Room for all? How social entrepreneurs in media are forging a new infrastructure for participation | DW's international conference: Global Media Forum. | DW | 10.04.2014
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Room for all? How social entrepreneurs in media are forging a new infrastructure for participation

Monday, June 30, 2014, 4.00 p.m., Plenary Chamber

Hosted by: ASHOKA

Our world has changed profoundly. New technologies and globalization have transformed traditional power structures, opening opportunities for millions to participate in society in ways that they could not before. And change is accelerating.

A world of rapid change is a complex landscape to navigate. Instead of hierarchies and institutions, we now live in a more decentralized world. Knowledge is no longer enough: everyone must be creative, flexible, and empathic problem-solvers who collaborate and create in changing environments.

New rules are now emerging in the media, too, in many cases shaped by the innovations of social entrepreneurs whose initiatives are causing us to reimagine the roles of audience, journalist, and media enterprise. They are improving access to information and fostering broader and more effective civic participation.

This workshop will take a closer look at this emerging infrastructure by examining the strategies of key social entrepreneurs:

a) Reaching out to new audiences – Ken Banks, who has developed channels that connect otherwise excluded citizens;
b) Financing independent media – Sasa Vucinic, whose new initiative converts audiences into investors, providing new capital to independent news organizations;
c) Engaging marginalized actors in the production of news - Cristi Hegranes, whose network enables coverage of development issues typically overlooked by mainstream media;
d) Strengthening information communities – Sascha Meinrath, whose technologies ensure that all people gain secure and affordable access to Internet service.

After a brief introduction of each case , the floor will be open to discuss questions such as: How should journalism be financed? Where is the line between activation and advocacy in media? What tools are available for making information accessible and understandable for larger audiences? What media skills must citizens develop to improve participation? How do we define ‘quality’ in journalism?


Banks, Ken
Founder of and FrontlineSMS, UK

Hegranes, Christi
Founder of Global Press Institute, USA

Meinrath, Sascha
Director of X-Lab, and Founder of the Open Technology Institute, USA

Redmer, Jens
Head of New Products, Google, Germany

Vucinic, Saša
Co-Founder of the Media Development Loan Fund, Founder and CEO of V Media Venture and Founder of IndieVoices, Singapore


Frischen, Konstanze
Ashoka International Board Member, Germany

Vollmann, Michael
Co-Director Ashoka Globalizer, Ashoka Deutschland gGmbH, Germany