Reflections from Social Good Brasil and a New Word: PhilanthroTeen! | Beth’s Blog

Reflections from Social Good Brasil and a New Word: PhilanthroTeen!

Civil Society 2.0, Conferences, Movement Building, Networks, Reflection

I’ve just returned from keynoting  the first Social Good Brazil conference that took place in Florianapolis,  sometimes referred to the “Silicon Valley” of Brasil and where the nonprofit, social good, innovation, and technology community is leading the social change movement.   Magic happens when social entrepreneurs, nonprofits leaders, technologists,  and young people are brought together for a high energy, creative, and interactive event that exposes everyone to new ideas and stories.


I was so happy to hear the story of how the event got started and the beginning of the network from Fernanda Bornhausen Sa. The presentation is in the form of a network map – so you can tell that they already approach their social change work with a network lens.

The three-day conference was amazing (you can view the schedule  here).   I delivered the ending keynote on the second day and my colleague from the UN Foundation, Aaron Shernian started the second day of the conference, a day packed with ideas, content, and inspiration from the best of Brasil.  Other international keynotes included colleagues Simon Mainwaring and Peter Sims (more about their ideas coming later this week in blogs posts, so stay tuned.) I must confess that I heard so many amazing stories and new ideas that I had inspiration overload!  That’s a good thing because it becomes the seeds of many new ideas, connections, and future blog posts.

I had a lot of fun with my keynote.  It was the first speaking engagement that I was able to scale delivery of my  interactive keynote to  1,000 people in fixed seating and in two languages using a translator. (There’s a blog about that brewing for the Chronicle’s Good Advice blog, so stay tuned)   As this was my 7th International training/speaking engagement this year alone, I was able to draw from everything I’ve learned over the years in terms of presenting on the international stage.    It was the last keynote of the day and it was a long day, so I improvised a movement exercise that involved some Samba movements to keep them engaged (see my post over at the Chronicle).    Now, I can’t wait for my international projects in 2013!

Teens As Free Agents

One of things immediately struck me – the crowd was filled with younger people – teens, college students, and millennials who want to use the technology and do social change on their own terms.   I loved hearing Isadora Faber, a pre-teen girl who lives in Florianópolis and creator of page Daily Class on Facebook.  Isadora, who is only 13 years,  created a Facebook group to help other teens in her country who want to make a difference in their communities and to report problems in their schools.   While her parents were concerned about her safety, she kept going.   ”If your cause is true and right you have to persevere. ”

Philantroteens

The UN Foundation’s Aaron Sherinian was next up for the opening keynote where he gave an overview of different global projects that through the power of social media and networks offer scale to social change issues.   One of the words he used caught my attention:  Philanthroteens.     These are teens with a passion for social change and who grew up not knowing what it was like to not to have a cell phone  or be connected to Facebook.      The media has dubbed this generation – “Qwerty Monsters” who send hundreds of text messages a day and don’t even like to use their phone for calls (and with two pre-teens in my house, I can attest this is true).     But it is more than the technology, it is also their passion to do good in the world.

Un Foundation

He shared the story of  the first-ever Girl Up Leadership Summit which brought together young girls who are helping change the face of global philanthropy.  They were joined by celebrities like actress and Girl Up Champion Monique Coleman, global leader Ambassador Melanne Verveer, and more than 100 young women from across the country.  These philanthroteens lead workshops on advocacy, communications and learned about their peers in developing countries.  Their meeting featured a special conversation via Skype with girls in South Africa as part of the Girl Up  Campaign’s emphasis on uniting girls around the world.

Panelists Cassandra Butts (Millennium Challenge Corp), Betty Hudson (National Geographic Society), and Angela Mwanza (UBS Private Wealth Management), taught them about ways to have an impact in their communities and world.  Together they discussed their personal challenges and accomplishments as leaders in their fields. Speakers Sarah Hurwitz (Senior Assistant to President Obama) and Monique Coleman of High School Musical also shared inspiring lessons. You can see it in the video above, well worth watching.

The Power of Networks and Flip Flops

Brasil is famous for its flip flops, a brand called Havaianas.   I visited the central market where there are many  flip flop vendors.    I wanted to bring back some as gifts for my teen girls in my family.  But I didn’t know their color preference.    So, I texted them. Within two minutes I got an answer.   The flip flop vendor was amazed that I could text two girls around the world and involve them in the purchasing decision.     But think about the power of connecting teenage girls in different countries and unleashing their “philanthroteen” energy to support women’s rights or other social causes.  Now that’s a powerful idea.

What programs do you know that help connect young girls to global women’s rights issues using technology and social media?    Is your nonprofit working with “philanthroteens?”

 

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8 Responses

  1. Days for Girls International counts on teens to serve as leaders in raising awareness of the value of women to their communities and schools. Our programs help break the taboos and marginalization that exists around menstruation. Teens help ensure that girls who would otherwise go without, have access to feminine hygiene and gain reproductive health knowledge. This simple, direct program helps girls stay in school, have more dignity and health.

  2. Zawadi says:

    I love the idea of girls & young women using their philanthroteens capacity to contribute, help shape & influence local and global women’s rights and social change agendas! This is definitely an untapped area in many places & I’m interested to know more and help connect dots where I can. I’ll be on the look out for any organizations in Africa that are actively engaging young girls through tech to contribute specifically to social change.

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring story Beth. As for involving young family members in a global purchasing activity, I just did that a week ago when I was in Sydney & sent my sister in Nairobi a picture of a top I wanted to buy her via whatsapp. Within seconds, I was able to make a decision to buy it knowing she’d like it :-) .

  3. Beth says:

    Zawadi and Celeste thanks for your thoughtful comments. Do you guys know each other? You should …

  4. [...] See what Beth Kanter wrote about the Social Good Brazil Seminar: I've just returned from keynoting  the first Social Good Brazil conference that took place in Florianapolis,  sometimes referred to the Silicon Valley of Brasil and where the nonprofit, social good, innovation, and technology community is leading the social change movement.  [...]

  5. Beth, it was a privilege and an honor having you with us at Social Good Brazil. Your ideas are contagious and so inspiring. We are looking forward to having you again next year. Thank you from the heart. Abraços, Fernanda and the Social Good Brasil team

  6. [...] and client), an organizer of the Social Good Summit, has been promoting the term (and concept) philanthroteen. Describing the new generation of 14- to 18-year-olds who are getting involved with online causes [...]

  7. [...] and client), an organizer of the Social Good Summit, has been promoting the term (and concept) philanthroteen. Describing the new generation of 14- to 18-year-olds who are getting involved with online causes [...]

  8. [...] also talks a lot about philanthroteens—described by social activist Beth Kanter as “teens with a passion for social change and who grew up not knowing what it was like to [...]

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