Archive | May, 2012

Why is Simon working in Rio de Janeiro?

27 May

Hi everyone,

Firstly, some of you might be unsure on what I do for a living – so listen to the AudioBoo for my post-university life story.

Why should you keep an eye on Rio de Janeiro this June?

Let’s go back 20 years to 1992, whenVanilla Ice was still cool and a girl stood up at the Rio Earth Summit making the world listen to the need for sustainable development.

This UN conference (Rio Earth Summit) was HUGE – If you were in school within the last 20 years, your geography lessons have featured aspects discussed at the summit. Such as

  • Sustainable Development
  • Climate Change
  • Agenda 21 (a blueprint for sustainable development at the global, national and local level)

and now 20 years later, the UN, governments, organisations and individuals are making a  returning to Rio, for the

Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development 20-22nd June

to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development and to create the future we want.

Why Now?

Climate change, high unemployment, water scarcity, food security, high populations,  decreasing fish stocks, the need for a better green economy and alternative energy resources plus other global issues that we all know about, need to be solved on an international level before it is to late. After all,
These meetings have been going on longer then I and 3 billion other young people have lived for.

Why am I in Rio?

I do online communications  for Peace Child International  an organisation that empowers young people to be the change they want  to see in the world.

I will be commenting, promoting and giving news updates on  Twitter, Facebook etc.. but more then that I will also be joining hundreds of other inspiring young people, adults and organisations in Rio and 10,000s across the world in – pushing world leaders to commit to making the world a more sustainable place and creating the future we need ASAP.

So, please when you hear about Rio+20 (20-22nd June) just prick up your ears – I’m there, that is what I am working on.

You can also follow what I am involved with, online and do your part in pushing for a cleaner, fairer future by getting involved yourself with loads of petitions and actions.

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

Work Links

6th World Youth Congress.  June 4-13th
Where youth learn new skills and camapigning tips peer-to-peer, will be held in Rio at the beginning of June; and I am coordinating the online social media strategy involving the 1000s of youth who could not join us in the city of Samba.

Road to Rio+20
A coalition, uniting organisations around the world which are mobilising youth towards Rio+20.
Since May last year, I have been doing the social media for this  initiative & it will be in over-drive during Rio+20 

UK Links

Want to do something in the UK – Check out these links for further information.

UK Governments Rio+20 Stance


Stop Climate Chaos – Rio Connection

Festival of Transition

Alternative Conference for the Rio Earth Summit

Speak up for Children
Campaign to get UK’s Nick Clegg to speak for the drought in West Africa at Rio+20

Worldwide Links & Petitions

Official Rio+20 website

Major Group of Children & Youth’s website
The group that officially speaks for young people at Rio+20

Right to the Future
Petition for Ombudsperson for Future Generations
Tell World Leaders to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies!


For the Teachers

A great website full of resources for teaching sustainable development and youth engagement  – made by me!


Social Media PowerPoint Presentations Should Be Punched In The Face

1 May

Imagine this:
You are sat within an audience watching a person who claims to be a social media ‘guru’ or ‘expert’ start their PowerPoint presentation.

Slide 1. Contains the title (obviously) which will more then likely hint that this PowerPoint presentation will give you the secret  to eternal social media guru power.
Slide 2. Uses a open question to get you engaged – 99% of the time this question is ‘So, what is social media?‘.
Slide 3.  Sets the scene and gives you a overview history of social media – Remember that lesson, we had to have before using the Kettle? You know, the one in which you had to learn about the history of kettles before you could use it. Well this slide is just the same.
Slide 4. Goes into different types of social media platforms. – With the guru stating that there are some very popular ones and some that are not
Slide 5. Then has photos of said social media platforms – just in case you don’t know what social media looks like; – Like that one time someone had to show me a picture of a foot, so that I could understand their story about a foot.
Slide 6. Contains statistics on how many people used social media today –  For the sole reason that big numbers look great in a PowerPoint presentation.
Slide 7.  Is full of business terms like highly targeted audience, core metrics and qualitative benefits  just to make the point that social media is a platform of highly targeted audiences, made of core metrics that bring in qualitative benefits.

The guru then finishes with several slides showing how different companies have used social media to create a niche for themselves and gain a gazillion followers.

If you are having a hard time imagining this scenario, don’t worry – within a 1 minute search on the interwebs I found 3 perfect examples:- 

I could now fit in a image that represents Death by PowerPoint, but I’m not, because even that is overused – so instead I’m going to give you a link – its up to you if you click. But it is a hell of a-lot better then an image that represents Death by PowerPoint.

So I now, as king of what is right for man-kind : declare a ban on all PowerPoint presentations to do with social media – We  can not use the most soul-destroying presentation tool  to represent the most creative, communication tool on the planet.

Let’s instead

  • Use the internet.
    Why not go on the social media sites instead – it makes it a little bit more fun. (make sure you xxx browser history, doesn’t crop up by accident…)
  • Prezi it.
    Yes it is just a fancy PowerPoint, but it is a little bit more fun then slides
  • Get the flip-chart paper & post-it’s out
    Go old school, everyone loves a bit of flipchart paper and post-it’s – it allows the audience to  be creative in what they write/draw
  • Start roundtables. We can assume everyone understands social media to a certain extent – so don’t go on about your stats and figures on why it is important, get everyone to discuss it’s importance, tip, hints and ideas. Open Source the data within everyone’s heads .
  • Make a game
    Everyone loves games
  • Make a story.
    and everyone loves stories – these are what made us learn, understand and create new ideas when we were wee children. – So why should we give it up?
  • Be more creative then I am within these bullet-points.
    Seriously I do not have all the answers

I challenge you.