As a male ally, my focus is on what I refer to as Phase 4 of Women Weave the Web: ‘Amplifying Influence’. Having gained access to the web, become literate and developed a sense of empowerment, how do women use these new found skills and tools to generate the greatest impact?
Clearly being able to suddenly share information, images and ideas around the world will bring huge benefits to all people wishing to bring about change. So what else is needed, one may ask?
The extra layer that will help women to amplify their influence even further is greater expertise in the area of creative, persuasive communication. What I’m talking about here is the difficult task of trying to change the hearts and minds of people who may be apathetic, or who are simply against the change being proposed.
To this end, I am in the early stages of establishing an online entity called Wise Women Will Save the World (Healing our planet by amplifying the influence of women). It is my firm belief that the XX Factor in women presents humanity with a gift-wrapped set of tools and attributes urgently needed to redesign society and repair our planet. A combination of empathy, collaboration, intuition, creativity, community building and a willingness to approach problems holistically can align and strengthen our current disjointed efforts.
To read the Manifesto, and to find out about the concept of The Contemporary Wise Woman, see the attached files.
Although Wise Women Will Save the World is still in its embryonic stage, I have been able to quickly connect with an impressive and diverse group of people via several social media sites. Connections range from professors in gender studies and authors of books on women’s empowerment right through to feminist activists and a New York venture capitalist specialising in projects that benefit girls and women.
Here you can see how Wise Women Will Save the World is using a variety of social media sites. The Scoop.it site acts like a library of curated content that can be shared via other social media sites.
The purpose of this new entity is to share creative techniques of communication and influence that genuinely shift thinking and inspire action in the areas of human rights, social justice and environmental sustainability. The issues here are all extremely complex, sensitive and divisive, and the online community's focus will be on the types of communication and influence that are proving effective when trying to address such issues.
In my view, every person committed to a healthy future for our planet needs to be as competent as possible in their ability to exert top-down, bottom-up and peer-to-peer influence on those around them. Whatever insights are gained and shared via online resources must ultimately translate into offline behavioural change. Digital empowerment must become real-world progress.
Wise Women Will Save the World has two main aims: * To freely share exactly what is working when it comes to influencing all types of people and organisations to move towards sustainable business, lifestyle and cultural practices. * To provide educational materials for those changemakers who wish to increase their expertise in the areas of influence and communication.
We place a strong emphasis on the use of non-linear, highly creative and artistic forms of communication, in order to: • differentiate it from the bland approach that characterises much academic, bureaucratic and corporate communication • develop deeper connection and convey greater meaning • transcend language and cultural barriers
Both conceptually and stylistically, it’s about flow rather than flow charts, connections rather than categories, and stories rather than statistics. Connecting head and heart is paramount.
The internet is a vital tool for women changemakers as, using digital communication, women can now give and receive support and strategies in ways that, firstly, bypass traditional sources of control and censorship, and, secondly, don’t have to pass through the filter of masculine values. Furthermore, qualities like wisdom and empathy are invisible; they can be captured and cultivated remotely, then instantly shared via digital technology.
Let me conclude by describing what I believe will become the most influential group of women the world has ever seen. Because of longstanding, widespread migration, coupled with the recent advent of the internet, our planet is now covered in vast, closely connected diaspora communities that are poised to play a critical, unique role in merging the developed and less developed worlds, and softening the divide between diverse religious and ethnic groups. A source of enormous leverage for those wishing to ignite social change is the potentially massive and unprecedented influence of women within global diaspora communities.