Human Journey

Why anyone can make the world a better place

Each year, hundreds – if not thousands – of engaged students walk through the doors of schools, colleges and universities around the world eager to learn the art of social change. Classes in social innovation, social entrepreneurship and design thinking, among many others, have become increasingly popular. On the one hand, this might all be seen as a good thing – after all, the world needs as many smart, engaged citizens as it can get, particularly when you consider the multitude of challenges we face as a planet. But does a career in social change really begin in the classroom, or out in the real world? How much social change is planned, and how much accidental? And which approach tends to lead to the most meaningful, lasting or impactful solutions? Do you really need qualifications to change the world?

These are questions I tackled in my recent talk at TEDxCannes where I set out to show that anyone can make the world a better place. I hope you agree.

 

Ken Banks is an innovator, mentor, anthropologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Founder of kiwanja.net, he devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. His early research resulted in the development of FrontlineSMS, an award-winning text messaging-based field communication system designed to empower grassroots non-profit organisations. He shares exciting stories in "Digital Diversity" about how mobile phones and other appropriate technologies are being used around the world to improve, enrich, and empower billions of lives.
  • Joy

    Wonderful! Thank you.

  • Linda Powers

    This talk is brilliant and hopeful. My students will surely see their worth after seeing it soon. Thanks so much

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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