TakingITGlobal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

TakingITGlobal, which is also known as TIG, is a charitable non-governmental organization focusing on global issues by promoting awareness and engagement among global youth. It was founded in 1999 in Toronto, Canada by Jennifer Corriero and Michael Furdyk, who are the Executive Director and Director of Technology respectively.[1] TIG uses an online social network aimed primarily at youth to raise awareness and discussion on a number of global issues and encourages youth to take action that affects their local and global communities. Often cited as “the world’s largest community for young people interested in positive change”,[2] TIG’s membership has exceeded 230,000 active members from about 136 countries, as of February 2009.[3] Their monthly growth rate has been estimated to be about 10%.[2] While a majority of the organization’s work is conducted through their website, TIG has also organized online e-courses, training programs and youth forums.[4] TIG's involvement with international conferences ranges from being a coordinating committee member of the Mexico YouthForce for the XVII International AIDS Conference to being an organizing partner for the 4th World Youth Congress (Conference Website) which was under the patronage of the Governor General of Canada.

Mission and vision[edit]

TIG's stated mission is to "provide opportunities for learning, capacity-building, cross-cultural awareness, and self-development through the use of Information and Communication Technologies."[5] TakingITGlobal's website lists seven objectives, which includes being the "preferred online destination for youth interested in cross-cultural expression, dialogue, networking, and collaboration" and to "mainstream recognition that young people are a key stakeholder in all aspects of society including national and international policy." [6]

History[edit]

When founding the organization in 1999, co-founders Corriero and Furdyk wanted to "work together to create a global network for young people who either have an idea that they want to develop, or who want the opportunity to work on someone else's project." [7] This was the foundation for one of the world's first online social communities. Within a year of its official launch on September 2, 2000, (predating services such as Facebook, MySpace and Friendster), the network was populated by thousands of teenagers from over 100 countries.[8] As the services and programs of TakingITGlobal evolved, Corriero now calls TakingITGlobal "a platform to support collaboration among young people in developing projects, in understanding and grappling issues, and influencing the decision-making processes, especially around those that are directly affecting young people."[9] TakingITGlobal merged with the Global Youth Action Network and developed various programs to strengthen youth participation in global decision-making, such as forums of the United Nations.

Programs[edit]

One of TIG's main offerings is its Online Community, which "guides users to a deeper awareness of social, economic, and environmental issues." It "builds a bridge between learning and action" thus "fostering mutual understanding across continents and languages."[10] There are a number of tools that users can use, from managing projects, participating in discussion boards, signing petitions and writing blogs.[4]

TakingITGlobal has also developed a platform for teachers, called TIGed (TakingITGlobal for Educators) where "teachers introduce online safe social networking to their students, but they can also connect with other educators who are passionate about global education."[11] The program has been recognized as a comprehensive collaborative tool for educators – for instance, at the 2008 National Educational Computing Conference in San Antonio organized by the International Society for Technology in Education, the TIGed program was referenced several times by various presenters.[12]

TakingITGlobal has recently partnered with the Pearson Foundation [5] to design and develop an e-learning course as part of its efforts to promote digital literacy. This project, called the Sprout e-course, focuses on educating participants on the subject of turning ideas on environmental and social sustainability into practical projects.

TakingITGlobal recently began working with Better The World, enabling their members and others to raise money for TIG simply by surfing the internet.

Awards and recognition[edit]

TakingITGlobal is notable for receiving a number of awards for its work with global youth. At the 2005 Canadian Awards for International Cooperation, TIG received the Mark Drake Award for Excellence in Communicating the Private Sector's Contribution to International Cooperation Issues.[13] In 2007, TIG received the Microsoft Education Award as a Laureate of the 2007 Tech Museum Awards.[14] TIG was also recognized as one of the World's Most Democratic Workplaces by WorldBlu, having received the honor two years in a row in 2007 and 2008.[15] TakingITGlobal's founders have also won a number of awards on a personal level for their work with TIG. Correiro has won the 2008 Social Entrepreneur of the Year (Impact Conference), and has been listed as one of Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2007 by Women's Executive Network in the 2007 Future Leader Category.[16] Furdyk has been named as one of the 10 Tech Revolutionaries Redefining the Power and Face of Philanthropy by Contribute Magazine, and has been selected as one of Converge Magazine's "Shapers of Our Future".[1]

Membership[edit]

As of January 2010, TakingITGlobal's global membership numbered over 250,000.[3] Don Tapscott, the author of the best-selling book Wikinomics, called TakingITGlobal "one of the world's best examples of how N-Geners are using digital technologies to transform the world around them." [17] To access the resources available, a logon is required. However, membership is free, and is done in keeping with the organization’s privacy policies, to aid freedom of expression, information and online security of its members. The minimum age of membership is 13 years, though teachers and/or parents are also allowed to gain membership on behalf of a minor.

Supporters and partners[edit]

TIG has an extensive list of funders and supporters across all sectors, including Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Canadian International Development Agency, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation and The Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation.[18] Their website also lists a number of partner organizations that include Journalists for Human Rights, Oxfam Canada, Greenpeace International and various UN agencies.[19]

Criticism[edit]

TIG came under criticism in 2008, when Mathew Trevisan of the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail commented on TIG’s size, and observed that TIG might be “too big to be effective.”[20] Apart from this, TIG was also seen by some others as one that only serves the interests of developing nations and in need of a wider appeal to attract a more global membership. Another concern was the need to initiate selective sponsorship onto its website, in order to fund its increasing impact, and its need to incorporate a more exclusive approach to its membership, without being seen as a "sell-out."[20]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ a b DYNV.org
  3. ^ a b About TIG
  4. ^ a b TakingITGlobal Website
  5. ^ TIG Mission
  6. ^ TIG Objectives
  7. ^ Azam, Sharlene. "They are IT ; Entrepreneurs Jennifer Corriero and Michael Furdyk want to connect youth with technology." Toronto Star. August 22, 2000, F01
  8. ^ Frank, Steven (October 12, 2001). "Helping Hands". Time Magazine, p. 67.
  9. ^ e-NBFC Report, page 30. The Baller Herbst Law Group, June 2008.
  10. ^ "TakingITGlobal: Adding Social Change to the Curriculum" Podtech.net. November 26, 2007
  11. ^ Shyrock, Kathleen. "Compassionate Clicking" Leadership for Student Activities Magazine. December 31, 2008.
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ 2005 Mark Drake Award
  14. ^ 2007 Education Award Laureate, The Tech Awards
  15. ^ WorldBlue Press release
  16. ^ 2007 Canada's Most Powerful Women
  17. ^ Tapscott, Don and Williams, Anothy D. (2006). Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, p. 50. Penguin Books Ltd., London. ISBN 1-59184-138-0.
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ [4]
  20. ^ a b Trevisan, Matthew. “Social Networking for social change.” The Globe and Mail. July 28, 2008.