Real world social networks: Powering the girl effect

February 20, 2013 by

(link to opening presentation on Prezi)

“People are poor because they are powerless,” says BRAC Founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. But power isn’t necessarily a zero-sum game. It takes work, but you can create it, because power comes from relationships and you can give people a safe space (or as some say a platform) to create and strengthen real world social networks they might not otherwise have time or space to build.

Utilizing the power of those safe spaces for girls and women in development was the underlying idea discussed at a Social Media Week 2013 event featuring Pro Mujer Founder and CEO Lynne Patterson, She’s the First Director of International Operations Christen Brandt, BRAC’s Farzana Kashfi and BRAC USA’s Scott MacMillan.

It’s a power that UNICEF, The World Bank, MasterCard Foundation, Nike Foundation and Whole Planet Foundation are all partnering in different ways with BRAC to provide support for girls in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Haiti.

While context is always an asterisk, that power has had some impressive results in some of the most difficult contexts. Just ask former skeptic Markus Goldstein at the World Bank.

Many thanks to BRAC Task Force NYC for hosting and organizing. Check out the video of the event above, as well as the Twitter stream for the event below — and let us know what you think in comments or on Twitter using #SMWgirls.