations’ activities. Today the fastest growing megalopoli in the word are mostly located in Asia, a hub for tremendous innovation in the technological sector. Trying to integrate adequate urban development with a solid communication technology infrastructure is challenging. Despite fast advances in the digital sphere, disparity is visible non only compared to rural areas, but also in terms of the the connectivity and access of city dwellers to information systems.
In this segment, Temple University Japan will bring together social scientists, academics, journalists, academics, media makers, activists, to discuss developing proposals and success projects that integrate citizen engagement, policies, operations, logistics, technology and data in order to create a developed digital infrastructure efficiently serves citizens.
How do you develop interactive systems and urban informatics that improve the the quality of life those living in cities? How to develop a smart city? It seems to be about needs and sometimes about demands. Often it's been about natural disasters or outside threats that that forced governments to develop networks and projects that promote faster delivery of information.
Participants in this dialogue will discuss digital experiments that have been or are in the process of being implemented and evaluate their success and failures. Where is the future taking us?
Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University, Sonepat, India
World's Largest Democracy in the Age of Social Media
As media evolved in the 18th Century, over 200 years it has formed and shaped the perception of citizens across nations. Traditionally termed as the fourth pillar of democracy, today media has the anchoring effect of forming public opinion – be it through newspaper, television, cinema, the internet or more recently, through social media.
As media strives to be the mirror which reflects the truth and realities of our time, it comes to question who is the authority which gets to decide what reality is, or whose version of reality is the higher or more urgent. As the units of media turn increasingly institutionalized, corporate ownership and commercial pressures begin to influence media content. The information capital starts being used as a tool for propaganda as against being an instrument to create a more informed citizenry.
Through this session at Ashoka University, New Delhi, we will attempt to unravel to what extent social media has played a role in the making and breaking of Indian elections. With a focus on the Indian Elections of 2014, we will try to answer why Twitter outrages have gained such mainstream media coverage, and broader questions about how the avenues of social media have made it a conducive environment for people with similar views to congregate and build a singular narrative of social information. The primary concern to be raised is - will this advent of an alternate, revolutionary forum of media make the society more or less democratic.
Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK
Migration and Coexistence: Media and Empathy in the 21st Century
The media are often accused of stereotyping 'the Other' and fuelling nationalism and hatred. As millions of people around the world are being displaced or face conflict, humanitarian crises and natural disasters, and as many societies are facing complex challenges of multiculturalism and coexistence, the media - old and new - can also be powerful facilitators of empathy and intercultural understanding.
In this segment of the Media for Change conference, Bournemouth University will bring together journalists, academics, media makers, policy makers, artists and activists to debate current trends in the reporting of global current affairs; to curate examples of best practice; and to showcase innovative modes of storytelling that cross borders, bridge divides, inform, educate and engage audiences.
We invite creative, academic and journalistic input and contributions from both established and emerging experts and practitioners. Our emphasis is on storytelling that combines converged or cutting edge techniques with the most fundamental principles of human communication: sharing experiences, preserving and processing memories, articulating hopes and dreams, underlining our common humanity. This is an opportunity to migrate ideas via media across international borders to promote empathy. Participants in this dialogue will be actively embodying the ethos we aim to celebrate.
University of Miami, Coral Gables, USA
The world is worried about the prospect of feeding 7 billion people sustainably in the near future. While food media has become standard fare on television and news media, the coverage has not yet focused on the interconnectedness of questions surrounding human rights, sustainability, health, innovations and cultural preservation embedded in providing food for populations. Sessions at the University of Miami will focus on this interconnectedness and innovative digital media strategies to bring the stories of food and sustainability to audiences in impactful ways.
The program will include filmmakers, thinkers and activists who will showcase their work and discuss media strategies and impact of their work.
SENAC, São Paulo, Brazil
In recent years Brazil has seen a flurry of street level activism demanding changes in fundamental areas of national life and public social policy. Digital media played a significant role in the organization and execution of these major events, evidencing the effectiveness of direct one-to-many and peer communication strategies bypassing the mainstream media. Protesters created virtual networks using smart phones and alternative audiovisual materials to inform peers and the public in real time about happenings out in the streets. The mainstream media picked up this alternative coverage as live sources amplifying the voice from the streets. The sessions at Senac Lapa Scipião in São Paulo will highlight how groups and individuals have made use of the digital media able to reach the public and advance their causes.