Watch the film to find out what Agha says about his life and what he thinks about terrorism. Then reconsider what you think are Pakistan’s greatest problems.
People, Spaces, Deliberation bloggers present exceptional campaign art from all over the world. These examples are meant to inspire.
charity: water, launched its annual "September Campaign" this month in which the organization selects a country or region for targeted support. This year, the Sahel region was chosen, and the September Campaign seeks to bring clean water to 100,000 people of Mali and Niger that are living in the strip of land between the Sahara desert to the north and the Sudanian Savannah to the south. The area is frequently affected by drought and famine, and access to clean water is rare.
Unlike other nonprofits that speak about the organization and mission first, charity: water puts their supporters at the center of their communications and empowers them to tell personal stories and fundraise individually, using a method known as inbound marketing. Inbound marketing promotes an organization through blogs, video, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, and other forms of content marketing which attract the attention of key audiences and draw people to their website. By contrast, buying attention through advertisements, cold-calling, direct paper mail, and radio, are considered "outbound marketing."
Central to their inbound marketing method, charity: water appeals to supporters to start 'your own campaign.' The website offers visitors the ability to, "start a fundraising campaign and bring clean drinking water to people in need around the world." The personalized and social nature of the campaign allows people to share their own stories and encourage friends and followers to do the same. Supporters have been creative with their campaigns, starting birthday fundraisers, running marathons, and welcoming newborns with donations.
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Out in the Open: This Man Wants to Turn Data Into Free Food (And So Much More)
Let’s say your city releases a list of all trees planted on its public property. It would be a godsend—at least in theory. You could filter the data into a list of all the fruit and nut trees in the city, transfer it into an online database, and create a smartphone app that helps anyone find free food. Such is promise of “open data”—the massive troves of public information our governments now post to the net. The hope is that, if governments share enough of this data with the world at large, hackers and entrepreneurs will find a way of putting it to good use. But although so much of this government data is now available, the revolution hasn’t exactly happened.
Four mobile-based tools that can bring education to millions
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, Nelson Mandela is famed for saying. Yet access to good quality learning is still denied to millions around the world, particularly in developing countries where teaching standards and education facilities are often poor. The ubiquity of mobile phones is presenting educators with a new, low-cost tool for teaching. Here we look at four mobile-based solutions delivering real results for low-income learners.
From the melting snow of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics to the stifling heat of the Australian Open Tennis Championships in Melbourne, climate change is proving relentless.
So are we going to sit back and let it ravage our lives and love of sport? As a former member of the Polish National Olympic Team in cycling, I definitely hope not. Let’s unite the power of sport with the might of social media and face up to the world’s environmental enemy number one.
Fact – temperatures are rising
According to the World Bank, Earth could warm from its current global mean temperature of 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels to as high as 4°C by 2100.
What does that mean? More extreme heat waves, causing global health, socio-political and economic ramifications. The President of The World Bank is calling for action to hold warming below 2° C. The question is, what can we do?
Exploring ideas, innovations and fresh approaches to our world is at the heart of the public sphere. People, Spaces, Deliberation brings you significant voices from academia and the practice of development through a series of interviews.
Do conventional notions of privacy still exist? Are we trading privacy for convenience? If privacy is a thing of the past, is this a bad thing?
According to Professor Silvio Waisbord, an expert on global media, development, and social change, the answer is mixed. People trade the downsides of losing privacy in exchange for convenience, simplification, and other social factors.
The interesting question for him is, "What do people typically do when they are confronted with the fact that you are one of the main perpetrators of your loss of privacy. What do you do about that? Are you willing to make changes about that?"
“When you smile, the world smiles back.”
We all know that smiling helps lift our moods as well as the moods of others. Each time you smile at someone, you entice them to smile back. But what about the messages we post online?
Turns out, Facebook has been conducting a social psychology experiment on some of its users, and the results confirm what we already know… but in a surprising way.
In the experiment, Facebook manipulated the number of negative and positive posts appearing in the news feeds of some users. When Facebook reduced the number of positive posts appearing in a news feed, making it feel more negative, individuals not only shared fewer positive posts but actually shared more negative posts, spreading the negativity they received. Conversely, when negative posts were reduced, making news feeds seem more positive, users produced fewer negative posts and more positive posts. The study demonstrates the concept of emotional contagion (EC), the process by which a person or a group influences the emotions and affective behavior of another person or group through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotions.
This infographic by SumoCoupon shows what happens on Facebook each minute, as a billion-plus users navigate the social media site. Turns out, they share 3.2 million posts, upload 243,000 photos and send 150,000 messages.
Imagine that you’re a citizen of a country that has just experienced one of the worst earthquakes in history. You, your neighbors, and fellow country-men are immediately thrown into danger, chaos, and destitution. As one of the fortunate survivors, you wait for authorities to provide medical care, shelter, food, and other immediate needs, but you receive little or no help. Yet, to your surprise, a large group of ordinary citizens begin organizing a massive disaster response by using blogs, twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks. Their efforts have provided you with life-saving resources. And all of a sudden, within days, digital technologies have facilitated an entire social movement around this earthquake. These are the types of stories that Steven Livingston and Gregor Walter-Drop examine in their new edited series, Bits and Atoms: Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood.
If you are interested in digital media and politics, there is a plethora of literature on the role of ICTs in powerful political systems in the industrialized world. However, there has been very little focus on the role of digital technology in weak states with inadequate governance systems. Bits and Atoms is a comprehensive volume that examines the extent to which ICTs can help fill governance voids in a number of countries in Eastern Europe, Sub-Sahara Africa, and the Middle East. A distinguished group of scholars attempt to answer some important questions like, “Can ICTs help fill the gap between pressing human needs and weak states’ ability to meet them? Can communities use ICTs to meet challenges such as indiscriminate violence, disease, drought, famine, crime, and other problems arising from deficient and non-responsive state institutions? How does ICT affect the legitimacy of the state?”
The Transformative Impact of Data and Communication on Governance
How do improvements in information and communication technology (ICT) effect governance? Many have studied the role of the Internet in governance by state institutions. Others have researched how technology changes the way citizens make demands on governments and corporations. A third area concerns the use of technology in countries where the government is weak or altogether missing. In this case technology can fill, if only partially, the governance vacuum created by a fragile state.
Can Facebook’s Massive Courses Improve Education For Developing Nations?
Facebook is on a mission to prove that social media-empowered education can help some of the poorest nations on Earth. It recently announced a big industry and Ivy League alliance to bring experimental educational software to Rwanda, providing Internet access and world-class instructional resources to their country’s eager students. However, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) aren’t yet proven to work at scale even in the most well-resourced nations, let alone in a country with uneven access to technology and arguably limited educational opportunities. We took a look at what experts and evidence had to say about the prospects of Facebook’s education project.
“Most teens aren’t addicted to social media; if anything, they’re addicted to each other.”
- Danah Boyd, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center.