Liz Ngonzi on Embracing New Media Tools to Amplify Global Voices

“Until the lion has his or her own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story.” ~ Ewe-Mina (African) Proverb

Young people’s access to new media worldwide brings new and in some peoples opinions, authentic voices into the global conversation about the issues that affect all of us the most, such as: climate change, conflict, economic crisis, education disparity, access to healthcare, and food security.

While traditional media and development agencies are able to provide the world with visibility into these issues, they are only able to do so through specific lenses colored by the interests of their leadership – in the case of the media– keeping advertisers happy and maintaining ratings and with development agencies – satisfying donors requirements.  The result being that the people whose lives are most affected by the issues, have traditionally been left out of the conversation, leading to policy decisions and development projects that in some instances solve the wrong problems, and ultimately do more harm than good, for those they are intended to assist.

Liz Ngonzi’s Introductory Remarks for April 20th Connect4Climate ‘Local Climate, Global Change: Development Communication in a social media landscape’ Forum

“Until the lion has his or her own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story.”

Ewe-Mina (African) Proverb

Liz Ngonzi’s introductory remarks for April 20th Connect4Climate ‘Local Climate, Global Change: Development Communication in a social media landscape’ forum.

Local Climate, Global Change : Development Communication in a Social Media Landscape

Social media has flattened the information landscape, allowing more communities to have access to information and increasingly more voices to be heard, especially youth from the global South.

Connect4Climate, the global online community that cares about climate change, hosts a session bringing together social media experts, journalists, academics and other communicators to debate how best to engage the widest audience from all corners of the world and raise the bar on climate change discourse and action.

With more than a quarter million followers, Connect4Climate shows that young people everywhere are hungry for information and eager to get involved.

How can this online energy and engagement be put to best use? How can we leverage the tools available to harness more collective intelligence? What is the role of citizen journalism? How can local climate experiences best contribute to global change?