Making Compelling Video: a free brown bag for Nonprofits
As a part of our ongoing free brown bag presentations on a range of topics applicable to anyone working in the nonprofit sphere, we are proud to announce Video for Nonprofits. Our guest presenter will be Greg Tuke, an international video and social media consultant. Register now for this interactive (Greg will be bringing video cameras with him!) free workshop. Now in Greg's own words...
As a part of our ongoing free brown bag presentations on a range of nonprofit technology topics, we are proud to announce Video for Nonprofits. Our guest presenter will be Greg Tuke, an international video and social media consultant. Register now for this interactive (Greg will be bringing video cameras with him!) free workshop.
Making compelling video: the next best thing to being there
Tahrir square, Egypt, 2011 Getty Images
For a decade, I worked with schools in the most racially diverse zip code in America, 98118. This vibrant community is just a short, 10 minute ride down the street from the NPower NW office. Yet, like much of the rest of America, it was tragically isolated from the world at large. So, ten years ago I decided to quit my job to see if we could do something about this. And I hoped the emerging communication technologies might help.
Only a small minority of Americans travel in their lifetimes outside America. Fewer still travel to developing countries with dramatically different cultures from our own. Yet it is these experiences that consistently alter how we see ourselves and others, and create breakthroughs in developing our own empathy and cross-cultural understanding.
I had two big questions as I began this 3 month journey to Central America in the fall of 2003, my first stop on what has turned into an eleven year journey. First, would students in other countries want to connect directly with Americans? And second, even if they did, would they have the technology and know-how to do it?
What I discovered stunned me. Not only did students and teachers and community folks want to connect, but that in some respects, the technology and know-how far surpassed what we had in America! I first saw this in Guatemala one day, traveling for eight long hours, first by chicken-bus, then pick-up, then in a small, wooden boat to a dirt-road village nestled in swamplands near the Pacific. As I walked through the village looking for water to quench my thirst after the long ride, I walked into a small 8 by 10 room that was alive with loud teenagers. All sitting in front of computers, playing games and on Skype talking with friends. The lab was run by a 16 year old girl. In my halting Spanish, I asked where she learned to repair and troubleshoot the computers and she said from her brother, who just “picked it up somewhere”. There were no computers at any school in the village, but somehow, somewhere, villagers were getting access to computers and learning to make them work. Yes, it’s true, the generator would breakdown regularly, losing electricity for an hour or two (you learned quickly to hit “save” often), but people were finding all kinds of ways to get the most out of what they had.
Since then I have found this to be true in the wildest places I have worked: From villages in South Africa, Peru, and Gaza, to urban neighborhoods in Jordan, Senegal, and Morocco, people are using live video conferences, making documentary videos and other forms of social media in more sophisticated and creative ways than we are in the US. Some of the tech tools are more advanced than ones found in the states. But even more common is to see enormous creativity in squeezing the most out of whatever tech is available. Organizations like Witness.org and Soliya are using video technology and social media throughout the Middle East and elsewhere to build cross-cultural understanding and build support for causes they care deeply about.
Wednesday, June 27, at noon at the NPower NW office, I will be teaching some of the lessons I have learned in my travels on how to make compelling videos simply and easily for your cause. So you can then incorporate it into your everyday work, year-round.
Most of the students in zip code 98118 may never travel to Guatemala or meet the people you are serving in your organization, in person. But when we use these communication tools well, it’s the next best thing to being there. And that changes lives.
-Greg Tuke, Tuke International Consulting
This fall, Greg will be teaching a class on Social Media/Global Change at Seattle University, and traveling to Egypt to work with students in Cairo as well. During the 11 week class, students in both countries will use live video conferencing and produce social media together. From 7,000 miles away.