Ashoka U and Photowings

Advancing Changemaking Skills Through Photography

“You will never look at a photograph the same way again.”


 Sign up for the seminar– either as an individual or as a group.

By leveraging the experience and expertise of PhotoWings and Ashoka U, this seminar seeks to support the exploration of changemaker skills through photography. Its objective is to help participants develop a better understanding of their own motivations, self-identity, unique perspectives, and the importance of historical context as a foundation for creating effective social change.

The goal of the seminar is to help participants gain valuable skills to use in work and in life by exploring the powerful and under-utilized world of photography. As a final project, participants will develop a portfolio of photographs. Exceptional final projects will be eligible for inclusion in a video that will be featured at the TEDxAshokaU on Friday, February 22 in San Diego, CA at the historic Balboa Theater to 1,300 people (with thousands viewing online) and/or form part of an artistic exhibit that will be displayed at the Ashoka U Exchange at the University of San Diego.

Sign up for this opportunity!


When: Fall/Winter 2012
Credits: Ashoka U Certificate of Completion
Location: Online, global
Syllabus information: http://ashokau.org/photowings/
Seminar Website: http://ashokau.photowings.org/
Starting October 26th, this online seminar will help you:

  • Drive energy into your conversations and develop personal connections and cross-disciplinary collaborations in your student group, community organizations or with others.
  • Learn about Big Ideas in photography including time, context, perspective, social memory, out-of the-box thinking, pragmatic uses of photography and more.
  • Explore your own inspiration by taking a deep dive into your past. Benefit and gain opportunities for growth as a changemaker through exposure to the original thinking of experts.
  • Develop skills, including: Pragmatic out-of-the-box research, communication techniques, gaining trust and access, visual literacy, critical thinking, applied empathy, resilience, ethical considerations, preservation, and other critical changemaker aptitudes.
Instructors
Suzie Katz, Founder, PhotoWings
Marina Kim, Executive Director, Ashoka U
Erin Krampetz, Community Director, Ashoka U
About Ashoka U

Founded in 1980, Ashoka pioneered the concept of social entrepreneurship. Since then Ashoka has identified and elected nearly 3,000 social entrepreneurs in almost 70 countries. The result is a global network of extraordinary potential working to solve some of the most difficult problems in different regions across the world.Ashoka U is the university division. Ashoka U contributes to Ashoka’s vision of an “everyone a changemaker world” by catalyzing a new design for higher education focused on developing changemaking skills that can empower everyone to address the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. We do so by helping social entrepreneurs, students, faculty, staff, and administrators to develop hubs of social innovation.

About PhotoWings  

PhotoWings‘ mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world. Photo Wings helps photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved. PhotoWings is much more than just photography.  It is an educational hub and a vehicle for bringing together people from divergent perspectives around the power of photography.

To be able to respond quickly and effectively to societal challenges, changemakers need a set of crucial dispositions, skills, and aptitudes: emotional literacy, applied empathy, creativity, critical thinking, visual literacy, perspective taking, communication, and problem solving.

By leveraging the experience and expertise of PhotoWings and Ashoka U, this seminar seeks to support the exploration of changemaker identities through photography.

By collecting, documenting, sharing, and archiving photos and oral histories, individuals will have the opportunity to integrate his or her history into a network of social memory. Furthermore, this effort will help affirm the value of the life story and the necessity for a global community of tellers and listeners as a foundation for positive social change.

Participating students with exceptional final projects will be eligible to have their work included in a video that will be featured at the TEDxAshokaU on Friday, February 22 to 1,300 people (with thousands viewing online) at the Balboa Theater in San Diego, CA and/or form part of an artistic exhibit that will be displayed at the Ashoka U Exchange at the University of San Diego.

The theme of the TEDxAshokaU is to “Find Your Place in the Universe.” The Ashoka U Exchange is the world’s largest global convening for social entrepreneurship education, bringing together 650 people from over 150 colleges and universities representing 40 countries.

 The content provided by PhotoWings in the online modules will support your final project, due on January 8th.

Note about Time Commitment: We understand that students are busy! Participants are encouraged to sign up and dedicate as much – or as little – time as their schedules allow. The most important thing is that you delve into the world of photos around you, contemplate who you are as a Changemaker, and construct an insightful photo project based on those insights.

Below are the basic assignments for the course:

  1. October 26th: Module 1 released
  2. October 31: Post Blog Intro. Choose a candid photo from an album, wall, wallet, or online. Post both the photograph and a 150-500 word blog post on the Seminar Tumblr blog.
    • Tell us about your first impressions of the photograph: Why did you choose it? How did it speak to you? Who do you see? Where did it take place? Why might you want to explore it further.
  3. October 31: Module 2 released
  4. Weekly Connect (optional): Weekly prompts to inspire collaboration and conversation between participants on the Tumblr blog.
  5. December 4th: Module 3 released
  6. January 8th: Final Project. Adding to your original assignment, select more photos that move you or make you ask questions. You will conduct intensive interviews and creative research about the original photographs (or new and/or additional material) and document how what you have learned applies to your identity, culture, memory, and earlier expectations. Using this material, you will submit a photography portfolio to showcase your own self-reflection and exploration journey. (Example formats: 3 minute video; 20-slide powerpoint; iphoto or Blurb book.) This will be accompanied by a brief written reflection of 150-500 words.

