Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Middle East

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Lessons Learned from the Arab Spring Revolutions

    by Azmat Khan, Habib Haddad, Vadim Lavrusik, Susannah Vila, Katherine Maher and Russell Dubner

    The current events in the Middle East and North Africa have shone a spotlight on how activists and ordinary citizens are using social media and connection technologies both to organize for social change and as to broadcast information from the streets in near real time. Our panelists will address questions such as, "What have been the most innovative and interesting uses of 21st century technologies in the recent campaigns?", "What are the ways activists are effectively leveraging 21st century technologies for their benefit?", "How could they use these tools more effectively and what lessons can protesters in other regions of the world learn?" and "How do we think these tools can be leveraged in these societies to improve democracy and open government?"

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 11th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

Saturday 12th March 2011

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Nonprofits and Free Agents in A Networked World

    by Beth Kanter, Danielle Brigida, Jessica Dheere and Mark Horvath

    This interactive session is based on a key theme in the book, The Networked Nonprofit (http://www.bethkanter.org/the-ne...), co-authored by Beth Kanter.

    We will explore how nonprofits can unleash the power of social good by transitioning from stand-alone institutions to networks energized by abundant resources in their ecosystem. In order to do this, they need to work with free agents, hyper-connected individuals who are passionate about social change, but don't work within institutional walls.

    Free agents use social-media channels like Facebook and Twitter and can create social movements in the palms of their hands. They organize supporters, raise attention to important social and political issues, seek donations, and organize supporters to walk, run, shout, protest, and vote, things that were once done mostly by nonprofit organizations. The free agents do it when and how they please, making them distinct from and more powerful than traditional volunteers.

    But free agents are smashing headfirst into nonprofit fortresses—organizations with high walls and wide moats that work very hard to keep insiders in and outsiders out. Our session will explore how and why this needs to change. Kanter will bring together a group of highly visible free agents working on important social change causes, including those in Middle East, and representatives from different nonprofits for a lively discussion with the audience.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 6AB, Austin Convention Center


  • Fostering Social Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets [Cancelled?]

    by Meg Garlinghouse

    Increasing entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging markets can positively transform lives, societies and economies. The Middle East, with its rich history in innovation across mathematics and science, is being viewed at the next hotbed of technology entrepreneurism.

    This has been recently acknowledged by President Obama at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, and by companies like Yahoo!, who continue to invest in this region of the world.

    While enterprise risk taking was once not perceived as culturally acceptable across the Arab world, it is today encouraged and happening across the region. This is especially true in Egypt, where there are more than 16.5 million Internet users, the largest Arab Internet population.

    To help foster that entrepreneurial spirit and appetite, Yahoo! and Egypt-based NGO, Nahdet El Mahrousa, are together spearheading an unprecedented campaign and competition to encourage social entrepreneurship among Egyptian youth. Dubbed, ‘Social Innovation Starts with YOU,’ the competition is inspiring thousands of Egyptian youth to conceive innovative social enterprise ideas that make a positive impact on the word.

    In Nov. 2010, the winners of the competition will be honored with monetary grants and technical and management support to help bring ideas to life. The audience will learn about the inception of this campaign, how it is making a positive impact on the region and why it is important to Yahoo!’s business.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    In Big Bend, Hyatt Regency Austin