Beeta Ansari

Beeta is Ashoka U’s Exchange Director, the world’s largest global convening for social entrepreneurship education.

PhotoWings InSights Grant Recipients

Grantee: Alexandra Braunstein
Title: Social Innovation Initiative, Communications and Outreach Manager
Institution: Brown University: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Project: Storytellers for Good is a project that will provide the opportunity to two Brown University students with demonstrated skills in digital storytelling (video and audio production, for example) to become the voice of Brown’s social change and innovation community by collecting stories and sharing them across many different audiences and channels, while at the same time building a multimedia portfolio and connecting with mentors who work professionally in their field of interest. The goals of Storytellers for Good are: 1. to showcase the work being done by students, alumni, faculty, and others in the community, and 2. to provide a place of connection in the Brown network to the people and resources that allow for social ventures to grow. As a result of this project, Alex hopes to see an increased number of on-and off-line connections being made throughout Brown’s network, as well as increased enrollment and engagement in programs, courses, and events related to social innovation at Brown.

Grantee: Meredith Ramirez Talusan
Title: PhD student in Comparative Literature
Institution: Cornell University: Ithaca, New York, USA
Project: Meredith will be giving a TEDx Cornell talk on November 17 entitled Keep Your Hat On: A Critical Thought for Good Business, which will discuss how literary study provides deep insights into social innovation, to convey the message that people don’t have to feel like they’re wasting their accumulated knowledge by engaging in social innovation. Surrounding the talk, Meredith and her team will launch a “Keep Your Hat On” campaign that identifies individuals across disciplines and stages of study at Cornell that engage in social innovation using insights from their particular fields. Ricefield Collective, the knitting-based social enterprise co-founded by Meredith, will provide special-edition hats for the campaign, which students can enter into a contest to win by briefly describing their own social innovation idea.

Grantees: Dr. Cathy Fowley, Dr. Emer Ní Bhrádaigh, Dr. Trudy Corrigan
Titles: Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship Champion; Lecturer in Education; School of Education Studies
Institution: Dublin City University: Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland
Project: Drs. Fowley, Brádaigh, and Corrigan plan to implement a project that brings together students and staff from the DCU campus, as well as the older learners from the Intergenerational Learning Programme. Participants in this project will bring their personal photo albums to meetings that will pair younger and older people together in order to discuss their pictures and then choose one from each album to write a story about. These stories will be published on the project blog. In addition to this, new photographs will be taken for the project on the theme of “your age” and a competition will take place, each photo to be judged by photographers from well known newspapers and advertising agencies. An exhibition of these photos will take place on campus, so that participants and interested viewers from the university and local community can see the photographs and read the reflections on them.

Grantee: Mark Strandquist
Title: George Mason University Alumni
Institution: George Mason University: Fairfax, Virginia, USA
Team: Sue Wrbican, Associate Director of GMU’s School or Arts; Macon Reed, Professor of Sculpture; and GMU Arts
Project: Windows From Prison, asks the question “If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out too?” to hundreds of prisoners who were convicted in the Washington, DC area and is sent to prisons throughout the country. The corresponding answers/photo requests are then fulfilled by GMU students and mailed back to the incarcerated participants. An exhibit which will include a ‘Skype forum’ with incarcerated individuals, film screenings, letter writing workshops, and teach-ins, will then take place. As a way to engage with the larger GMU community, students will work with faculty to design and print an exhibit newspaper.

Grantee: Sri-Kartini Leet
Title: Subject Leader, BA (Hons) Photographic Practice
Institution: University of Northampton: Northampton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Project: I Dream of Home will ask participants/contributors to reflect, and to find in their own personal archives or to make a new image, a photograph which conveys the essence of their relationship to a place of belonging, or ‘home’. It will explore ideas of ‘home’ by asking a range of individuals to temporarily donate an image that they regard as symbolic of their idea of home. Each of the contributors will then be photographed in studio, eyes closed, in reverie. These photographs will be exhibited in the University Gallery in order to engage the university community not directly involved in the project.

Grantee: Olivia Zuk
Title: Student
Institution: Rollins College: Winter Park, FL, USA
Team: Richard Reep, Faculty Architect and New Urbanist; Christine Dalton, Faculty Historical Preservation Expert of Sanford Florida; Rachel Gonzalez, Student and Writer; Aaron Harris, Student and Photographer; Joey Bangh, Student at Johns Hopkins; Imran Hafiz, Student at Duke
Project: Sanford, Florida is suffering because of the media’s exaggerations of real life events.  The idea of this project is to capture people’s culture and landscape to show that the media’s portrayal of a particular area should not always be taken as fact. It is hoped that as a result of this project people will be inspired to take pride in their community; to take their lens and capture the culture and landscape they know and love the way they see it. Out of this project, a website will be built so that people from all over the world can submit their own photo essays highlighting their communities.

Grantee: Cheryl Hsu
Title: Research Marketing Coordinator
Institution: Ryerson University: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Team: Wendy Cukier, VP, Research & Innovation, Ryerson University; Alexandra Hong, Marketing Assistant, Ryerson University; Nicole Bazuin, Ryerson Alumni, Image Arts, Ryerson University; William Putz, Photography Student, Sheridan College
Project: I See the World in You centers around the idea of diversity and multiculturalism, as Ryerson University is situated in downtown Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world. By prompting students to “describe a moment in less than 100 words where your differences with a person of a different race, culture or background become apparent”  the project will create a cross-disciplinary dialogue with students across Ryerson University by allowing them to share their stories with each other through social media and web submission. Three of the submitted stories will be rendered into cinematic photographs in collaboration with the students in the hopes that viewers will take the time to reflect on their place in a diverse city and appreciate it for its complexity.

Grantee: Sophie Lan Hou
Title: MFA, Transdisciplinary Design
Institution: Parsons The New School for Design: New York, NY, USA
Team: Taylor Kuhn, collaborator; Danielle Christophe, graphic designer; June West, expanded media
Project: The BORN FREE project is an initiative of Oak Street Style, a creative media agency, that has been implemented in Oakland, California and will travel to Johannesburg, South Africa this Fall. The project involves a mobile photobooth installation capturing style portraits with a participatory backdrop. Sophie and her team will partner with Oak Street Style and bring the project to the New School in an expanded capacity by having a one-day workshop and extended exhibition showcasing the street style portraits from all three locations in addition to the photo series. The goal of this project is to convincingly show that personal style is a window to understand deeper issues of identity, culture, freedom, courage, legacy and future visions, and to serve as a source of inspiration and help each individual realize they play a meaningful role in shaping our collective times, simply by choosing how to visually express themselves.

Grantee: Laura Murphy
Title: Professor of Social Entrepreneurship
Institution: Tulane University; New Orleans, LA, USA
Team: Barbara Hayley, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship; Maille Faughnan, doctoral student; SISE Design Thinking class, and Junebug Productions, Inc.
Project: RightSights is an interactive photographic experience which will engage participants at the 50th anniversary of the Free Southern Theater, a convening organized by Junebug Productions. The SISE Design Thinking class will have a photobooth placed at the 50th anniversary celebration so that attendees may snap portraits and caption them with a story to share the legacy and landscapes of civil rights activism. The photos will be printed on-site, shared, and accumulated for a gallery. The goal of this project for the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement and the change-makers from the 1960s to present to have their story told, and for the students to enrich their photographic eyes and skills by creative and empathetic techniques.