Jen Horn is the spunky mastermind behind Muni.com.ph – a website dedicated to bringing people together for activities and projects that promote mindful living.
On the website, she encourages people to give a second thought to the little things that matter – anything from littering, preserving local textile culture, to simply supporting the local music scene.
“I consider myself the Chief Collaboration Officer,” Jen says. “Through the Muni community, I really want to start conversations both online and offline. Hopefully through our events or through whatever engagement we do online, we’re able to bring people together, connect them. Hopefully they'll find a place where they can collaborate.”
Watch a profile video of Jen and the other finalists of the Digital Trailblazer category below.
Taking the online offline
Jen started out writing about these topics in her personal blog. But when many people started reacting positively to her posts, she realized that she can take the project further.
She says: “I just realized that those other topics that I was writing about should have platforms where different people can also share their own discoveries or ideas.”
Some of her projects (tagged as “Munivents”) include the Cut The Crap campaign, where she commissioned different graphic designers to create posters against mindless littering caused by cigarette butts. She also promoted the repurposing of film canisters as portable, tiny ashtrays. The campaign wrapped up with a gig at Route 196.
She’s also a relentless supporter of preserving local textile culture. She hosted a series of field trips to Lumban, Laguna, where participants tried their hand at making the town’s famous embroidered, hand-made fabric. She also mounted a series of workshops where social entrepreneurs got to share their ideas on environmentally-sustainable fashion.
Aside from putting up the website, Jen weilds the power of social media to increase awareness and participation for her projects.
“We use the website as a platform," Jen says. "There’s a page called Muni Mo, where people can contribute their own ideas, events, or if they have something that they’d like to promote that’s aligned with muni. We also have the Facebook page, a Twitter, and instagram… [it’s] really useful to have this engagement. When we do offline events, we have the online Facebook group to go back to and really continue the conversation.”
She adds, “We also did a Google Hangout and I had somebody from Cebu, I had somebody from Bacolod, from Ilo-Ilo, Dumaguete, Naga, Davao… it’s really nice that you can easily connect to people from all these different parts of the country, and then find out what’s happening in their own hometowns. Perhaps we can all learn from each other.”
Jen admits that there’s no guarantee that every individual who reads Muni will take concrete action. But for her, generating awareness is a more important priority. “You plant that seed in their brain, and somehow it will grow eventually. They'll experience the things in their life that will make them propel in action.”
Start small, dream big
She believes that by promoting simple ideas online, it becomes less daunting for people to create change in real life.
“I see Muni's role as sort of a megaphone for causes, for advocacies, for social enterprises,” Jen says. “I think yung social entrepreneurs, [for] a lot of them a big struggle is the marketing side and I’m hoping that through some of the things we do for Muni, we help them by educating their consumers [on] better choices.”
For Jen, Doing More can start from something small. “In Muni, we believe that it’s not about moving mountains to create change. It’s really about the little things, that if multiplied by a thousand fold, a million, 2 million, 10 million… it really has a big impact.” – Rappler.com
Follow Jen Horn on Twitter: @nomadmanager
|Get to know other finalists by clicking their names below:|
|Erwan Heussaff||Red Tani|
These figures reflect the result of the public voting phase held from October 24 to November 24, 2013.
The final score for each finalist will be computed from the ff:
Public Vote - 40%
Panel Vote - 60%
Total - 100%
Get the latest updates on this issue by visiting #HungerProject