Final projects will be subject to high standards of creativity, inventiveness, and personal investment. The submission of exceptional final projects will be considered for inclusion in two special live exhibits at the TEDxAshokaU and the Ashoka U Exchange from February 21st – 23rd in San Diego, CA.

How to select your photos: Any of the following can constitute your portfolio:

  • Speaks to you on a deep level
  • Makes you ask questions
  • Showcases older people in your life at a similar age to you
  • Displays the interaction of human relationships
  • Shows a person(s) at a critical state or making a life choice that changed them
  • Exhibits a physical location in the past, that you could compare today
  • Shows your own community in the past, that you could compare today
  • Features an old group photo (wedding? yearbook? holiday?) of people you may not know.

This seminar is structured as a free, massive open online course (MOOC) and anyone is welcome to join. The overall goal of the seminar is to meet the interests of any individual motivated by photography as a tool for self-discovery and changemaking. No particular content knowledge or skill is required as a pre-requisite for this seminar.

To help with motivation and accountability, it is recommended to sign up in peer groups of 2-8 people.

Example Group Roles: (1) A facilitator can help arrange weekly meetings and prepare discussion questions; (2) A note taker can record and share insights with the group.

Group Recruitment: If you are a student on a university or college campus, we recommend including the seminar as a conversation starter for student clubs. You may also consider recruiting students with cross-disciplinary expertise from the communication or arts school, in addition to the humanities and sciences. Other community groups may use this seminar as a way of learning a new skill or invigorating conversations related to book clubs, cultural meet-ups, or peer-learning groups.

Note about Time Commitment: We understand that students are busy! Participants are encouraged to sign up and dedicate as much – or as little – time as their schedules allow. The most important thing is that you delve into the world of photos around you, contemplate who you are as a Changemaker, and construct an insightful photo project based on those insights.

Below are the basic assignments for the course:

  1. View three webinars posted on October 26th, October 31st, and December 4th (available online until end of semester).
  2. Blog Intro (October 30):Choose a candid photo from an album, wall, wallet, or online. Post both the photograph and a 150-500 word blog post on the Seminar Tumblr blog.
    • Tell us about your first impressions of the photograph: Why did you choose it? How did it speak to you? Who do you see? Where did it take place? Why might you want to explore it further.
  3. Weekly Connect (optional): Weekly prompts to inspire collaboration and conversation between participants on the Tumblr blog.
  4. Final Project (January 8th): Adding to your original assignment, select more photos that move you or make you ask questions. You will conduct intensive interviews and creative research about the original photographs (or new and/or additional material) and document how what you have learned applies to your identity, culture, memory, and earlier expectations. Using this material, you will submit a creative, multi-media photography portfolio to showcase your own self-reflection and exploration journey. (Example formats: 3 minute video; 20-slide powerpoint; iphoto or Blurb book.) This will be accompanied by a brief written reflection of 150-500 words.

How to select your photos: Any of the following can constitute your portfolio:

  • Speaks to you on a deep level
  • Makes you ask questions
  • Showcases older people in your life at a similar age to you
  • Displays the interaction of human relationships
  • Shows a person(s) at a critical state or making a life choice that changed them
  • Exhibits a physical location in the past, that you could compare today
  • Shows your own community in the past, that you could compare today
  • Features an old group photo (wedding? yearbook? holiday?) of people you may not know.

Final projects will be subject to high standards of creativity, inventiveness, and personal investment. The submission of exceptional final projects will be considered for inclusion in two special live exhibits at the TEDxAshokaU and the Ashoka U Exchange from February 21st – 23rd in San Diego, CA.

Tumblr: Where participants can actively chart their progress and spark collaborations. This is where participants can discuss the “Weekly Connect,” a weekly email with an optional prompt related to the project.

Social Media: The creation of Twitter and Tumblr accounts will establish a dynamic social network between students worldwide, and potentially share their experiences in the course in a broad public domain. Multimedia blog posts and tweets will collectively generate a volume of the seminar content that illustrates the power of media sharing.

Twitter Hashtags: Tweet weekly reflections with the following hashtags #AshokaU and #PhotoWings

What this seminar IS and IS NOT

  • This IS a seminar on how to analyze and preserve existing photos. This seminar will draw on photographs from any source, including family photo albums, historical societies, community archives, and online personal, professional, or social archives, etc.
  • This is NOT a seminar on how to take photos or on camera techniques. Participants may certainly include original photography in projects, but this is not a requirement.

Time Commitment: Participants are encouraged to sign up and dedicate as much – or as little – time as their schedules allow. The most important thing is that you delve into the world of photos around you, contemplate who you are as a Changemaker, and construct an insightful photo project based on those insights.

Assignments: The seminar has two assignments (one small research task and one significant final project), with an optional Weekly Connect on the Tumblr blog to support your work.

Certificate: Enrolled students are eligible to receive an Ashoka U Certificate of Completion for the seminar.

Final Project: Final projects will be subject to high standards of creativity, inventiveness, and personal investment. The submission of exceptional final projects will be considered for inclusion in two special live exhibits at the TEDxAshokaU and the Ashoka U Exchange from February 21st – 23rd in San Diego, CA.

Participants will be notified if their photo project is selected by January 22, 2013.

Students will need to secure access to a flatbed scanner in order to capture digital files of printed photographs or take medium to high-quality photograph of photographs.