Can Social Media Change Global Consciousness?

by Mark Lovett on August 20, 2009

Social media continues to affect change at an ever increasing rate. Schools are built, water wells are dug, children are fed, and medicine saves lives – all because someone used social media to get the word out, raise money, and ultimately make a difference.

2010 South by Southwest Panel Proposed

The Interactive side of the South by Southwest Conference, held each March in Austin, continues to grow in both size and influence.  If you’re into social media, the Interactive Track is the place to be.

SXSW 2010 Logo

The 2009 conference was a non-stop educational experience, and while every session provided value, the panels that influenced me most were those associated with nonprofit organizations.

Numerous discussions, both during the sessions and afterward in the bars, nightclubs and lounges, drilled deeper into the topic of how nonprofits were utilizing social media tools (Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) to build their community and raise funds.

Social Media for Social Good was a phrase I heard many times, even serving as the title of a lunch panel co-hosted by Jeff Pulver and Porter Novelli with panelists Beth Kanter, David Armano, Scott Goodstein, Stacey Monk, James Young & Randi Zuckerberg. I was impressed by that fact that social media was being used to help millions of people around the world.

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But in the ensuing months I kept wondering if it was simply a matter of treating the symptom, instead of finding the cure. Was social media actually changing the way people think and act?

When the email arrived, soliciting panel ideas for SXSW 2010, I knew it was time to seek an answer to the question that had been haunting me: Can Social Media Change Global Consciousness?

The Moderator

It would be nice to say that I wanted to moderate this panel because I’m the leader, or most talented, or the smartest. But the fact is, everyone on this panel can run social media circles around me, so it only made sense that I would ask the questions, then get out of the way and let the experts answer.

The Panel

There is no requirement to choose panel members at the time of proposal, but in this case the following names came to me instantly. I’ve seen their work, know their reputation, and felt they would provide a magical mix of opinions, thoughts and insights.

To be honest, when I contacted this esteemed list I figured I’d be lucky to get half of them to sign on. (I’m still in shock that they all said yes and I’m now quite certain they think I’m someone else.)

Your Vote

This is where you come in. One of the factors in determining which panels are chosen involves how many votes each proposal gets from the public at large. So head over to the Panel Picker to find out more about this proposal, and if you agree that this is a worthy question to bring up at SXSW 2010, give us a Thumbs Up! (Please note, as in real life, you do have to register to vote).

Voting is open till September 4th – we’d love to see you in Austin, and your vote would mean a lot!

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

John Brennan August 26, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Looking forward to this panel! Count my vote!

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GlobalPatriot August 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Awesome, thanks John! We’re hoping to make a positive impact at SXSW 2010!

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John Brennan August 26, 2009 at 11:52 am

Looking forward to this panel! Count my vote!

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Global Patriot August 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Awesome, thanks John! We’re hoping to make a positive impact at SXSW 2010!

Reply

Matt August 25, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Great Panel, voted up!

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Global Patriot August 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I was very fortunate to get such a lineup on this panel!

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Matt August 25, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Great Panel, voted up!

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GlobalPatriot August 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I was very fortunate to get such a lineup on this panel!

Reply

Lisa August 25, 2009 at 9:22 am

Thanks for the insightful posts, always. This caught my eye, as I felt social media must certainly be impacting global consciousness. Even on a personal note, I was able to contribute a small amount to my friend’s mission trip to Africa, simply because I became aware of it through Facebook. Without that medium, I likely wouldn’t have known about the cause she was involved in or even had the opportunity to contribute so easily. Definitely raised my awarness! Good luck with this topic and the excellent panel…

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Global Patriot August 28, 2009 at 3:08 pm

The communication angle is so powerful. While email did much to connect us, the use of Twitter and Facebook, combined with blogs, can increase reach substantially. The more we know, the more we can do!

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Lisa August 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Thanks for the insightful posts, always. This caught my eye, as I felt social media must certainly be impacting global consciousness. Even on a personal note, I was able to contribute a small amount to my friend’s mission trip to Africa, simply because I became aware of it through Facebook. Without that medium, I likely wouldn’t have known about the cause she was involved in or even had the opportunity to contribute so easily. Definitely raised my awarness! Good luck with this topic and the excellent panel…

Reply

GlobalPatriot August 28, 2009 at 10:08 pm

The communication angle is so powerful. While email did much to connect us, the use of Twitter and Facebook, combined with blogs, can increase reach substantially. The more we know, the more we can do!

Reply

Alan Underkofler August 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Mark! Great job putting this panel together… Already gave you a thumbs up and hoping your panel is picked. Keep up the great work Mark!
.-= Alan Underkofler´s last blog ..Denise Wakeman of The Blog Squad on Twitter Talk Radio August 12, 2009 =-.

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Global Patriot August 24, 2009 at 9:30 am

It’s an all-star panel to be sure Alan, and your support is most appreciated!

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Alan Underkofler August 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Mark! Great job putting this panel together… Already gave you a thumbs up and hoping your panel is picked. Keep up the great work Mark!
.-= Alan Underkofler´s last blog ..Denise Wakeman of The Blog Squad on Twitter Talk Radio August 12, 2009 =-.

Reply

GlobalPatriot August 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm

It’s an all-star panel to be sure Alan, and your support is most appreciated!

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Nick Aster August 23, 2009 at 11:11 am

Nice work on putting this together Mark, I’ll be there. At the risk of being cheeky, are you able to give ours a vote too?

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/4915

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Global Patriot August 24, 2009 at 9:31 am

Nick, I like you’re topic of Environment, Society, Economy – and the need to create a balance that will ensure the survivability of the planet – very much in line with the topic listed here. I gave you a big Thumbs Up!

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Nick Aster August 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Nice work on putting this together Mark, I’ll be there. At the risk of being cheeky, are you able to give ours a vote too?

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/4915

Reply

GlobalPatriot August 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Nick, I like you’re topic of Environment, Society, Economy – and the need to create a balance that will ensure the survivability of the planet – very much in line with the topic listed here. I gave you a big Thumbs Up!

Reply

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