Videos from the 2012 Wired for Change Conference

[Source: Ford Foundation, October 23, 2012]

On October 23, 2012, the Ford Foundation hosted its second annual Wired for Change conference, bringing together social innovators, technologists, entrepreneurs, government leaders and philanthropists for provocative conversations about the challenges and opportunities big data presents for social change makers. How can we ensure that vast data sets are tapped for the common good? How do we protect the right to privacy? And how do we build a transparent framework for data collection and analysis that allows us to create a better and more equitable future for all?

For videos from conference sessions on big data, the end of privacy, and more, click here.


About the Event

Big Data, Big Challenges and Big Opportunities (9:50 a.m.)
Big Data has the power to transform. It offers us a new lens on the world—and with it, new ways to innovate and create, analyze and identify, strategize and achieve. Big Data has revolutionized how we plan and build cities, conduct business, run political campaigns and report the news. So what does it mean for social change makers? With access to an ever-growing number of data sets, how might public interest groups take advantage of data to further their work? This was a wide-ranging discussion of hopeful ideas and pragmatic concerns about our hyper-networked, hyper-public society.

Ethan Zuckerman (Moderator)
MIT Center for Civic Media

Sir Tim Berners-Lee
World Wide Web

Esther Dyson
Investor, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Jaron Lanier
Computer Scientist, Composer, Visual Artist and Author

Kaitlin Thaney
Manager of External Partnerships
Digital Science

The End of Privacy? (11:00 a.m.)
How Big Brother is Big Data? With data increasingly becoming a valued currency, in the corporate world in particular, the rush is on to collect as much as possible. How is that information mined, and how deep does the digging really go? How do we strike a balance between the need for data to fuel innovation, build markets and increase competitiveness, and the need to safeguard fundamental privacy principles? How can social change makers ensure they take into account both the day-to-day risks and the long-term implications of a data-run world?

John Palfrey (Moderator)
Head of School
Phillips Academy, Andover

Harvey Anderson
General Counsel and Public Policy Lead

Brad Burnham
Union Square Ventures

Kamala D. Harris
Attorney General

Jon Leibowitz
Federal Trade Commission

Ashkan Soltani
Independent Researcher

Bringing a New Lens to Old Data (12:00 p.m.)
Through the smart use of Big Data, we can identify areas of economic opportunity, track growth and productivity and visualize what a healthy economy looks like. And, says César A. Hidalgo, visualizing data in creative ways can lead to fresh insights and more effective strategies.

César A. Hidalgo
Assistant Professor
MIT Media Lab

Lunch Discussion: The Human Face of Big Data (12:30 p.m.)
Since March 2012, approximately 100 of the world’s leading photographers in over 30 countries have been searching out and capturing images that illustrate The Human Face of Big Data. Project creator Rick Smolan will share some of the stunning images from this globally crowdsourced media project focusing on humanity’s new ability to collect, analyze, triangulate and visualize vast amounts of data in real time.

David Kirkpatrick (Moderator)
Founder and CEO

Rick Smolan
Against All Odds Productions

Big Data and the Media (1:50 p.m.)
The ability to access reams of data at the click of a mouse has opened up new ways for the media to tell stories and support narratives. But it has also added new pressures and challenges. We look at how journalists and media outlets are handling data: when it works, when it doesn’t and when it’s just plain complicated.

Sewell Chan (Moderator)
Deputy Editor, Op-Ed and the Sunday Review
The New York Times

Emily Bell
Tow Center for Digital Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Stephen Engelberg
Managing Editor

Shazna Nessa
Deputy Managing Editor of Editorial Products and Innovation
Associated Press

Joseph Turow
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania

Tracking Progress: What The Media Cloud Can Do For You (2:40 p.m.)
The brainchild of Harvard’s Berkman Center and MIT’s Center for Civic Media, Media Cloud can store and index hundreds of thousands of articles a day from tens of thousands of blogs and conventional news sources, allowing us to see and understand the way stories morph, mutate and gain traction in local, national and international media. MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman illustrates the power of this new tool and what it means for organizations driving social change.

Ethan Zuckerman
MIT Center for Civic Media

First Do No Harm: Changing the Human Rights Landscape (2:55 p.m.)
Now more than ever, our data rich world enables us to build networks, grow movements, collectively build new public records, bring together the voiceless and marginalized, and identify abuse and shame the perpetrators. But the same tools that connect and reveal can also be used to quell dissent, censor, spy and punish. For legacy human rights organizations whose reputations are built on strategic expertise, controlled messages and careful research, these crowd-sourced tools present a difficult challenge. How do they incorporate the new while preserving the tried and true? How do they collaborate with tech developers to meaningfully seize the opportunities of Big Data without creating vulnerabilities that undermine their legacy?

Yvette Alberdingk Thijm (Moderator)
Executive Director

Jeremy Heimans
Co-Founder and CEO

Becky Hurwitz
Codesign Facilitator and Community Organizer
MIT Media Lab

Cristina Jiménez
Managing Director
United We Dream

Kenneth Roth
Executive Director
Human Rights Watch

Big Data and the Just City (4:05 p.m.)
Whether we are conscious of it or not, Big Data has changed the way we live, travel and co-exist in urban settings. It has been used to transform metropolitan development plans, identify areas of need and opportunity, and galvanize local movements seeking improvements to community services. We offer three vignettes of what’s new in the networked city, highlighting bold ideas for using data to create the just and sustainable urban environments of the future.

Rick Karr (Moderator)
Journalist and Educator

Adam Greenfield
Founder and Managing Director

Nithya V. Raman
Project Director
Transparent Chennai

Jon Tolva
City of Chicago

Pushing the Envelope: Baratunde Thurston (5:00 p.m.)
Whether personifying the Swine Flu on Twitter, treating a Foursquare mayor battle as legitimate politics or live-blogging his experience clearing an exit ramp on Lakeshore Drive during Chicago’s epic blizzard of 2011, Baratunde Thurston has used social media to do much more than post photos and beg for followers. Beyond delivering comedy and shock value, he has also engaged communities and delivered results. His riff on living online concludes our day.

Baratunde Thurston
“How to Be Black”