In this inspiring TED talk, Wadah Khanfar, the head of Al Jazeera speaks optimistically about the changes sweeping the Arab world in recent weeks. Countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, and Lybia have all seen their communities stand up for change. For the first time in history, technology in the hands of the people, particularly social media networks, has been a key catalyst for empowering communities, and allowing them to speak up for what they believe in.
For decades western governments have tried to influence the region with peace talks, diplomacy, wars, sanctions, or financial investment. All attempts have largely failed. As Mr Khanfar puts it “connectivity has created new mindsets..that have continued to be faithful to the soil and to the land that it emerged from.” In other words, this new form of connectivity has given a voice to the “people” for the very first time. For communities to empower themselves to make change that previously was thought not possible. Despite their own Government’s attempts to shut down the country’s Internet connectivity, people were able to use the Internet and social media to communicate. To tell their story, and to stand up for change.
This is what I love about social media. It’s about bringing people together. It’s about forming communities. It’s about giving people a voice. In doing so it’s giving them power over their own destiny, and as seen in Egypt – making history in the process.
Social media for social good. This is what inspires me.