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15 October 2012

Ford Foundation Hosts Wired for Change

  • On Big Data Highlights from Wired for Change From Tim Berners-Lee, Esther Dyson, Kamala D. Harris, Baratunde Thurston, Ethan Zuckerman and more, a recap of the 2013 Wired for Change conference. (02:43)
  • On Big Data On Big Data Thought leaders talk about the powers and pitfalls of Big Data. (04:06)
  • Welcome Remarks Welcome Remarks Luis Ubiñas, Ford Foundation’s president, and Jenny Toomey, program officer for our Media Rights and Access initiative. open the day stressing the value cross-sector conversations and collaborations around this issue. (16:46)
  • Big Data, Big Challenges and Big Opportunities Big Data, Big Challenges and Big Opportunities Ethan Zuckerman moderates this conversation about the transformative power of Big Data—with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Esther Dyson, Jaron Lanier and Kaitlin Thaney. (45:31)
  • The End of Privacy? The End of Privacy? Harvey Anderson, Brad Burnham, Kamala D. Harris, Jon Leibowitz and Ashkan Soltani consider how mining Big Data and safeguarding privacy can reasonable coexist, moderated by John Palfrey. (01:07:02)
  • Bringing a New Lens to Old Data Bringing a New Lens to Old Data César A. Hidalgo demonstrates how Big Data can be used to bolster creative ways to increase economic opportunity, growth and longterm positive change. (25:45)
  • The Human Face of Big Data Lunch Discussion: The Human Face of Big Data David Kirkpatrick interviews Rick Smolan in this visually rich conversation about the photographer’s globally crowdsourced media project that relies on real-time data for its success. (46:05)
  • Big Data and the Media Big Data and the Media Sewell Chan moderates this discussion about the impact of data on traditional media outlets—with Emily Bell, Stephen Engelberg, Shazna Nessa and Joseph Turow. (43:13)
  • Tracking Progress: What the Media Cloud Can Do for You Tracking Progress: What the Media Cloud Can Do for You Ethan Zuckerman illustrates the vast reach and impact the Media Cloud can have on the work of social change makers and many others. (19:44)
  • First Do No Harm: Changing the Human Rights Landscape First Do No Harm: Changing the Human Rights Landscape Yvette Alberdingk Thijm moderates the panel discussion with Jeremy Heimans, Becky Hurwitz, Cristina Jiménez and Kenneth Roth on using Big Data for positive social change—from building movements to bringing together marginalized communities. (43:02)
  • Big Data and the Just City Big Data and the Just City Three presentations address how cities are changing, becoming increasingly connected. Adam Greenfield, Nithya V. Raman and John Tolva share their insights, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Rick Karr. (53:09)
  • Pushing the Envelope: Baratunde Thurston Pushing the Envelope: Baratunde Thurston The technology-loving comedian talks about how he uses social media and appropriates Big Data to create engaging stories and narratives on democracy, race, politics and so much more. (27:25)

On October 23, 2012, the Ford Foundation hosts its second annual Wired for Change conference, bringing together social innovators, technologists, entrepreneurs, government leaders and philanthropists for provocative conversations about the challenges and opportunities big data presents for social change makers. How can we ensure that vast data sets are tapped for the common good? How do we protect the right to privacy? And how do we build a transparent framework for data collection and analysis that allows us to create a better and more equitable future for all?



Images from the Day

To view captions for each photo, click the full screen icon, then "Show Info" in the top right corner.

About the Event

Big Data, Big Challenges and Big Opportunities (9:50 a.m.)

Big Data has the power to transform. It offers us a new lens on the world—and with it, new ways to innovate and create, analyze and identify, strategize and achieve. Big Data has revolutionized how we plan and build cities, conduct business, run political campaigns and report the news. So what does it mean for social change makers? With access to an ever-growing number of data sets, how might public interest groups take advantage of data to further their work? Join us for a wide-ranging discussion of hopeful ideas and pragmatic concerns about our hyper-networked, hyper-public society.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Ethan Zuckerman Ethan Zuckerman (Moderator) Director
MIT Center for Civic Media
Sir Tim Berners-Lee Sir Tim Berners-Lee Inventor
World Wide Web
Esther Dyson Esther Dyson Investor, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Jaron Lanier Jaron Lanier Computer Scientist, Composer, Visual Artist and Author
Kaitlin Thaney Kaitlin Thaney Manager of External Partnerships
Digital Science

The End of Privacy? (11:00 a.m.)

How Big Brother is Big Data? With data increasingly becoming a valued currency, in the corporate world in particular, the rush is on to collect as much as possible. How is that information mined, and how deep does the digging really go? How do we strike a balance between the need for data to fuel innovation, build markets and increase competitiveness, and the need to safeguard fundamental privacy principles? How can social change makers ensure they take into account both the day-to-day risks and the long-term implications of a data-run world?

