The Internet has given us new ways to understand the world. We have a power to crate change, that never existed before. The yearly TIME award for the most influential person went to you and while many of us considered it a partial cop out, in many ways it's true.
Ordinary people have a reach that were never within anything but the realm of imagination before the information age vaulted us into cyberspace. The new faces of change are a world away from the stereotypes we generally identify with Revolutionaries.
Tomorrow the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal is scheduled to publish a story about what they classify as social networking sites. By garnering a spot on the TIME top ten websites for the year, Newsvine was pretty well set for a follow up piece.
The two viners WSJ chose to interview, were Killfile and me, as representatives for the vine. We know Killfile sailed through the interviews with aplomb and we'll keep our fingers crossed about what's on the record for me. Hopefully we make it to print and it will be linkable to the vine soon.
No question a wave of newcomers will be coming to look at us. What they are finding is a phenomenon where individuals are empowered by networking. One by one we are growing geometrically to do what government prevents and corporate media strives to ignore, finding real problems and taking steps to effect change.
In some ways the most dramatic shift has taken place around the food. My own efforts to get anyone in the media to do a story about the genetically engineered foods wound through every mainstream and offbeat source. Everywhere doors were closed and then there was cyberspace. Voila, like magic there were others of my own kind.
Whatever subject, whatever technical difficulty, belief or rare ailment, someone was there, who shared the same thing. Across America and around the globe, a new style of movers and shakers are emerging from finding common interest and putting their heads together. They are the believers in the power of one and we are reshaping the world of business and politics.
In very different ways, ordinary individuals are championing the revolution and encouraging others to come along. My own muckraking creates a temptation to focus on the problems and challenges. This seemed like a good time to look at some of the positives and different ways individuals are creating change. There's also a secret agenda.
This may be the only time a muckraking story legitimately qualifies for using a "hot chicks" tag. The woman in the tub is Sarma Melngailis and the magazine is the Vegetarian Times. This is not your Woodstock era trail mix and backpacking munchers. Sarma is putting chic and sexy into raw vegetables and transforming vegan food into haute cuisine.
Sarma is the founder of Pure Food and Wine and Lucky Duck Foods here in in NYC. The logo is the same as the tattoo on her arm and it is real. She decided that wholesome food shouldn't be naturally awful and through culinary creativity and genius, Sarma has sent shock waves through the the food world. She is redefining the food and followers are one taste away from becoming converts.
Cross my heart, there's not a veggie loving bone in my body, and it's a mystery to me how it becomes amazingly delicious, but it is. Tasting is believing and nothing you can imagine will do but the unparalleled experience makes Pure Food and Wine a constant feature in foreign press. For the first time in my life there is a place where eating two desserts gives me the nutrients of a healthful meal, with no dairy, no soy, no gmo's, nothing but pure goodness, transformed as if by magic, and pure food champions transformed at the same time.
There are a full spectrum of activists, that my son laughingly calls my wooden spoon brigade, who are changing the rules and taking control of the issues government refuses to address in the corporate food. Robyn O'Brien a mother of four and founder of Allergy kids. She was thrown into action when her youngest child was afflicted with food allergies and now she leads a coalition with universal identifiers for the children at risk and the at risk foods. Their voices together are now being heard on Capitol Hill, along with voices of mothers and others in every single State.
The Two Angry Moms crossed America to go behind the scenes in our Nation's school cafeterias to expose the ugly side of agribusiness profiteers controlling the school lunch programs. The pair of mothers from Connecticut were told that there was no way the system would change without two million angry moms. Starting with two, that's exactly what they set out to do and their film will be released soon.
Groups from Maine to Hawaii are finding one another and making a new business model as well. Small independent producers of everything from food to film are finding ways to do well by doing good. My newest favorite is from Free Range Studios a PR and marketing group in Berkley, California who have created a viral video to help fuel the awareness of pure foods as an issue for debate. If you haven't seen the Mouth Revolution, there's a link below and it's a treat. In any case you have been part of a word of mouth Revolution just by being here.
I see a world of hopeful possibility unfolding, with every voice carrying a weight it never had in the past. I'd be curious to know how many others are seeing and feeling these positive elements of change. As TIME acknowledged, in many ways my fellow cyberspace travelers, at long last, it is all about you. You are taking individual power to make business follow your lead and we know the politics follow them. Lead on, go you!!!