Category: Writes

Amplifying Social Activism via Social Media

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Harry Belafonte addressed the NY Justice League Gala last night.  He’s the king of calypso, an actor and a social activist. I was lucky enough to hear his speech and take this screenshot to share it with you all. Social media and technology are changing the level of access to key events.  As physical barriers dissipate the opportunity arises to amplify the volume of such speeches, increasing awareness of important issues and causes.

Today I thank Ebro Darden for opening that window via Periscope check out my twitter for the link to watch it back, you have 24 hours from the time of the original broadcast to view and share it as this is the current time limit that Periscope has set on broadcasts.

The day I met Bill Gates

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Bill Gates, London 2011. Photo credit: Andrew Parsons

I’ll never forget how inspirational Bill Gates was and how his energy transformed the stuffy committee room in Parliament. He spoke passionately about International Development and the amazing work that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had been doing to eradicate Polio amongst other things. This picture was taken four years ago and I’ll never forget him saying, words to the effect of ‘choose your cause, make it one that counts and focus on it’. He said, quite rightly; ‘I’ve got this cause and you don’t need to financially support it, there are so many others for you to find and support’.  Such wise and inspiring words that have stayed with me four years on. Little did I know that I was about to say yes to a life changing role to work  on the Olympics at London 2012.

#billgates #influencers #changeagents #politics #parliament #philanthropy #life
#nushknows #tb #4yearsagotoday

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Cities As Platforms

Having recently run a political campaign for a prospective candidate for Mayor of London, you quickly begin to understand the complexity of the governance of London. This article by Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK articulates the challenge ahead if we are going to keep London the best city in the world to do Business. London has the potential to be one of the smartest cities in the world and it’s successes tell a wonderful story. Yet London could be a much smarter city and actively encourage smarter solutions from all citizens who bear the brunt of it’s challenges every day. I for one was born and brought up in London and everyday I am hacking the most optimal routes to navigate the city, for instance, to avoid peak costs on my Oyster card.

The only way that I can tap into that knowledge is by sharing tidbits on social media or when a friend needs help getting someplace. The answer to many of the issues we face London-wide across the 32 Boroughs and Local Authorities plus the City of London lies in each and every one of us. We are all smart citizens and with the right schemes to bring us together to tackle what makes this city unique we’ll be left idle. I love the idea of making public buildings ‘come alive’ and by that I mean releasing data / APIs on peak times for gallery opening for instance so you could wander around the mummies at the British Museum at a more leisurely pace without peak tourist flow. Or perhaps, help Londoner’s caught by train delays at Waterloo to hop on over to the Southbank Centre and soak up our rich arts culture whilst the leaves on the track are cleared away. Technology and innovation can drive simple solutions to everyday mundane London issues. Doesn’t that paint a picture of London that we can all aspire towards building?

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”gerard-grech”]

Take a look at the last decade’s fastest-growing companies. You’ll notice they have one thing in common: They’re all platforms.

YouTube was not the first video-hosting site, but it was the first to disrupt the stagnating online broadcasting model, creating a platform with digital engagement at its core. And the catalyst for Google’s exponential growth trajectory was when it opened its core search function to let people bid on keywords.

Facebook was not the first social network, but it was the first social network to view itself as a foundational digital platform, opening its APIs for apps and creative re-imagination.

If proved to be effective, innovation spreads like wildfire. Take the rise of the data scientist. Once only valued by a handful of Silicon Valley startups, Chief Data Officers are an integral part of today’s C-suite executives, found everywhere from the White House to Burberry.

It’s not uncommon for…

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See Cecil the Lion and Other Animals Light Up the Empire State Building

We need action to protect endangered animals #CeciltheLion and other animals light up the Empire State Building

TIME

Images honoring Cecil the lion and other endangered species illuminated the south side of Empire State Building on Saturday evening, broadcasting the plight of mass extinction onto one of New York’s most iconic landmarks.

The one-day show, called Projecting Change, is part of a promotion for the upcoming documentary Racing Extinction, which is set to air on Discovery Channel in December, according to the film’s official Facebook page. Projections of birds, tigers and bears were featured on the building, in addition to images of Cecil the lion, whom authorities say was killed illegally by an American dentist on July 1.

[time-brightcove videoid= 4383137988001]

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Watch “Welcome to Project Soli” on YouTube

I’m always impressed by what comes out of any innovation lab and I’m particularly impressed with Google’s Project Soli from its ATAP team.  

I love the timing, especially now as Apple Watch deliveries are landing on the doorstep’s of early adopters, enthusiasts and apple advocates everywhere.

Watch the video here of Project Soli

The video demonstrates a whole different level of control. Gesture control that’s taking human interaction to the next level. The potential of this tech is limitless and very exciting.  Imagine surgeon’s remote operating a robot with this tech. Albeit many years from now. However more immediate applications are demonstrated in the video like all those handy wearable devices that will no doubt pivot with such developments in gesture control.  Ahem…

I look forward to seeing more from the team.

Race, Academia and Freedom of Learning

I was so sad to read this article by Jack Grove of THE about Dr Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman.

(Dr Coleman strikes through his surname to highlight how it was bestowed on his family by slave masters in Jamaica)

What happened to freedom of learning ? MA was too critical of white establishment – see link below for full article.

Rejected MA was too critical of white establishment, says academic

I remember reading the course outline for this MA and thought how brilliant it was that UCL was so open to such a provocative course. It will no doubt touch a nerve with many people I’m sure regardless of your race. I think it is a massive shame that UCL have renegade on this pretty ground breaking open minded MA. You would think we weren’t in 2015 for a minute.

How else will we have a breakthrough in collective consciousness if we don’t have courses like this? On a separate note, Akala has been brilliant in amplifying the volume in such an articulate way that has been helped massively by the sharing of his videos and tv appearances on social media. The question now is how do we tackle this long overdue silent deep ingrained feeling that is very quickly bubbling to the surface without turning a blind eye any longer. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Badge of honour or social media perk?

Here’s another perk for social media power users and influencers from Klout.  Digital badges are a great vehicle to display credible skills.  This is a good initiative but can fall down when lot’s of organisations are implementing their own initiatives. it would be impossible to join them up but if we educate users to understand the parameters in which someone has been assigned an expert badge then that helps us all moving forward.

Read the full article here: Klout Adds Expertise Badges To Its Influence Rankings