Posts by NAberra:
For my leadership book report, I read Tribes by Seth Godin.
My favorite quote in the book which sums up the basic point of what Godin is trying to say is this: “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People follow.”
Using case studies, bullet-point lists and encouraging stories of success, Godin argues that the world needs you to be a leader, but it’s up to you to decide to take that position.
Once a person chooses to take the lead, they need to assemble a loyal following or tribe. Tribes, according to Godin, are made of people with a shared interest and way to communicate.
The best example of modern day tribes would be on social media networks. Twitter fans, Facebook friends, blog readers, YouTube subscribers are all authentic, functioning tribes who are interested in a certain topic, love to talk about it and seek out news and information from key influential leaders. Whether it be about makeup, politics, technology or music, fans or followers are very important to the success and growth of an idea.
The movement doesn’t have to be big though. You don’t need 1 million YouTube subscribers to necessarily be a leader. Godin says it’s a big mistake to just think about having a big following. Instead, good leaders should focus on tightening their tribe.
Here are also five things leaders should do in order to start their own movement:
1) Publish a manifesto to share your mission with members,
2) Make it easy for followers to connect with you media
3) Make it easy for followers to connect with one another
4) Realize that money is not the point of a movement
5) Track your progress publicly so followers can contribute
With social media and new forms of communication, anyone can have their voice heard which makes it really easy to take the initiative and take chances.
Some helpful online tools I have found for leaders and change-makers include:
-Change.org, a site where anyone can start a petition, mobilize supporters and enact real change
-Mashable.com, for news and stories on marketing, media and more
-Ashoka, investing in solutions for the world’s toughest problems
I really enjoyed Steve Rubel’s talk at this week’s Must See Monday speaker series on transmedia storytelling using social and digital media to create better content and keep stories alive. Steve Rubel is the executive vice president/global strategy and insights, Edelman, an international PR agency.
1.Explosion of media channels. Sources of content and info come from professionals, friends, and corporation. The amount of content that was created from the beginning of time up until 2003 is now created in 2 days.
2.We live in a multi-screen world. There are four main screens people consume media from: TV, tablets, smartphones, computers. Experiences are now connected, watching, tweeting and using Tablets.
3. Every Company can be a media company. It’s extremely difficult to be a corporation and a media company, but now there are opportunities for companies to go directly to audiences, which wasn’ t true 10 years ago.
4. Stories are social. People share what they read and what to engage with the content.
5. Stories last forever. Google is where stories go to get reincarnated, because it’s such an influential channel. Arguably the most powerful media entity next to Facebook.
2.We love a good story. When crafting your story, think about the conflict, setting, protagonist, antagonist, plot and leverage technology to tell the story and reach people.
3. Content is king. If you create content that people want to read, you will be successful. There is tremendous room to be innovative.
Traditional media is mainstream, high reach with trained journalists, media that clients want to be featured in the most. Examples are NYT and CNN.Hybrid media is born digital, consists of blogs that act like media companies, have personalities,are more search-savvy and aggregate material. Examples are TechCrunch, Huffington Post and Politico.Owned media is corporate produced and co-produced own media content through websites and mobile apps and can have strong SEO. Rubel recognized GE, Starbucks and American Express as leaders in owned media.Social media is all the social networks that have a built-in audience like Twitter and Facebook. Rubel said social media is not a cure for marketing and PR, but simply a part of the system.
In the Fall 2011 issue of American Journalism Review, the article titled “Out of the Shadows” stood out to me for its shocking coverage of sexual violence against journalists–women AND men.
Being a journalist is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, especially for international correspondents. The article discusses the high-profile case of Lara Logan in Egypt but also Umar Cheema, a Pakistani political reporter who was kidnapped and sodomized in Isllamabad.
The Committee to Protect Journalists put out a report in june and the article said that the torture of a male journalist like Cheema was extremely rare. Lauren Wolfe, the senior editor and author of the report, also researched how frequent sexual violence was against journalists. Even though sexual abuse and sex crimes are hardly reported out of fear or shame, Wolfe received responses from over four dozen journalists.
I find it so sickening that sex is used as a tool of terror and that honest, hardworking media professionals are subjected to such violence while on the job. The article mentions that journalists don’t report violence because they fear being a “failure in the job or experiencing a career setback.”
