Fulbright: How the 1st Social Network Adapts to SM
Sixty years before Zuckerberg, Senator J. William Fulbright had a revolutionary idea: connect people around the world to share ideas. Born out of WWII, his vision was “public diplomacy”: exchange regular citizens of various countries to interact, share knowledge, become friends, and stay connected for life.
In the social media era, are international exchange programs like Fulbright still relevant for public diplomacy? Can social networks create the same intercultural experiences online, serving more people at lower cost? Early Fulbrighters traveled on ships and stayed in touch by letter; now they fly and friend on Facebook. Have these programs outlived their usefulness when we can instantly Skype with anyone anywhere?
The exploding number of Fulbright applications since 2001 says “no”. This panel will explore why, discussing the challenges and opportunities public diplomacy programs face in the digital age, and how participants are putting the internet at the center of their projects.
Doug is a nationally recognized media trainer, project strategist and career coach. A former Knight International Press Fellow and current William S. Fulbright Senior Specialist, Doug spent 21.5 years as a producer and director at NPR in Washington DC. While at NPR, he created and ran a professional development program for young people titled "next generation radio" and built NPR's "Intern Edition." Currently, he’s co-director of a startup camp funded by the Ford Foundation to develop journalists of color as tomorrow's media CEO's and works as a consultant in developing youth media enterprises and journalism curriculum in-class, on-air and online.
Katie Day Good received a Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship in 2008 to Mexico, where she studied youth revivals of traditional music and produced audio documentaries for the Fulbright-mtvU blog. She is now a PhD student in Media, Technology, and Society at Northwestern University as well as an Alumni Ambassador for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Katie's doctoral research focuses on intersections between educational technology and internationalism in the United States after World War I. At SXSWi she will discuss the benefits and challenges of adapting international research and exchange to social media platforms.
Meg Neff is a contracted Public Affairs Assistant for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, where she is responsible for social media strategy. She manages the Fulbright Facebook Page as well as the Fulbright.State.Gov website.
She has worked with the U.S. Department of State since 2010 focusing on international outreach and engagement. During that time she has supported U.S. posts and embassies worldwide to incorporate social and new media into their existing media and outreach strategies to increase public diplomacy and engagement opportunities using new technologies.
Vijay Renganathan is the Senior Program Officer for Social Media and Digital Strategy in the Fulbright Student Program, working at the Institute of International Education (IIE). He is responsible for social media feeds, brand integration, marketing campaign strategies, digital engagement projects, and campus and conference outreach.
He has previously administered several IIE programs targeted at U.S. student scientists, and administered the Central American & Caribbean Regional Program for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Prior to IIE, he was a Teach For America Corps Member and middle school teacher in East Palo Alto, CA.