Piers Handling, CEO and Director of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) invited Don Tapscott and myself to lead a consultancy to help TIFF with its strategic planning during its transition into its new home at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
As a premier cultural institution, TIFF offers screenings, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, industry support and the chance to meet filmmakers from Canada and around the world. We helped TIFF understand how to blend accessibility, inclusion and new models of community engagement and technology tools into its programming and mission.
Similar to my work with the Art Gallery of Ontario, I created a unique unconference model to gather feedback from TIFF staff, share insights from the public, and assessed challenges and opportunities with their website and communications tools.
I was a contributor to Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams’ Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet, the follow up to their international bestseller, Wikinomics. I led the creative direction for this promotional video and wrote the script, visualizing the book concepts from energy and the environment, government, science and finance to healthcare technology and media and more, through a series of illustrated vignettes. Illustrations done by the fabulously talented Liisa Sorsa from ThinkLink Graphics.
There are a number of global social tech and community engagement awareness days throughout the year, so I thought I’d help shine a brighter light on the awesome social tech community. Based on the success of the Toronto screenings I organized, I thought it would be fun for social tech and social change makers to self-organize screenings of Us Now around the world to inspire new opportunities for collaboration across government, education, technology and volunteer communities.
Here are the cities that have hosted Us Now screenings:
Us Now is a UK documentary film project that discusses how Web 2.0 inspires people to participate in their communities in new ways. The film’s strength is its appeal to a broad audience; it speaks well to non-techies and boomers. It’s a great conversation starter for people to take back and discuss Web 2.0 opportunities in their communities. Film length: 59 minutes.
Featured speakers in the film: Don Tapscott, Clay Shirky, Alan Cox, Charles Leadbeater among others.
Individual screening dates are totally flexible and decided by the organizers. But, it would be fun to have a group of them around the same time or at the exact same time for organizers and audience members to connect across cities and capture this online and on film.
The ideal audience includes a cross-section of community members (students, politicians, techies, non-profits, funders etc.) to inspire participation and cross-community collaboration. Ideally (but optional), you could invite community-friendly organizations to host display tables at the screening to directly connect attendees to local meetups, organizations and conferences to facilitate more learning and participation.
To Do List & Costs:
If you wish, organizers can charge a pay what you can fee for the screening to help raise funds for your group/meetup. Since the film is on a Creative Commons license, the Us Now producers, Banyak Films have agreed to receive 20% from the fees collected in lieu of negotiating film distribution rights since I have no funds to cover this. You can PayPal the fees email@example.com and mark as ‘US Now Services’. Us Now is free for the public to view online, so this is a way to help the producers cover their costs.
Us Now is available for free online viewing or organizers can purchase the DVD online for about US$20.
Theatre space: approach social innovation centres/universities to donate free space=$0
Keynote: Don Tapscott or Anthony Williams to Skype/video/keynote and/or answer audience Q&As. Celina to arrange with Don. Cost=$0.
Catering: In Toronto, we asked a green caterer to sell drinks and snacks, so catering cost=$0.
Event promo: Used Eventbrite, Eventful, Twitter, Facebook and bloggers to plan and promote the event, cost=$0.
The Us Now Blog, Don Tapscott, and Meetup sites will also post the event screening on their blogs=$0
More than half of Toronto residents live in “Food Deserts,” neighbourhoods that do not have access to good quality and affordable food.
On World Food Day, October 16, 2012, Toronto’s community leaders are coming together at the newly opened Daniels Spectrum to celebrate a cross sector approach to achieving a sustainable local food system with good food for all.
“Many people think of hunger as a problem exclusive to other countries, but as we know, it’s everywhere. Right here in Toronto, last year alone, there were a million visits to food banks,” says UN World Food Programme National Ambassador Against Hunger George Stroumboulopoulos. “World Food Day helps us recognize the great work currently being done in schools, businesses and communities. It also reminds us that we have a long way to go, and need an integrated approach both locally and globally to address this widespread challenge.”
World Food Day Toronto is a free event open to the public.
World Food Day
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 5:30-9pm. Doors open at 5:15
Daniels Spectrum, A Cultural Hub in Regent Park
585 Dundas Street East at Parliament. Map and Directions.
Twitter Hashtag #WFD2012 #FoodTO
5:15pm Doors Open
5:30pm Reception: Featuring food from Chef Michael Stadtlander, Paintbox and
Regent Park Community Health Centre Kitchen
6:00pm Welcome and Introductions
Opening remarks by Chef Michael Stadtlander
Yung Chang, The Fruit Hunters Documentary
Mark Cutrara, Cowbell
Suresh Doss, Food Truck Eats
Bryan Gilvesy, Y U Ranch/Sustain Ontario
Seana Irvine, Evergreen
Tzazna Miranda Leal, Justicia for Migrant Workers
Laura Reinsborough, Not Far From the Tree
David Reycraft, Regent Park Food Partnership/Dixon Hall
Nick Saul, The Stop
Erin Shapero, Local Food Plus
7:45pm 30-minute workshops
Topics: Community Food Projects, Food Business,
Food Centres, Street Food and Labour Rights
We screened movies on local and international food issues, served free samples of delicious local food and presented Toronto’s community kitchens, neighbourhood gardens, chefs, farmers and teachers. Participants were able to
* Sample delicious food grown right in Ontario and prepared by community
kitchens, chefs and community-friendly businesses, like Vert Catering, George
Brown Chef School, Cowbell and Fiesta Farms.
* Enjoy 10 free food booths from our community partners.
* Learn about food sustainability and community-friendly businesses from
Toronto’s food community leaders.
* Connect with free programs from urban farming and cooking classes, to
children’s activities and farmer’s markets in our street fair.
* Join a local community garden, help pick fruit trees, or share gardening and
cooking skills with your neighbours.
We announced the winner of our $2,500 prize, Young Urban Farmers.
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In 2009, I founded Films That Move, a global social change film series that brings together people from across the sectors to connect and collaborate in their communities. I screened UK civic engagement documentary, Us Now to demonstrate the transformational impact of the internet across business, government and society.
Over 300 people attended each screening, and included Toronto Mayor David Miller’s announcement of the city’s Open Data initiative.
With international interest in Us Now, I launched a global screening project with other social innovation organizations around the world, taking Us Now to Portland, San Francisco, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Columbia, the Netherlands and Argentina.