Thanks to Autodesk, the GreenMBA at Dominican University of California was able to send 20 GreenMBA Candidates and Alumni to TEDxMarin on May 12th, 2011. At the event, we took note of the top innovations in the communications revolution. We've compiled these perspectives on innovation here in our blog.
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Student and Alumni Quotes on Innovation in the Communication Revolution
"The importance of personal narrative and the potentially revolutionary power of social media were woven throughout the different talks. Social media is so much more than a tool for shallow, myopic self-obsessing. It wrests control away from an elite set of gatekeepers and puts the means of production directly into the hands of the people. Connecting people in this way is sparking revolutions, changing the perception of nations, and increasing transparency. "The world is becoming a more connected place," shared speaker Olivia Ma, "and more connected people are more empathetic people."
"After leaving TEDx Marin I was reflecting on all the amazing speakers and realized that two thoughts kept coming to mind and bumping into each other. First was that I felt a sense of personal empowerment to take a more active role in not only the direction of my own life, but also it's meaning. The second thought was that now more than ever it is absolutely essential that we instill in our culture the ability to think critically about the information we receive. After 60 years of being on the receiving end of a one-way media stream that has arguably engineered our culture into mostly unsustainable habits, we now find ourselves in nearly complete control over the information we take in. Adding to this, is the responsibility that we can also contribute ideas just as easily as we absorb them with the social technologies available to us. However, we've been hit with these technologies so fast that we're still not quite sure what to do with them. Personally, I poke and prod them like I would some curious blob that fell out of the sky, seeing how the react and how I react. What we choose to experience and what we choose to share has direct and immediate influence over the future reality that we will find ourselves and our kids in one day. And after generations of having these choices made for us, it's now up to us. So the big question remains, what is guiding these choices now that we have so much autonomy? Feel free to share *your* thoughts on this..."
"One reinforcement I got from TedxMarin was that we all have stories to tell and now, with the social networking tools, is the time to do it. Tell our own personal narrative as opposed to letting the corporate media to do it. Our little actions when do it with others who have the common goals will lead to big changes. This is pretty much the premise behind my business idea (Kaisam Inc.) of citizen journalism and monetizing social media."
"Social media gives us a voice and a platform. We are not removed from society by sitting in front of our computers; we are now more connected than ever. With social media, we have the power to create our own message and tell our own stories. We can't control it; we can only unleash our stories onto the Internet and watch them become something bigger than ourselves."
"We are now in an age that our communication tools allow every individual's voice to be heard – an important concept for the progress of the human race. These human stories bring together people from all over the world to share in the human experience. No matter what political, religious, or cultural differences we have, it is this togetherness that will help each understand one another. I see us entering into an era where mass communication does not fall on the responsibility of a select few but a right to anyone who has something to share. We all feel love, we all feel pain, and we all want to be free – so lets figure it out together by telling our stories."
"While attending TEDxMarin, the notion of responsibility and opportunity that social media brings came across eminently through the perspectives the speakers shared. Traditional media has failed us, and created a imprisoned mindset limited by, ""isms."" It is now through the correct and mature use of the vast online platforms that we are able to shed light and educate. This shift of awareness can assist in the eradication of the consumer culture that is rapidly destroying our planet and the people whom inhabit her."
"The most innovative communications idea that I took away from TEDxMarin was had to do with reclaiming our power and identity through the process and channels of personal communication. This idea is so fundamentally important to our future that it transcended each topic and idea discussed during the wonderful event. The message is that if we do not begin to recognize the importance of telling our own stories, thereby shaping our own identities, a corporation or government will gladly step in to do so for us. The successes of the "It Gets Better Project", the "Guerilla Aid" projects, the film "Miss Representation", and examples of current threats to our free speech by government and private industry each highlights exactly how important it has become for people to understand how our stories, and the process of storytelling, have been taken away from us and why the innovation and prosperity of our society is ultimately dependent on this fight."
"In this day and age of extremely innovative and personalized communications, I recognize through the TEDx Marin talks that my story, framework, perception of reality, and personal identity are uniquely mine to live and define however I choose to do so. Traditional media communications have taught me differently... Not only me but the vast majority of us have grown up looking outward rather than inward to define ourselves. Traditional commercial media such as the television have told us who we are and what we want from it's first inception. However, with the creation and adoption of social media we have the opportunity for the first time in history, to share our individual voices and define ourselves on our own terms. No longer do we have to identify ourselves with certain commercial archetypes and then be told that we are not good enough and that only if we buy something we will then align with our identity better. Through social media, we may hear and be heard and validated on the most micro level which may or may not spread our ideas up to a very macro scale. As Robert Tercek said in his TEDx Marin talk, ""today we have the opportunity to reclaim the power of the personal narrative... We should no longer allow the out-sourcing of our personal stories and identities to those who do not really know us."" I believe this idea provides a reframing of our understanding of the power and potential for social media and communications. In understanding the potential this new form of communication has, we have the opportunity not only to connect to others with our true identities but to help others understand and have compassion for who we are and where we come from."
~Risa De Ferrari
"The most innovative communications idea from TEDxMarin was from Olivia Ma - that sharing transcendent experiences via video can help change the world. Olivia gave the example of the ""It Gets Better"" campaign, in which gay and lesbian role models share their stories to help teens make it through difficult times of pressure and discrimination. Telling stories about ourselves can help others and further a movement. Telling stories that are larger than ourselves can make a significant difference in the world."
"I loved the idea of open source civilization -- a "how to" manual for all the machinery needed to make food, clothing, shelter, transportation. Olivia Ma did a great job describing the human impulse that leads to posting videos on YouTube. Also: "If you can see it, you can be it.""
"Social media, growing concerns of web-based freedom, and Youtube phenomenon. social media touches our minds and moves our fingertips to action. It has changed life, moves money, creates jobs, reconnects loved ones, and over throws tyrannical regimes. Governments are fearful of social medias power to move people to action. Youtube quickly changes the perspective of story telling in a world account of people on the frontline sharing there story. We need social media to continue to grow and cultural diversity and diversity perspective to solve complex social issues."
"To create a communication of authenticity - to bring your personal story & share with integrity....like so many of the social justice workers that Olivia Ma (YouTube news manager) spoke about."