Web of Change 10:10 – The IntersectionJuly 27, 2010 Leave a comment
The recent Shirley Sherrod debacle unfolds with a thousand lessons, among these are the very fact that whether we have a black President or not, the issue of race is alive and well in the United States. The incident also points to the potentially explosive concoction of new media technology and a 24hr “news” cycle, of the politics of spectacle and a culture of fear among our “leaders.” Even as technology is changing everything – our deepest wounds are yet to heal, and our suppressed demons continue to show their many heads.
This being said – I am an optimist! I trust the directionality of our current paradigm shift. I have placed my bet on the democratizing nature of our emergent technologies and I am pleased by the undoing of hierarchical structures that have defined our world thus far. I think everything is up for grabs, I believe we are rediscovering aspects of our human nature that we had forgotten we had. I think that in this challenging period of change the good people of the world have an advantage that we have not had in a long time.
We have entered an age that thrives on connectivity and trust, it rewards authenticity and transparency, it invites decentralization and volunteer labor all the while the old structures scratch their heads seeking ways to monetize the gift. We have an edge here. If you are bold enough to connect and to build trust, if you have the courage to be your authentic self and if you fundamentally believe that people should be part of the decisions that affect their lives – then you get to have an advantage in truly shaping our new world.
You might have heard it all before, the tech world has done a good job of moving this conversation forward. But we are still falling short at the intersection; too many tech savvy spaces are still overly defined by privilege and a homogenizing culture. And this is where Web of Change comes in! The intersection of tech and new media brilliance, the good intentions and social awareness of those who play on the web have a place to come together with the expertise, experience and passion of front line movement leadership.
People of color, community-based organizers, tech masters, edge thinkers, movers and shakers can come together at this year’s Web of Change. We can have bold conversations while standing on magical land and ourselves take the initiative to concoct and entirely different kind of explosion. I think of Lord Shiva’s third eye opening up to bring forth transcendental destruction – the kind that clears the space, and then builds the world anew.