I can’t believe that I have been working at TED as the Editorial Director of The Audacious Project for almost a year now! It’s been an exhilarating ride figuring out ways to amplify the work of the extraordinary social impact organizations funded through this initiative.
Each year the announcement of the funded projects happens during the annual TED conference in Vancouver, and it’s always a much-anticipated highlight of the week. So when it became clear that due to COVID, we couldn’t have an in-person event, it was decided that we would pivot to an 8-week online experience. This was pretty daunting for the whole organization. Having to convert an event designed for the live stage (one of the most famous in the world) into a compelling online program is no joke!
Luckily for the Audacious team, we had some digital-friendly content already in the bag, because pre lockdowns I had traveled to Rwanda and Kenya to shoot two mini-documentaries highlighting the work of Audacious grantees. Both ended up being selected for the mainstage session at TED2020 held virtually in June!
One of the videos features SNHU’s GEM program, which provides access to Bachelor’s degrees to refugees. Spending time with Saida, a refugee student from Kakuma camp in Kenya, and sharing her story and those of many other displaced communities was life-changing.
It’s been a busy few months at Girl Effect for me. I got promoted (yay me) and now lead content strategy across the organization. We also rolled out the first social campaign for the Nutritional International project and most excitingly we launched my passion project for the last few months Big Sis, Girl Effect’s first ever chatbot!
Big Sis uses guided conversation to answer girls’ questions about sexual health. Girls using Big Sis are guided through entertaining, informative content with quizzes (you know I had to have quizzes), to test their knowledge on sex, sexuality, contraception, and relationships.
Learn more about the iterative UCD process we employed to build Big Sis here.
We recently showcased our pioneering girl to experts at the Global Digital Health Forum in Washington DC. The forum is the leading networking event for global public and digital health experts from more than 100 countries.
Last week I hosted a breakfast panel launching Girl Effect and Vodafone Foundation’s #girlsandmobile research to the development community! The event was a preview of one of the biggest studies ever conducted on girls and mobile. Later that day I had the pleasure of participating in the public launch at the Social Good Summit, where 16-year old filmmaker Zuriel Oduwole introduced the report with a fantastic presentation that had us all on our feet! Read more about it here.
Know how hard my insights and evidence colleagues worked on this, so well done team!
Less than a year after launching as a global brand Springster has landed, it’s first big donor partnership. Over the next two years, we will be working with the amazing Canadian non-profit Nutritional international to target malnutrition among adolescent girls in Indonesia using our thriving mobile community.
We all gathered at the Canadian Embassy recently for the launch of the partnership
(yeah that’s me in the red listening intently to your CEO Farah’s speech….hi mom)
Read more about the event here and you can watch our super cute video that gives an overview of the work we’re doing below.
We discussed how we can we both enable greater voice and participation while still ensuring that we are protecting young people and their privacy. We shared how on Springster and the work we do at Girl Effect we collect the data needed to be able to adapt platforms and content to users needs and interests while minimizing the data we collect so that were respecting privacy and reducing the potential for data breaches. We explored how we use our data to understand the contribution of mobile and online platforms to behavior change whilst complying with privacy laws and regulations?
The secret to content that connects with girls? Listening to what they care about and creating platforms that move with them. I wrote this piece about how we at Girl Effect approach our content development process and the key to connecting with girls in authentic and impactful ways. Read more…
After 2 and half years as the digital content mama on GEM working with amazing media non-profit Girl Effect, I’m excited to finally be able to reveal our new rebrand as global girls digital brand Springster!
We traveled to 5 countries to talk to girls about what they wanted from GEM and girls told us they wanted to be part of something, as well as support and celebrate each other. We listened and responded with Springster, a brand that aims to build a community-focused identity and attitude, celebrating the diverse, inspirational and convention-defying experiences of all girls.
The branding is beautiful and it was amazing collaborating with the incredible brand team at Design Studio in London. But it’s not just our new illustrations (all done by an amazing female team we handpicked from almost every corner of the world) and fun UX that made this an amazing project for me, it was seeing how we’ve grown and evolved and learned with girls to bring them an even better version of our platforms. I have to give us all a pat on the back… we did good!
We hooked up with Youtube to create a ten-episode web series for Springster Indonesia!
The show adapted some of our most popular on-site content into a fun, conversational format covering everything from a takedown of catcalling culture to tips on preparing for job interviews, to a light-hearted deconstruction of harmful period myths.
The series was hosted by an inspiring group of young female influencers including actress and pop sensation Sheryl Sheinafia.
Thanks to our incredible Indonesian creative team Percolate Galatic we were able to secure some of Asia’s coolest creative talent including award-winning director and filmmaker Lucky Kuswandi, and we even scored a jingle by rising 18-year-old Indonesian singer-songwriter Heidi Nasution!
Have been lusting over Nigerian designer Eva Sonaike’s version of decadent Ankara interiors for a few years now, so it was such a treat to get to interview her for this piece on Essence.com. She’s such a dynamo, in a tough industry to crack for black people like decor she’s been doing that.
Love an unapologetically luxe, unapologetically African brand!
One of my favorite things to do… writing about awesome women who inspire me. This travel piece for Essence.com was such a labor of love and admiration for my passport gang woman crush Lerato Mogoatlhe.
Travel Diaries: Johannesburg Journalist Lerato Mogoatlhe Details Her Travels To Over 14 African Countries https://t.co/MJwJqfrbhr#Vagabond coming out this September. Please entertain my excitment…This article made me think about hitting the road again!