While we started late due to Lenin Moreno, Vice President of Ecuador, running over on his panel (he had a lot to say—all good), our panel therefore had much less time, but was well received. The audience ranged from those just getting into social media to those who are encouraging reticent team members to use it. Discussion topics included incorporating high-tech and low-tech solutions; examining the power of organizational and individual storytelling; trying social media; and considering it not only as a means to acquire large numbers, but also its ability to offer immediate, one-on-one communication.
In addition, one of the audience participants, Hala, from Egypt, who was present during her country’s revolution, talked about using social media as a tool and writing new Egyptian laws to implement the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities on Facebook. Here is a short video of some of the panel discussion:
Justin Stockton – Application Developer for Development InfoStructure, Inc. (Devis). Justin builds accessible Web applications. Working mostly on US government projects to create Web sites that remove the barriers to information and provide people with disabilities access to the information, including several versions of Disability.gov. (Devis is a leading provider of IT consulting services and solutions to the US Government, as well as the international development community)
Marcel Bucsescu – Manager of The Conference Board Governance Center. Marcel oversees all Center programs and leads several key center efforts, including the introduction of social media and worked in the Diversity & Inclusion Councils. (TCB is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest, since 1916. Providing the world’s leading organizations with knowledge to improve performance and better serve society—and produce the Consumer Confidence Index®)
Paula Pearlman – Executive Director of the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC). Ms. Pearlman is a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, teaching Disability Rights and Special Education law as well as litigation skills. She also oversees social media including their eNewsletter, Community Outreach Programs and the Cancer Legal Resource Center—which has served over 310,000 people through it’s numerous activities. (The mission of the DRLC is to champion the rights of people with disabilities through education, advocacy and litigation)
John McMahon – Multi-media production manager of Cause Related Media. John writes and produced Public Service Announcements, short documentaries, corporate and non-profit marketing-communication programs, publicity and education videos using new media technologies—including YouTube. (Cause Related Media works strategically on creating a fit between company and cause—transforming compassion and charitable endeavours into a branding strategy, building positive corporate identity and arriving with a win-win-win outcome—for Company, Cause and Consumer)
Jessica Devaney – Communications and Production Manager at Just Vision. Jessica is a digital communications strategist and an award-winning producer with a decade of experience in technology and social change advocacy. She oversees online communications strategy, including web development and new media engagement. (Just Vision is an organization that creates multimedia tools, including documentary films and educational materials, profiling Palestinian and Israeli civilians working nonviolently to end the occupation and bring freedom, justice, security and peace to the region)
Salma Hasan Ali – Self described as a novice and non-tech person, Salma shares her experience and ease to tiptoe into blogging. She has traveled in the remote regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan and throughout the middle east bringing a fresh view to her personal blog. Through her writing she shares personal stories as a way to connect people across divides—whether it’s faith or culture or disability.
Chet Cooper – Moderator. Chet leads this diverse panel of social media experts, users and developers. Chet’s background includes building the first job board for job seekers with disabilities, the first volunteer home builders with disabilities program and the creation of one of the top 10 on-line magazines in the world.