But what kind of support does the media industry have to help journalists who have experienced trauma and abuse? Wolfe investigated six or seven news organizations about their policies and found they either had nothing substantial or answered that they always trained reporters for all situations.
I was glad to hear there are groups like the International News Safety Institute, Reporters Without Borders and South Asian Women in Media, but I wonder what other kind of training is necessary for journalists to be properly prepared. Mandatory self-defense classes, maybe?
Joe Paterno, the former football coach at Penn State, is enduring a huge barrage of media attention because of child sex scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach, that Paterno did not sufficiently report when he found out. Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees before he got to retire at the end of the football season after his 46 year-long career, because the allegations are so serious and grave.
In order to navigate the complicated situation, Paterno has hired a crisis communications expert from TMG Strategies. So far, Paterno has issued a statement on the matter: ”This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
The whole case has people bitterly divided with emotion as well. Students are currently rioting at Penn State in protest of Paterno’s firing, as he is considered a beloved, legendary part of the school. The media has been all over the angry chaos going on at Penn State, which is creating a difficult image for the university to control. Ashton Kutcher got some negative feedback when he tweeted his support for Joe Paterno, unaware of the whole scandal behind his firing.
I think Penn State will definitely have to work hard to rebuild a respectable image of accountability and trust with the public, students and community, especially the victims’ families.
Some questions to think about:
Are the students trivializing the sexual abuse allegations in order to defend their university’s sport team or is there more to the story?
By getting a PR expert, is Paterno helping or harming himself in his quest to defend his innocence?
What should other colleges and universities do in reaction to the Penn State scandal and to prepare themselves should something similar happen?
Joe Paterno, the former football coach at Penn State, is enduring a huge barrage of media attention because of child sex scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach, that Paterno did not sufficiently report when he found out. Paterno was fired from his position before he got to retire at the end of the football season after his 46 year-long career.
In order to navigate the complicated situation, Paterno has hired a crisis communications expert. So far, Paterno has issued a statement on the matter: ”This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
After our discussion about the complexity of the immigration issue in the United States and the border conflict with Mexico, I was curious to see how the discourse about the Eritrea-Ethiopia border dispute has been and whether there are any signs of a solution.
Just for a little history, Eritrea is a East African country and former Italian colony that borders Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. The Eritrean Liberation Front and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front were the two separatist groups fighting the Ethiopian government to win Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia in 1961. After 30 years of war, Eritreans voted in a referendum for independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and was recognized officially by the United Nations.
Unfortunately a vote for independence is not that simple, because then came the task of defining the boundaries of these two independent states. This created tension between the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments and led to a war between 1998 and 2000. A boundary commission was created by the Algiers Agreement to assess the conflict after fighting stopped. There are reports of more confrontations since then up until 2010 between the two states. As of 2011, Ethiopia is in control of the town of Badme even though the commission ruled that it rightfully belonged to Eritrea. Both countries are still training and deploying a standing army at the border according to a 2008 UN report along with UN peacekeeping forces.
What I find so troubling is all the time, energy and resources put into this war and all the lives lost when no concrete, real solution was found. It really shows how right former President Oscar Arias is about how useless and harmful armies are when there are so many important social, economic, and humanitarian problems that need to be funded. Eritrea has so many issues that its secretive, repressive authoritarian regime refuses to acknowledge in order to maintain a facade of stability and prosperity that warrants respect and fear on the international arena. It has a current negative spotlight on it because of accusations of supporting the Somali militant group, al Shabab.
I did find a website created with a focus on the Eritrea-Ethiopia Conflict that appears to be written from a sympathetic Eritrean perspective. It puts the blame on Ethiopia for not committing to peaceful means to solve the border issue.
Ethiopia continues to demand that Eritrea must unilaterally and unconditionally withdraw from areas Ethiopia claims and that Ethiopia administers these areas as a precondition. If not, it goes to war.
I wonder if a border commission that brought responsible and important officials from the US and Mexico would help the dialogue, even though it obviously hasn’t brought results for Eritrea and Ethiopia yet. The way Eritrea has used its border issue to justify sacrifices in human rights and freedom isn’t too far from what the United States could do if we allow extreme voices to dominate the immigration discourse and let facts be dismissed. We need to operate by our values and live by them with each policy and agreement we make.
