Crowdsourcing dignity around the world to end cyberbullying

Crowdsourcing dignity around the world to end cyberbullying

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In support of Global Dignity and the Less More campaign, the leading international peacebuilding organization, Interpeace, launched its own globally—crowdsourced #peace campaign on PlayMC2 during the ‘Geneva Peace Talks’ at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 19, 2014.

By GIOVANNA MINGARELLI

This article was first published in the Hill Times (September 24, 2014)
A Grade 3 class in Prince Edward Island recently launched an initiative to fight cyber-bullying using post-it notes. “Post it Positive” invites students to share positive messages with schools and local businesses in an effort to counteract the crippling effects of cyberbullying.

According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, at least one in three adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently. In Prince Edward Island, the most common form of cyberbullying involved receiving threatening or aggressive emails or instant messages, as reported by 73 per cent of victims.

Joining the effort to reduce negativity online, the Canadian mobile startup, PlayMC2, partnered with the youth empowerment organization, Global Dignity, in launching a tech-friendly campaign called: Less. More. It was unveiled in 68 countries around the world Sept. 15, 2014.

PlayMC2, which also launched in beta as part of this campaign, is a daily tracking mobile platform that rewards young people with points and prizes for completing bite-size tasks called micro-actions. Micro-actions can be carried out by one person or by one million people simultaneously. Global Dignity aims to support young people around the world in protecting their dignity and to support others in living a more dignified life.

The perfect fusion of both organizations, the Less More campaign is designed to empower youth around the world to reduce digital and real-world negativity by tracking their dignity-related actions in real time. The campaign, created by the award-winning New York-based ad agency, BBDO, aims to extend the reach of Global Dignity by creating a positive space through PlayMC2.

Through a variety of creative, emoticon-laden Facebook posts, tweets, posters and a video, Less More exposes some of the cruel and yet often subtle ways in which bullying is carried out. For example, when students use words like #sns (sorry not sorry) or #smh (shaking my head) to sarcastically make fun of someone.

To this effect, Global Dignity is featuring a special dignity quest on PlayMC2, where students can crowdsource small acts of dignity such as: “Pick up a piece of trash,” or “Smile,” encouraging peers to act for the good of others and themselves.

For example, during a recent dignity workshop at Regina Street Public School in Ottawa, Global Dignity volunteers worked with Grade 3 to 6 students in crafting micro-actions like “Give a new friend a hug,” and “Give someone a high-five!” This is something that can be done and shared with other students in Ottawa and around the world.

Through the PlayMC2 app, we’re able to see the collective power of micro-actions carried out by students everywhere and the positive impact that seemingly small acts of dignity can have on our own lives and those of others.

Global Dignity Day will be celebrated Oct. 15, 2014, by more than 400,000 students worldwide. Supported by leaders from around the world and across sectors, the Honorary Board of Global Dignity includes: Sir Richard Branson, President Martti Ahtisaari and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Global Dignity is an independent, non-profit, non-political organization focused on empowering young people with dignity and was established in 2005 by HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, John Hope Bryant, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and respected Finnish professor Pekka Himanen.

In Canada, Global Dignity has been honoured to receive the multi-partisan support of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Deputy Leader Megan Leslie in recent years, among others.

Global Dignity offers teachers, partners, and students all the material they need to participate locally, including: a video, posters, flyers, Facebook and Twitter posts and dignity cards. This package can be found on www.globaldignity.ca.

In support of Global Dignity and the Less More campaign, the leading international peacebuilding organization, Interpeace, launched its own globally—crowdsourced #peace campaign on PlayMC2 during the “Geneva Peace Talks” at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 19, 2014.

The #peace campaign challenges people everywhere to take the lead in developing local solutions for a more peaceful world and to share their acts of peace. The campaign runs until Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, 2014.

What’s more, on Monday, Sept. 22, the Canadian Council on Social Development launched the non-partisan, non-political #nationbuilding campaign on PlayMC2 with the goal of boosting civic engagement in Canada. It culminates on Oct. 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

To get involved, please visit www.globaldignity.org and download ‘PlayMC2’ from iTunes.
Giovanna Mingarelli is the CEO and co-founder of PlayMC2, a daily tracking mobile platform that rewards people with points and prizes for doing things they like or care about—making life healthier, happier and more rewarding. It was founded in August 2012 in Ottawa, Canada and was recently launched in 68 countries around the world. For more visit: www.playmc2.com.