Sitting in an ouzo bar late at night in Athens last Friday, I got asked by a colleague out-of-the-blue what my "vision" was. Never an easy question to answer whether enebriated or not (I wasn’t.) I think I replied something along the lines of, "Hey, how about that Acropolis!"
Sitting on the subway this morning, it came to me what I’m about: I provide lightsabers to Ewoks.
That is to say, I want to help enable the "little guy" (the
marginalized, the unheard, the suffering) to get access to the weapons
to fight against the Imperial Forces. And when I say "weapons" I don’t
mean the bang-bang-kill kind, I mean the armaments of public debate —
access to the traditional media, tools to create new media, aggregators
and disseminators of critical information. The communication tools of social change in a democratic society.
Why light sabers, you might ask? Why not Imperial Star Destroyers for Ewoks? For me, the light saber signifies that how you win the fight is just as important as whether you win or not. The Jedi light saber is about power exercised responsibly, with honor, grace, and flair.
So my personal interest is in cool technological solutions that empower people, that give voice. Whether that be building spaces for civil society in virtual worlds, video podcasting, or $100 laptops for the poor. These obviously aren’t the only tools that matter, but they are key to the success of various social movements for change.
Obviously this is a work in progress. But isn’t everything…