President Barack Obama called for a ‘new beginning’ in America’s relationship with the Muslim world during his historic speech in Cairo in June. Speaking in Morocco earlier this month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signalled the US would turn to the web to reach this goal, announcing a $5m initiative to ‘empower grassroots civil society organizations’ by helping them use digital technology.
With this foray into ‘social media for social change’, the US government is demonstrating that the internet will be at the center of foreign aid and development policy in the years to come and funding opportunities are on the horizon for civil society and non-profit organizations in the region.
Join us and our guests, both funders and grantees, to discuss these opportunities and look at how social media tools are already being used by organizations in Lebanon and the Middle East.
We’ll be talking to practitioners about their projects and asking them what problems they encounter working with online technology in a low-bandwidth environment and whether social media really can help empower us and our communities. We’ll also be examining the relationship between donors and practitioners and asking what role international funding should play in social media projects.