During our exploration of Human Rights as a problem solving topic, we focused on creation of child soldiers as a crime against humanity. That journey brought us to Invisible Children (which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube). The young men responsible for creating Invisible Children represent the potential within all of us. They originally went to Africa with a couple thousand dollars and a nice camera. Their mission was to capture some of the injustice experienced on the continent. During their travels they came to the city of Gulu. There they found hundreds of young children sleeping in the streets of the city. Upon investigation they discovered the children were hiding from local rebel groups, so that the soldiers would not kill them, or take them as child soldiers. Moved by the stories they heard, these young men made a promise to do something for the children of Uganda.
My students and I came across Kony 2012 on Tuesday, March 6th 2012. At that time there were only around 5,000 views of the video. As of this morning (Friday, March 9, 2012) over 52,000,000 people have viewed the call to action. This campaign represents the power of not only social networking, but our young people as well. When faced with injustice they gathered together, used digital media to rally others to the cause, and then proved to the establishment that change is here.
The digital media revolution represents a shift in the fundamental structure of our global society. When people join together by the millions to fight injustice globally, governments are forced to pay attention. When these same people begin to speak out and share with others, those same governments are then obligated to take action. Kony 2012 represents the potential that both technology, and our youth have to truly make the world a better place. Regardless of what one thinks of the endeavor, it is a direct reflection of the exponential changes new technology has introduced to the human experience.