Portrait Name Title and Address
John Palfrey John Palfrey (Moderator) Head of School
Phillips Academy, Andover
Harvey Anderson Harvey Anderson General Counsel and Public Policy Lead
Brad Burnham Brad Burnham Co-Founder
Union Square Ventures
Kamala D. Harris Kamala D. Harris Attorney General
Jon Leibowitz Jon Leibowitz Chairman
Federal Trade Commission
Ashkan Soltani Ashkan Soltani Independent Researcher

Bringing a New Lens to Old Data (12:00 p.m.)

Through the smart use of Big Data, we can identify areas of economic opportunity, track growth and productivity and visualize what a healthy economy looks like. And, says César A. Hidalgo, visualizing data in creative ways can lead to fresh insights and more effective strategies.

Portrait Name Title and Address
César A. Hidalgo César A. Hidalgo Assistant Professor
MIT Media Lab

Lunch Discussion: The Human Face of Big Data (12:30 p.m.)

Since March 2012, approximately 100 of the world’s leading photographers in over 30 countries have been searching out and capturing images that illustrate The Human Face of Big Data. Project creator Rick Smolan will share some of the stunning images from this globally crowdsourced media project focusing on humanity’s new ability to collect, analyze, triangulate and visualize vast amounts of data in real time.

Portrait Name Title and Address
David Kirkpatrick David Kirkpatrick (Moderator) Founder and CEO
Rick Smolan Rick Smolan CEO
Against All Odds Productions

Big Data and the Media (1:50 p.m.)

The ability to access reams of data at the click of a mouse has opened up new ways for the media to tell stories and support narratives. But it has also added new pressures and challenges. We look at how journalists and media outlets are handling data: when it works, when it doesn’t and when it’s just plain complicated.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Sewell Chan Sewell Chan (Moderator) Deputy Editor, Op-Ed and the Sunday Review
The New York Times
Emily Bell Emily Bell Director
Tow Center for Digital Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Stephen Engelberg Stephen Engelberg Managing Editor
Shazna Nessa Shazna Nessa Deputy Managing Editor of Editorial Products and Innovation
Associated Press
Joseph Turow Joseph Turow Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania

Tracking Progress: What The Media Cloud Can Do For You (2:40 p.m.)

The brainchild of Harvard’s Berkman Center and MIT’s Center for Civic Media, Media Cloud can store and index hundreds of thousands of articles a day from tens of thousands of blogs and conventional news sources, allowing us to see and understand the way stories morph, mutate and gain traction in local, national and international media. MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman illustrates the power of this new tool and what it means for organizations driving social change.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Ethan Zuckerman Ethan Zuckerman Director
MIT Center for Civic Media

First Do No Harm: Changing the Human Rights Landscape (2:55 p.m.)

Now more than ever, our data rich world enables us to build networks, grow movements, collectively build new public records, bring together the voiceless and marginalized, and identify abuse and shame the perpetrators. But the same tools that connect and reveal can also be used to quell dissent, censor, spy and punish. For legacy human rights organizations whose reputations are built on strategic expertise, controlled messages and careful research, these crowd-sourced tools present a difficult challenge. How do they incorporate the new while preserving the tried and true? How do they collaborate with tech developers to meaningfully seize the opportunities of Big Data without creating vulnerabilities that undermine their legacy?

Portrait Name Title and Address
Yvette Alberdingk Thijm Yvette Alberdingk Thijm (Moderator) Executive Director
Jeremy Heimans Jeremy Heimans Co-Founder and CEO
Becky Hurwitz Becky Hurwitz Codesign Facilitator and Community Organizer
MIT Media Lab
Cristina Jiménez Cristina Jiménez Managing Director
United We Dream
Ken Roth Kenneth Roth Executive Director
Human Rights Watch

Big Data and the Just City (4:05 p.m.)

Whether we are conscious of it or not, Big Data has changed the way we live, travel and co-exist in urban settings. It has been used to transform metropolitan development plans, identify areas of need and opportunity, and galvanize local movements seeking improvements to community services. We offer three vignettes of what’s new in the networked city, highlighting bold ideas for using data to create the just and sustainable urban environments of the future.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Rick Karr Rick Karr (Moderator) Journalist and Educator
Adam Greenfield Adam Greenfield Founder and Managing Director
Nithya V. Raman Nithya V. Raman Project Director
Transparent Chennai
Jon Tolva Jon Tolva CTO
City of Chicago

Pushing the Envelope: Baratunde Thurston (5:00 p.m.)

Whether personifying the Swine Flu on Twitter, treating a Foursquare mayor battle as legitimate politics or live-blogging his experience clearing an exit ramp on Lakeshore Drive during Chicago’s epic blizzard of 2011, Baratunde Thurston has used social media to do much more than post photos and beg for followers. Beyond delivering comedy and shock value, he has also engaged communities and delivered results. His riff on living online concludes our day.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Baratunde Thurston Baratunde Thurston Author
“How to Be Black”

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