Harnessing the Power of the Benevolent Internet
Despite the mainstream portrayal of the web as a den of pedophiles and hackers, the Internet is capable of doing a whole lot of good. Panelists Alexis Ohanian (co-founder of Reddit; founder of Breadpig), Dan McComas and Jessica Moreno (founders, RedditGifts), Christina Xu (founder, Institute on Higher Awesome Studies; co-founder, ROFLCon), and Zach Walker (Donor Relations Manager, DonorsChoose.org) will give the low-down on the benevolent side of the hivemind. From communities of pizza-sending well-wishers to campaigns that generate hundreds of thousands of dollars and tons of attention for nonprofits, this panel will examine and discuss the unexpected phenomenon of strangers helping each other (and the world) en masse. We’ll debate whether these actions make a real impact and lead to long-term engagement, identify the unique benefits (and disadvantages) of pseudonymous grassroots philanthropy, give tips on getting your very own do-goodery snowball rolling, and show you so many heartwarming stories that you’ll think someone is cutting onions.
Graduated from UVA in 2005 and put my history major to work co-founding reddit.com. Sold it to Condé Nast in 2006 and continued doodle the reddit alien for another three years until retiring for a Kiva Fellowship in Armenia. Founded Breadpig, Inc., an uncorporation that's responsible for bringing geeky things into the world like LOLmagnetz and xkcd: volume 0 -- and donating all the profits (over $150,000 given away so far!). I'm also currently the marketing guy at Hipmunk.
Thanks to a whale, I gave a TED talk in 2009.
My dad and I are also professional downtrodden Skins fans. I love hummus.
Christina Xu grew up on the internet and is the founding director of the Institute on Higher Awesome Studies, the nonprofit wing of the Awesome Foundation. She also works at Breadpig, an uncorporation trying to make the world suck less by harnessing the goodwill of geeks worldwide. She is one of the co-founders of ROFLCon, a conference that celebrates and investigates internet communities and their cultures.She is delighted by inside jokes that cross borders, clever reappropriations, the social rituals around technology, delicious food, and ridiculously loud subwoofers. She tweets compulsively about these things @chrysaora.
I am the founder of redditgifts where we exchange gifts and organize internet do-goodery. redditgifts started in a thread on reddit and has since been acquired by reddit and I am now a full time reddit employee.
Zach works to create and maintain happy relationships with DonorsChoose.org supporters. He manages the donor user experience, oversees donor customer service and communication, and serves as the DonorsChoose.org ambassador to reddit. Previously, he worked for Google as a marketing consultant, and spent 4 years with Warner Music Group marketing and selling a lot of bad records. A few good ones.