I’m Doing It: Wireless Activism for Social Change

by Gloria Feldt on May 9th, 2012
in Employ Every Medium, Leadership, Power Tools, She's Doing It, Workplace and tagged , , , , ,

Being an activist does not always mean being political. Recently, I served as the moderator for a panel of media innovators who discussed how wireless technology is bringing about social change.

It was exciting to explore the tools currently being used, invented and dreamed of to create a better world at CTIA Wireless 2012, the international  wireless association conference in New Orleans. CTIA hosts this premiere industry conference for wireless, telecom and broadband as well as the key vertical markets that have entered into wireless.  Forty thousand service providers, manufacturers, developers, retailers, enterprise end-users and media attend the conference.

The all-woman panel on “Wireless Activism”, presented by the Women’s Media Center,  focused on how wireless tools are used by activists to create local and global transformation.

“The Women’s Media Center exists to change the status of women in the media – including new media,” said Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center. “Because 51 per cent of our population is women and only 3% of all clout positions in the media are held by women, we are working to advance opportunities for women and girls in the media through our monitoring, training, original content and activism.”

The panel I moderated featured Nancy Schwartzman, filmmaker and anti-violence activist who created the iPhone app Circle of 6, which helps prevent sexual violence. Schwartzman recently won the White Houses Apps Against Abuse technology challenge. “Technology can improve lives,” she said. “I am really motivated by creating communities where violence isn’t tolerated and people are making healthy, consensual decisions.” She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Line Campaign, a non-profit using media and action to end sexual violence.






Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

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2 Responses to I’m Doing It: Wireless Activism for Social Change

  1. Gloria Feldt says:

    The photo in my post looks about like the CTIA conference. There was not one single woman among the 14 keynote speakers, giving me a chance to quip that though I was sure main keynoter Bill Clinton was a fine speaker, I would rather have heard Hillary Clinton.

    On the panels featured, 10% of panelists were women and ours was the sole all-female panel. Not surprisingly, it was also the only panel that focused on social good. And it was a really great panel if I do say so myself. When the video of the panel is edited, I’ll share it here.

    A male attendee of our panel commented that it was the only panel he’d seen at the conference where the panelists actually asked the audience for ideas, as well as putting ours out for consideration. “Men,” he said, “like to impress the audience with how much they know rather than opening up the conversation.” Think that’s true?

  2. Gloria, thanks for this recap. I’m a web developer/designer specializing in designing sites for mobile devices and I’m hugely interested in what these women are doing with wireless technology. Mobile growth is phenomenal and I see with mobile device use a potential solution to the digital divide. But there’s also the potential for making missteps in which devices and capabilities we target – and still leaving out lots of underprivileged mobile users as an effect. Personally, I’ve seen a constant emphasis on iPhone applications to the detriment of services using unsexy technologies like the web and SMS that have more utility for more people.

    I would love to see this panel reassemble on the east coast so I could talk about these issues! These women all are awesome and I’d love to meet them.

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