#Kony2012: What Does 70+ Million Views Mean?
The recent campaign film on Uganda by Invisible Children - 'Kony 2012' calling for the arrest of war criminal Joseph Kony has had a dramatic reach unseen for any previous human rights video online. Within one week it has been seen over 70 million times on YouTube. How has it spread so far and so fast? It has also drawn a strong backlash of criticism - is it promoting stereotypes and paternalistic, is it promoting the wrong solution for the problems of Uganda? This panel will include perspectives from online advocacy, from video documentary, and human rights activism to ask: What can we learn from the spectacular online reach of the Kony 2012 film, what are the critiques of it from perspectives of representation and advocacy choices, and can we evaluate and prioritize these different perspectives?
Cheryl Contee, Partner at Fission Strategy, specializes in helping non-profit organizations and foundations use social media to create social good. She is also the co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics writing as “Jill Tubman” on one of the top 10 black blogs online. Cheryl is included in The Root 100 list of established and emerging African-American leaders. Huffington Post listed her among their Top Female Founders In Tech to Follow on Twitter in 2011. Fast Company has named her one of their 2010 Most Influential Women in Tech. She has over 15 years of award-winning interactive expertise and previously served as Vice President and lead digital strategist for Fleishman-Hillard’s West Coast region in San Francisco. Cheryl has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Magazine, BBC, and CNN, among other media appearances. She is also proud to serve on several boards and advisory committees: Netroots Nation, BlogHer, Blogging While Brown, Applied Research Center, and CommonGoods.Net. She received her B.A. from Yale University and has an International Executive M.B.A. from Georgetown University. In her spare time, Ms. Contee enjoys hiking, yoga, movies and tai chi sword.
Christie George is the Director of New Media Ventures, the first US network of early stage investors supporting startups that create progressive political change. Previously based in London as a consultant to think tanks, international development organizations and media startups, Christie is a recognized leader in the field of social enterprise.
She started her career at a venture capital firm and has extensive media experience, including six years managing sales and marketing efforts for Women Make Movies, the world's leading distributor of films by and about women. She is a co-founder and on the Board of LoudSauce, the crowdfunded media-buying platform for ideas that matter.
Christie received her MBA with distinction from the University of Oxford where she was a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship and graduated with the Said Prize, awarded annually to the class's top student. She received her BA from Yale University. She was recently named a Social Citizen Ambassador by the Case Foundation.
Gilad Lotan is the VP of Research and Development for SocialFlow, where he utilizes data driven approaches to draw insight and understanding from social streams. Previously, Gilad served as a program manager at Microsoft's FUSE labs. Past work includes 'Retweet Revolution', visualizing the flow of information during the 2009 #IranElection riots, an IJOC study investigating the relationship between mainstream media and social media and 'Engaging News Hungry Audiences Tweet by Tweet', an analysis of media Twitter audiences. Gilad has presented at TED, IXDA, Summit Series, ICWSM, HICCS and CHI.
Sam Gregory is a human rights advocate, trainer and producer who helps people use the power of the moving image and participatory technologies to create human rights change. Currently the Program Director at WITNESS running its 'Cameras Everywhere' initiative - on empowering milllions of people to use video effectively and ethically - and an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. On the Board of the US Campaign for Burma, and Advisory Board of Games for Change. In 2010, a Rockefeller Bellagio Resident on the future of video-based advocacy.
WITNESS (www.witness.org) is the global pioneer in using video to expose human rights abuses, empowering people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change. Founded in 1992, WITNESS has partnered with human rights groups in over 80 countries, trained over 3,000 human rights defenders, developed key tools for using video online, and supported the inclusion of video in over 100 campaigns, increasing their visibility and impact. Today, WITNESS focuses on intense campaigning partnerships on five continents, on sharing best practices with the growing number of people using video-for-change, and on improving the ability of the millions of citizens turning their cameras on abuse to do so safety, ethically and effectively.
TMS “Teddy” Ruge is currently serving as the lead social media strategist for the Connect4Climate campaign at the World Bank. In 2007, he cofounded Project Diaspora, an online platform for mobilizing, engaging and motivating members of Africa Diaspora to engage in matters important to the continent’s development. A technology enthusiast, Ruge writes and speaks extensively on Africa’s current renaissance driven by technology, youth and the Diaspora. He is a frequent contributor to several online publications including CNN, PopTech, The Globe and Mail, and The Guardian. In January 2012, he was recently received a Champion of Change award by the White House for his community development work in East Africa.
Over the past four years, TMS Ruge has worked in East Africa with various grassroots organizations, businesses and communities that are using online tools and innovations in the ICT sector, to maintain a competitive edge and foster a global presence. His work includes serving as a founding board member of Hive Colab in Kampala, Uganda -- a co-working space for young entrepreneurs working on web applications in Uganda, in which they are able to meet and collaborate on software applications designed to solve the most challenging problems in their communities.
As an active social entrepreneur, he is a director and shareholder in Uganda Medicinal Plants Growers, ltd., an agricultural start up dedicated to the value-added export of indigenous medicinal crops. By introducing local processing, farmers are able to attract lucrative international customers in need of organically grown and processed raw materials.
Ruge is also the host of The Digital Continent Podcast, an interview podcast featuring the key innovators and entrepreneurs whose work is shaping the digital economies of Africa.
Ruge is currently serving as the Lead Social Media Strategist at the World Bank’s Connect4Climate climate change platform.
He was born in Masindi, Uganda and grew up in Uganda, Kenya and the United States.