How do ideas catch on? At the third convening of The OpEd Project March 15 with Public Voices Fellows at Northwestern University (home of the Wildcats), senior seminar leaders Michele Weldon and E.J. Graff taught a full-day inspired by the theme: contagion. How can we take our ideas from one public media forum to another and why is that important? Katie Orenstein, OpEd Project founder, was in from New York to meet the fellows and facilitate discussions and interactive games around these questions.
Weldon led the fellows through an exercise to create TED-Ed lessons, while Graff discussed the use of social media as a tool for researching, sourcing and spreading ideas. Medill assistant professor Cecilia Vaisman demonstarted tools for audio commentary, while throughout the day the fellows had a chance to go over drafts of their opeds and discover new reasons to explore the avenues for public intellectuals. They also played an animated game around feedback and response, prompting all the fellows to interact according to distinct prompts.
Fresh from her TEDX Windy City talk, seminar leader Deborah Siegel discussed literally putting your ideas on stage and getting your ideas across to a very large global audience. Siegel spoke to the fellows about the process from idea to video of “Born that way?,” her TEDx talk on binary cues of gender identity.
Award-winning filmmaker Mary Olive Smith, a documentarian and founder of Flying Pup Productions, filmed the fellows and leaders throughout the morning for an upcoming video on the NU Public Voices Fellowship. In the afternoon, social media fellow Claudia Garcia-Rojas assisted by interviewing fellows one-on-one on camera about their expertise and participation in the fellowship.
Toward the end of the day, a live Twitter experiemnt helped fellows see instantly how their ideas spread, using #myvoicematters as a hashtag used by other fellows from the dozen universities involved in The OpEd Project fellowships. You can read their tweets by searching for the #myvoicematters.