In 2010 I left my comfortable life in Sweden for a job opportunity in Belgium that I could not resist. I wanted to move out of my comfort zone and live abroad. I started working for the largest European network of civil society organizations, advocating for human rights. Before moving on, I would like to share three valuable things I have learned.
Imagine a hybrid of your professional profile on LinkedIn with a professional ‘dating-site’ that allows you to tick some boxes of what characteristics you are looking for, finds your matches and gives you the choice to swipe those who’s profiles you find most interesting. In other words, an online space for individuals to professionally matchmaker with a mentor or mentee.
Algorithms, hard to spell, let alone to understand as it implies a complex formula of something the majority do not understand, nor are interested in learning. The algorithms that I am I thinking of are the ones that are based on my online data and behaviour, and that pre-selects what information I see.
Instead of focusing on the few but loud voices on the extreme side, we should move our focus to the middle when designing a campaigns. Although we would like to win the most radical over on our side, we should ask if it in fact isn’t a bigger audience we would like to reach, those that can be ‘moved’ by our messages.
My friend said: Imagine that you are running a race against olympic medal winning athletes. You would like to win, although against your competitors you know you won’t have a chance. Yet, people around are cheering you on, saying ‘you can win, just run faster and you’ll make it’. This is the reality of many people experience discrimination.
This week I ended up in a discussion at work with interesting people from across Europe on how human rights advocates can use social media to raise awareness and change attitudes. Excited after our short talks I continued thinking about what is needed, and pinpointed a few preconditions that we tend to pay too little attention to.