Media and Change - Empowerment and Civic Voice




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Jul 31, 2014
by Tanya Yilmaz
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Media and Change - Empowerment and Civic Voice

Media Academy students consider the idea of change - and how to be empowered to make change happen Faculty members, Jessica Roberts and Roman Gerodimos

“An open mind is all you need to achieve change.” This was the message proposed to Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change students, during the session on “Media & Change: Empowerment and Civic Voice”.

Led by faculty members Roman Gerodimos and Jessica Roberts, the interactive and collaborative discussion aimed to evoke responses from students about the idea of change and being empowered to make change happen. 

Gerodimos, Principal Academic in Global Current Affairs at Bournemouth University, UK started proceedings by asking students to consider why and how they would affect change within their own lives and to think about the main determinants of this process.

One student from the UK said, “I want to change the world because I think there are lots of amazing and beautiful things in it but sometimes you feel that the whole thing has to turn upside down to make these beautiful things flourish.”

Another student from Kenya said, “We don’t even know ourselves so by the mere fact that we are ready to change something means that we’ll discover something about ourselves that we are yet to know.”

He paired his conversation with three short videos (available below). 

Jessica Roberts, lecturer in communications at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in China, added to the discussion by contextualizing such ideas in the work the students will be completing during the three-week Academy. 

The 2014 Academy students will focus on two major programs and activities including work for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)’s Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Group, where they will work on real world challenges UNDP are working on around the world. The three main areas of focus are: poverty reduction, human rights, and the environment. Students will work in teams to develop media-oriented solutions to the challenges posed. Students will also engage in a weekly photo contest. 

Roberts paid particular attention to how students can make their case studies more innovative by considering platform choice, target audience and location to maximize impact on media dialogue and global change. This was sustained through the proposal of a framework which would allow students to target a problem within the three main areas of focus, suggest points of action which people can take in terms of counteracting the problem, and to then clarify what the end goal is.

The session provoked not only civic voices in terms of media and change – but also global ones. 

Video 1 - Invisible Parents

Video 2 - Thai Commerical

Video 3 - This is Water