MANILA, Philippines – A diverse mix of 40 young leaders from various parts of the country have converged in Manila for a workshop entitled, “Communicating for Social Change.”
The 4-day event provides an opportunity for these leaders to find their voice, gain new skills as facilitators of change, and grow their capacity for citizen action towards a more just world.
“Our goal is to establish an enduring network of young leaders who, as influencers in their communities’ dialogue, learn and act together to address global and local issues,” Amanda Burrell, country director of the British Council-Philippines, said in opening the 4-day event that runs from March 24-27.
“It is when the combined processes of communication and participation join forces that real social change starts to happen,” Burrel reminded the particpants.
Meanwhile, in her keynote address, Rappler chief executive officer and executive editor Maria Ressa stressed the power of social media in communicating social change.
“Social media transmits ideas and emotion. Everything we do ripples through our social network,” Ressa said, citing a study.
But Ressa cautioned that “social media engagement is a low engagement process,” emphasizing the need to compliment social media engagement with social action, citing Move.PH as an avenue for citizen involvement.
“Move.PH, Rappler’s citizen journalism arm, is a place where people who are tired of the way things are, gather together,” Ressa said.
The seminar allows participants to meet other dynamic young leaders and learn from leading communication and advocacy experts, including advocacy writer John Silva and journalists Chay Hofileña, Patricia Evangelista, and Michael Josh Villanueva.
Throughout the entire seminar, participants will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills on the following topics and will be given an opportunity to get feedback on their work and look at areas for enhancement:
(1) Effective Communication Strategies
Day 1 brings together different experts who will help participants understand how to communicate with larger audiences through a good appreciation of the communication process.
(2) Championing Your Cause
Day 2 challenges participants to think out of the box and discuss innovative ways to make themselves heard.
(3) Getting Support and Funding
Day 3 gives participants effective techniques for getting buy-in, obtaining resources and funding for their 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 their work.
The event 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