On Tuesday evening at the Barrett Centennial Lecture, I finally got to hear the remarks from former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias on peace building for the coming generation. I was very intrigued by his belief that countries could and should demilitarize and focus on overcoming the socioeconomic barriers around the world. Arias said the human race is obsessed with violence and I was shocked by how much we have spent on war.
He cited two key statistics: Global arms spending was $1.63 trillion last year, which is 2.6% of the world’s GDP. Defense spending has going up 70% between 2001-2009.
“Poverty needs no passport to travel,” Arias said. Hunger, poverty and disease affect every one of us; wars and conflict are only results of social inequality, so by engaging in combat we are not treating the root of the problem.
Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948 and Arias said the government promised its people it would never see tanks and troops in the streets and would not invest in weapons, but tools.
“Security lies in human development,” he said. We should be investing in the process that makes violence unnecessary.
As president, Arias worked on three main projects to reduce militarization around the world. One project, the Costa Rican Census, created mechanisms to forgive debt and get international support. A second project was an arms trade treaty that prohibited the transfer of arms between states and individuals not in the army. A third project was the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Development, which is dedicated to supporting peace efforts and conflict resolution.
Arias said that people may think we are not ready to negotiate getting rid of armies during a time of war and crisis, but history tell us otherwise. He mentioned examples of progress toward peace during times of uncertainty like the creation of the United Nations and the Atlantic Charter.
He introduced the peace plan between Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, and El Salvador as president to address the conflict in the region because “it was as a necessity, it was a matter of survival.” He believed that there was no need to build a strong army to achieve peace and that Costa Rica has become so prosperous because its resources go towards education and the environment rather than weapons.
So far, he has been able to convince only Panama and Haiti to eliminate their armies. Sub-saharan Africa was difficult because poorer countries need a way to integrate soldiers into civilian life and compensate them.
“The dream of peace is no longer just a dream. It is an action in Costa Rica. There is no reason why it can’t live in other parts of the world,” Arias said. This left me on a hopeful note and determined to find a solution to the wasteful defense spending that not only the United States is guilty of.
What was interesting is that Arias did not believe that world peace could be achieved because he said there were too many dictatorships and territorial disputes that threaten stability.
“We need to have democracy because democracies don’t fight each other,” he said.
I really enjoyed today’s presentations on leaders and the qualities they possess. It’s nice to see how different people are motivated and inspired and the different paths there are to achieving success. I wanted to share more about the leadership style and experience of Queen Rania of Jordan who has become a model for a contemporary monarch.
Shaima spoke about her involvement in a club that is focused on achieving and promoting the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. Queen Rania actually gave a speech on this subject in New York last year, highlighting education, her topic of focus in her international advocacy and diplomacy work with the 1Goal:Education for All non-profit organization.
Her emphasis and repetitive mission of Education for all, Education equals opportunity helps brand Queen Rania as an advocate for universal education and can garner a sympathetic and loyal following easily. She may seem like a celebrity face at first, but her active contributions to educational initiatives inside and outside of Jordan prove she is more than just a name that wants the extra attention by the press.
With Col. Moammer Gaddafi as the most recent dictator to fall victim to the Arab Spring movement, it was only perfect timing to have Reza Aslan, religion scholar, activist and best-selling author of No God, but God and Beyond Fundamentalism , to come to ASU to discuss what’s going on in the region.
Aslan was invited to lecture on Thursday at ASU’s law school as part of the Alternative Visions speaker series held by the Center of the Study of Religion and Conflict (where I am a current communications intern).
At a separate discussion with the religious studies department, Aslan said that the Arab Spring was a means of pushing back against dictatorship, colonialism and hegemony, much like what political Islam wanted to do and because of its success, jihadism is now a “dead philosophy.”
“In a span of a few months, the use of non-violent methods of the youth did more than what jidhadist have been trying to do for 30 years,” he said.
After the wave of Islamism and jihadism, now comes a new wave of the future which Aslan believes will create the possibility of an Islamic democracy, which will consiste of dedication to the rule of law, human rights and pluralism but whos moral framework is based on Islam, the religion of the majority of the state’s citizens. He likens this model to the United States, which although is a democratic county with separation of church and state, is still “deeply steeped in Christian/Protestant morality.) This is acceptable and tolerated here and it works, so why shouldn’t this be the case in an Islamic country as well, Aslan asks.
