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October 5 2012

Sneak Peek: Erica Williams on Social Change

Erica Williams gives us a preview of what she'll be talking about in her keynote address at our 2012 Connector Award Event.

This is a truly exciting time – to be an activist, to be young, to be alive. The world is changing at a rapid pace and so is the technology that can help us make those changes positive and lasting.  For years I’ve spoken to audiences big and small, young and old, non-profit and corporate, about the beauty and possibility of the future and this generation’s unprecedented power to shape it.

Like an evangelist, I have “preached” about the unconventional ways in which cutting edge visionaries are creating social change: new methods, new models, new theories, new outcomes. I’ve worked with early stage social entrepreneurs , armies of college students activists, and cutting edge next generation leaders from around the world, and for all groups one key theme has been consistent: Technology is only as powerful as the people who use it.

In order for our social change movements to grow, evolve, and win, we must focus as much  energy on learning and developing new strategies for social change. I recognize now that the most important lessons to be learned aren’t just about the tools that we have at our disposal to change the world but about strategies that guide our usage of them. And underneath those strategies lie profound principles and values that drive us.

It’s these principles and values that inspire me and that need to be shared. Diversity, experimentation & innovation, transparency and sustainability are just a few of the values that build the foundation of this generation’s social change work. These themes provide the framework for how people from all sectors – advocates, social entrepreneurs, activists, artists, technologists and everyone in between – is working to shape the world.

Guided by these values, I am embracing an even more fearless approach in this next phase of my work. I am now partnering with a host of “unconventional” parties – individual influencers, socially responsible corporations, tech entrepreneurs, artists, - to make big plays in the quest for social justice and simultaneously dispel the myths around who and what it takes to change the world. I’m excited to talk more about this new work at the Groundwire Connector event and share the stories of how technology is empowering those of us with shared values to bridge sectors and interests and accelerate change faster than anyone ever thought possible.

Groundwire is one of the shining stars in the constellation of leaders who are merging the right values with the right tools and the right people to make change. I look forward to inspiring you with stories of others doing the same and sharing ideas for how this tech-savvy, principled generation can create a new future for our communities and our world.