C2 MTL’s theme this year is ‘The Many’. The Many are not simply the masses, the disenfranchised, the proletariat. Rather, The Many is a term used to describe the ever-growing number of everyday people who are now empowered through technology to create, to motivate, to generate change, to inspire, to impact the world in a significant manner. Today, the few came to learn about The Many.
There exists within ever human the fundamental need to create. The moment humanity had spare-time once we evolved past hunting and gathering to surplus farming, we chose to use that time to create. No other time in history have we been so well armed with the ability to not only create, but also share our creations on a global level; this is the The Maker Movement. As described by James Jackson, GM for Intel’s Innovator Group, these are not inventors on the grand scale of an Edison, nor artist on par with Picasso. These types of labels only serve to intimidate and stifle progress by creating a fear of failure. So what are the Makers?
The Makers are the people designing the ultimate iPhone case with a cheap 3D printer in their basement, solving the global plague of spider webbed screens caused by a $1000 phone that's clearly made out recycled martini glasses, self-funding the project on KickStarter, and then selling it all over the world through Etsy. It is the return to the cottage industries of the days before we Wal-Marted the world. It is the empowering victory over the seemingly powerful corporations that is needed to ensure we, The Many, are making the changes the world needs; change beyond a better iPhone case (I hear the 7 is twice as strong anyways). Change that we are seeing through organizations like Global Citizens Network.
Global Citizens Network’s mission is to end extreme poverty by raising global awareness of the issue by registering as a Global Citizen on their site. They effect change through many means, the most interesting of which are concerts featuring the likes of Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer that are attended by no fewer than 60,000 of their Global Citizens. Some concerts require the citizens to prove their activity towards a cause to earn points that can then be cashed in for tickets; gamified activisms. Petitions are signed at the concerts and delivered to governments for action. While you may not solve all the worlds’ problems from one show, GCN has been directly linked to massive increases in government allocations of spending for the programs such as polio vaccinations for the developing world. So go to Globalcitizens.org, join the 500,000 Canadians who have already registered, and do something useful with your phone; become a Click-tavists.
Enter David Suzuki to the C2MTL stage to close out the evening. David has been hosting The Nature of Things since 1979, and the man has never been more relevant or more needed. At 80 years old, he is spearheading the Right to a Healthy Environment project. When successfully adopted, the environment would then have constitutional recognition under Canadian law, which would mean the environment now has rights. Theoretically, companies in violation of environmental acts could then be sued by citizens, on behalf of the environment; Atlantic Ocean vs Exxon.
David’s message was simple and poignant; we don’t know that it’s too late to save the planet, and what other choice do we have but to try.
Welcome to the world of The Many.