During his lecture, Aslan addressed the five myths about the Arab Spring.
1) It was a surprise
For anyone who was paying attention to the Middle East over the years, it was not a surprise. There were many signs of this uprising such as the high populations of young people, rising unemployment rates, poverty, corruption of the government, spread of communication technology
2) It’s not about democracy
Polls done in the region ranked democracy as the number one demand over jobs and wages for people in the Middle East/North Africa region. Stability over democracy leads to neither stability or democracy. Paying off dictators to serve America’s interests instead of supporting democratic structure and politics was wrong and only fueled anti-American sentiment and Islamism and other nationalist ideology
3) It’s the 1st step to Islamization
The countries in the Middle East are going to become more religious but it’ll be a good thing because they will be more democratic and the oppression of religious expression that was present in many of these countries by the leaders will finally be allowed to be celebrated and practiced freely. Democratization is the best thing to fight extremism.
4) It’s bad for Israel
In the short term, it will be bad because Israel will now have to face the people of the countries and not the dictators who are paid off by the United States. They won’t be able to get away with the occupation and settlements in Palestinian territories and avoid compromise and negotiation. Israel will have to be accountable to the other democracies surrounding it. Aslan also said this statement about the effect on Israel shouldn’t even matter because everything is not about pleasing Israel which is already the strongest country in the area with billions of aid given to it by the US.
5) It’s bad for America
Again, short term, maybe so, because we won’t be able to use the region as our “personal gas station.” We can’t bribe a democracy to do what we want the way we did with a power-hungry dictator. Long term, having democracies will be good because they will fight against the forces of extreme political ideologies, will moderate and regulate the people and will result in better educated and stable societies.
A historic trade is happening in the Middle East right now. Israeli sergeant Gilad Shalit will be exchanged for the release of 1,000 Palestinians. Shalit has been imprisoned by Hamas for five years when he was captured near the Kerem Shalom crossing. There have been many international campaigns and lobbying from his family to release him since then. Shalit will go across the Egyptian border, be flown to the Tel-Nof military base and then to Mitspe-Hila, Israel. This is only the first stage in a swap deal between Hamas and Israel, as only 477 of the Palestinians will be released on Tuesday.
The Palestinian prisoners will return to their homes in Gaza and the West Bank.
Eight out of 10 Israelis favor the deal, according to a poll by the Dahaf Polling Institute for the Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper, but some in Israel are not pleased by the entire circumstance. They are happy to see Shalit back home but not to see “terrorists” set free, especially the families of victims of Palestinian attacks.
This deal could be a turning point in the relationship between Israel and Palestine as an example of conciliation and cooperation and it’s quite interesting to see the live reaction and online reaction as the worldwide community sounds off. Storyful put together a nice compilation that explains what’s going on with the prisoner swap between Israel and Palestine. The BBC also broadcast the event live on its website with Twitter updates.
UPDATE: Breaking, first picture of Gilad Shalit, alive and well http://twitpic.com/72373c
I wrote a previous post on the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. Since then, the protests have spread across the country. I witnessed Occupy Tempe last weekend and this weekend, Occupy Phoenix will begin.
October 15 has been called a day for unity for change, according to the official website.
“UNITED FOR #GLOBALCHANGE
On October 15th people from all over the world will take to the streets and squares.
From America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy. Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non violent protest.
The ruling powers work for the benefit of just a few, ignoring the will of the vast majority and the human and environmental price we all have to pay. This intolerable situation must end.
United in one voice, we will let politicians, and the financial elites they serve, know it is up to us, the people, to decide our future. We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us.
On October 15th, we will meet on the streets to initiate the global change we want. We will peacefully demonstrate, talk and organize until we make it happen.
It’s time for us to unite. It’s time for them to listen”
Moving from just attacking corporate greed, American students are finding their own voice by holding Occupy College movements to criticize rising college fees, student debt and lack of opportunities after graduation. At first, the organizers told participants to not go to school as part of their civil disobedience and later changed their mind to not seem “anti-education.” The college protests will happen every 2 weeks at the 90 confirmed colleges. One website, Occupycolleges.org, has links showing how to start a college walkout, become a citizen journalist and educating the public on the message behind Occupy Wall Street.
The one set back to these grassroots movements is the police arrests and pepper spray use, which is causing more chaos and determination.