Debate: How Can Social Media Save The Planet?

2010•06•14 Brendan F.D. Barrett Osaka University

Social media is transforming traditional media and influencing how we share news and information. Recent data shows that 300 million people spend more than 5 hours each day on social networks. About 200,000 videos are uploaded to YouTube everyday.

On today’s Debate 2.0, we ask the question: “How can social media save the planet?”

“Do you think platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube really help us to address pressing global problems like climate change, peak oil, food security and biodiversity loss – the themes we cover here on Our World 2.0?”

The media’s role in climate change will also be the centre of attention at next week’s Global Media Forum in Bonn, German, where over 1,000 people will converge. This year’s topic is: “The Heat is On – Climate Change and the Media” and Our World 2.0 will make a presentation to a workshop on 23 June entitled Ideas For A Cooler World” — Covering climate protection and possible solutions.

Some of the questions we will seek to answer include:

“Why does current media coverage focus merely on the negative impacts of climate change rather than on ways to deal with it?”

“What role should the media play in the future?”

“To what degree can the media ultimately influence public opinion and motivate more people to get involved in responding to climate change?”

Jump in and contribute your views here so that we may synthesize and discuss them next week with fellow forum participants. We are excited to be part of this effort to identify and implement new ways to communicate important ideas. Please join us!

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Debate 2.0: How Can Social Media Save The Planet? by Brendan Barrett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Brendan F.D. Barrett

Osaka University

Brendan F.D. Barrett is a specially appointed professor at Osaka University in the Center for Global Initiatives and an adjunct professor at RMIT University School of Media and Communications. His core areas of expertise include ethical cities, urban transitions, sustainability science, and science/research communication.

Brendan worked with the United Nations in Japan between 1995 and 2015, with the UN Environment Programme and the United Nations University (UNU). He is currently a Visiting Professor at the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability.

Previously at UNU he was the Head of Online Learning and Head of Communications where he oversaw the development of interactive websites and video documentaries on complex social and environmental concerns. As a result, Brendan has extensive experience in science communications and launched the Our World web magazine in 2008.