Communicating for social action
MANILA, Philippines - "A campaign begins with a desire to tell a story," 23-year-old Anna Oposa emphatically told her fellow youth at the Digital Technology for Social Change forum held at the Ateneo de Naga on February 27.
The room fell silent as though anticipating a lecture on creative writing, a short course Oposa took in New York before enrolling in English Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman.
But Oposa immediately perked up the rather coy audience with a barrage of youthful witticisms, colorful visuals and anecdotes from her digital adventures which all make her advocacy on protecting the world's richest marine life more exciting.
Oposa's journey from school to the seas has been creating ripples not only in the country but also across the world.
As one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Shapers of the Philippines, she spoke at the organization's annual meeting held in Davos, Switzerland from January 25-29, 2012.
She also showcased her innovative local advocacy to protect the seas at the British Council’s Global Change makers Summit in New Delhi, India last year.
Oposa is neither a scientist nor a lawyer like her renowned environmentalist father, Tony Oposa.
The elder Oposa is known for winning a case in the Philippine Supreme Court that introduced the internationally recognized legal doctrine on inter-generational equity which recognizes the environmental rights of future generations.
The younger Oposa applied what her father taught her. But she did it her way. "I know how to write," Oposa told an inspired audience.
Search for young leaders
Rappler and the British Council are looking for more young leaders like Anna Oposa who are driven to effect change and achieve great things not only for themselves, but for their country and the world.
Young people are at the center of this dynamic process as they have a unique opportunity to collectively shape the communities they are a part of – be they local or global.
Young leaders as communicators find themselves at a time when new technologies have opened enormous possibilities not just in exchanging information but also in creating dialogues that offer practical solutions to address social realities.
Their efforts in communicating for social change entail a capacity to translate their vision and experience through appropriate tools and technologies, an appreciation of diversity, and a thinking that is both strategic and long-term.
So if you are:
(1) 18-26 years old, Filipino
(2) actively engaged either as an initiator or a leader in community development work
(3) have a good track record of community service
(4) have a strong desire to effectively advocate for social transformation
Rappler and the British Council want you to be part of an event jointly sponsored from March 24 to 27 in Manila. The event, entitled "Communicating for Social Change," will provide an opportunity for young leaders to find their voice, gain new skills as facilitators of change, and grow their capacity for citizen action towards a more just world.
Communicating for social change
The event will allow participants to meet other dynamic young leaders and learn from leading communication and advocacy experts in a meaningful and exciting 4-day seminar that will cover the following themes:
(1) Effective Communication Strategies
Day 1 brings together different experts who will help you understand how to communicate with larger audiences through a good appreciation of the communication process.
(2) Championing Your Cause
Day 2 challenges you to think out of the box and discuss innovative ways to make yourself heard.
(3) Getting Support and Funding
Day 3 will give you effective techniques for getting buy-in, obtaining resources and funding for your initiatives.
(4) Utilizing New Media
Day 4 explores the many ways by which digital technology can be harnessed and used to create greater impact for your work.
Throughout the entire seminar, participants will also be given an opportunity to get feedback on their work and look at areas for enhancement.
Interested? Click here for the application process.
The seminar is organized by the British Council, United Kingdom's international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations, and Rappler, a social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change. - Rappler.com