EDITORS INTRODUCTION — This workshop is one of six that emerged from the 2019 Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change. An international group of students was tasked, over the course of three weeks engaging in seminars, workshops and other learning experiences, to devise an interactive learning experience for their peers that responds to the crisis of distrust. Please read the project overview to learn more, and see the people behind this work.
WHO is our audience?
Our audience consists of students who consume news through social media, who aspire to be more politically involved but do not feel equipped to do so. Overwhelmed by the chatter of contemporary public discourse, they are often filled with a sense of hopelessness, and are at a loss for how, or even why they should engage. This audience values transparency, empathy, responsibility, flexibility, and courage.
WHAT is the issue/challenge our learning experience addresses?
Our audience cares about social issues. They are bombarded with information that makes them want to take action, but the many upsetting stories they see on social media are rarely accompanied by concrete steps they can take. This feeds their sense of hopelessness — a sense that the problems we face are too big for us to change by ourselves, that our efforts will only ever amount to a drop in the bucket, so why bother?
Total Noise: “the seething static of every particular thing and experience, and one’s total freedom of infinite choice about what to choose to attend to”.
- David Foster Wallace (2008)
In today’s era of digital dissemination, our audience is immobilized by the very thing that is meant to mobilize them. Disquiet may spark change, but hopelessness cripples the spirit and breeds learned inaction: Over time, the audience learns not to act, not to react; they actively choose passivity.
“Research has shown that, under normal circumstances, inducing hope is more likely to result in action; inducing fear is more likely to result in inaction.”
- Tali Sharot
WHAT is the experience?
Check out our podcast trailer for a sneak peek into just that.
Here’s a sneak peek into our Facilitation Guide:-
Do you want to know more? That was the first question on the quiz. Find the rest of them here.
You can engage even more deeply with the concept by exploring our Facilitation Guide.
WHAT will our audience get out of this experience?
- Participants will feel comfortable owning their personal brand of activism.
- Targeted Input, Optimal Output: Participants will be better equipped to identify instances where their actions may not have the intended impact.
- Participants will feel empowered to up their civic action engagement.
- Participants will gain a wider perspective on concrete everyday ways in which they can consume and interact with media.
- Participants will critically analyze and learn ways to change their social media habits, and start developing a critical outlook.
The workshop is meant to propagate Impactivism, to translate intent into impact.
The participants should ultimately be having fun during this workshop. It is an opportunity to build empathy and understand the roles of media consumers/makers.
Generation Impactivist is about fostering trust by exploring shared social vulnerabilities. Change cannot happen until we bring all the stakeholders to the table, and this workshop seeks to create that table. Our vision is to rebuild trust by championing civic dialog; to bring together skeptics and followers alike, under the aegis of their own humanity. Lionizing the essence of the human values that underlie the cohesion of civic society, our interactive learning experience was born of the seamless confluence of human libraries and fugitive spaces. We invite participants to enter it with an open mind and heart.