Producing TED Conversations

TED’s social team has been experimenting with live conversations on the TED Instagram account, for the past year and recently I reached out to them with a proposal to do an Audacious series of these focused on urgent global issues.  We launched late last year and have to say it’s been such a fun collaboration!

The idea is to bring together a change-maker/ activist and an influencer with a passion for a particular social issue to discuss innovative ideas and strategies to address it. Our first one was a climate conversation featuring James Bond star Pierce Brosnan and Audacious Project leader Dr. Heidi Sosik of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Recently we hosted Top Chef host and activist Padma Lakshmi in conversation with World Central Kitchen founder Chef José Andrés.

Love how engaged global influencers like Padma have been in this project and how they are using it as a platform to talk about issues they are passionate about.

I’m excited to see the series grow and and super proud to be leading a project that has seen so many people engaging with important global issues in an accessible and entertaining way.

We built a chatbot!

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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. 

Launching Girl Effect’s first global brand, Springster

facebook-header-3.2e16d0ba.fill-790x400After 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!

You can learn more about Springster in our factsheet

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Springster series Hara Huru Dara featured at YoutubeFest

fanfestWe 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!

 

It’s a good day when Mark Zuckerberg gives your work a shout out

I’m not one for industry hot air blowing and bro-butt-slapping (which tech has a lot of) but it’s something special when the work you do makes you feel something deeply. I am so proud to have had Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg highlight Girl Effect Mobile today with a touching video about the impact Internet.org has had in Africa. It was also how Facebook chose to launch its global incubator for Free Basics project (which is also coincidentally being lead by the amazing South Africa team at my employer Praekelt Foundation).

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The moral of this story though is that when your work gives you warm, fuzzy and inspired feelings you know you’re on to something good, and the Girl Effect has been that and so much more to date. #Grateful to get paid to do what I love AND be able to do my bit to change the world in the process.

 

Covering The Elections With BET News

ImageI have been working with BET News as a PA for social and production for the last few months, this is the department that produces current affairs and news specials within BET. Their main focus has been to create a credible current affairs model within a niche music and entertainment environment.

They have produced notable feature-length specials on the Trayvon Martin case, Michelle Obama’s mission in Africa, as well as an in-depth interview with President Obama addressing black America. Their documentary “The Curious Case of Citizen Cain” was also a recent winner at the NABJ (National Association Of Black Journalists) 2012 Salute to Excellence Awards.

Their latest two-part documentary is called Second Coming? Will Black America Decide 2012 Check out the trailer here

While working with BET News on their various projects my main duties included: working as a social media specialist, editorial researcher, and producer support, as well as a control room PA and social media manager for the three LIVE broadcasts of the political conventions titled BATTLEGROUND 2012.

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Convention nights were definitely a highlight. Being a part of the control room buzz, responding to multiple script changes, live fact checking, all while trying to prepare for that thing that could go wrong at any second! It was scary, but also thrilling. As the person in charge of filling and animating the onscreen twitter board too, every night you’d find me juggling multiple device screens (this included my cellphone, two laptops and a tablet LOL!) but seeing something you’ve created go live to millions of viewers before your eyes is worth it.

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My Final Analysis:

Looking at the #BETRNC and #BETDNC the broadcasts for me were definitely a huge success! The idea that BET could put forward premium quality live elections coverage was surprising to some. But knowing how talented the force behind the scenes was, I expected nothing less.

BET News served the needs of its niche audience without compromising on journalistic credibility, which isn’t always easy when it’s an African American audience in a presidential race with a black incumbent. But in my opinion, they nailed that balance and put forth the most innovative social media strategy for TV news of the entire convention coverage cycle.

And as Jay Z said, the numbers don’t lie:

August 30, 2012 

#BETRNC was the #3 top trending topic WORLDWIDE on Twitter.

September 4, 2012 

#BETDNC was the #2 top trending topic WORLDWIDE on Twitter.

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