Seeding the Conversation on Transatlantic Influence: Introducing our Skype Interviewees

From left to right: Ben Hammersley, Philip L. McKenzie, Jón Þór Ólafsson

In the coming weeks we’ll be ramping up our preparations for our first video sprint with the British Council during Social Media Week Berlin. We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Ben, Phil and Jón Þór via Skype in order to seed the conversation we’d like to have about transatlantic influence. Their Skype interviews will be available online soon. If you’d like to attend the workshop, please contact us and we’ll be happy to give you instructions on how to apply for one of two open seats at the workshop in Berlin.

Ben Hammersley

is Editor at Large of WIRED magazine, is a journalist, broadcaster, photographer, and technologist. Ben is also Head of Digital for SIX Creative. He is a freelance reporter for the BBC and previously worked as the first internet reporter for The Times, where he was shortlisted for one of the British Press Awards. He has also worked as a reporter for the Guardian and UK arm of MSN. In 2006, Hammersley was embedded with both British and American troops in Afghanistan, shooting video for The Guardian as a multimedia reporter for Guardian Unlimited.

Philip L. McKenzie

is Managing Partner of FREE DMC, an influencer marketing agency that specializes in integrated marketing strategy, digital content creation, and experiential events. He is also the Founder of Influencer Conference, a global conference bringing together tastemakers in the arts, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and technology to discuss the current and future state of influencer culture. After completing his MBA at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Philip joined Goldman, Sachs & Co where he worked in Domestic Equity Trading. Philip is a passionate supporter of the arts. He has been a Supporting Partner of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre since 1999. He is formerly a Junior Associate of the Museum of Modern Art and a member of the Apollo Circle of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is a rabid music fan and spends his summers attending as many Dave Matthews Band concerts as humanly possible. He is working on a book called Smashing Silos: How to identify talent & create value.

Jón Þór Ólafsson

is a lover of wisdom and a lazy person. He studied the wisdom teaching of east and west until in his early adulthood was moved to political activism by the civilian devastation of depleted uranium bullets used by the US and UK during the Gulf War. He found his second love around that same time after a short introduction to Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management. The love affair with management is ongoing; he has produced a political game manual for strategically inclined activists, The Game of Politics – Game Manual, and helped secure four Icelandic parliamentary seats as the executive manager of The Citizens Movement in Iceland (now The Movement) a grassroots political party that had 9 weeks from inception until the elections in the spring of 2009. His love for wisdom is still in bloom but has yet to bear fruit.

Introducing our new Video Sprint with the British Council

Theme: Transatlantic Influence

We live in a world where influence – both its definition and who has it – is shifting. From movements in the global economy, to innovations in online metrics, to trends in social media, the manner in which countries, companies and individuals can affect change in the world is evolving at a rapid pace.

We’re excited to engage with the British Council’s Transatlantic Network and other partner organizations across the generations to compare and contrast how influence on a political, economic and cultural level across the Atlantic is changing and how this is playing out on a global stage.

Get Ready to Sprint!

On the 21st of September 2011 we will be conducting a social media workshop and video sprint during Berlin’s Social Media Week at the British Council. Social Media Week – a global conference on social media which happens simultaneously in a dozen cities all over the world – is a perfect context for this discourse. While our workshop will be an intimate gathering, it is our intention to make our process open to enable Social Media Week participants all over the world to feel invited to engage.

Previously at Social Media Week in February 2010 we prototyped our video sprint process when we created Delivered in Beta at an open design workshop at the betahaus.

Ask/Answer a Question

To kick things off we have posted some of the questions we intend to ask our interview subjects to Quora, to enable the larger audience both at Social Media Week and beyond to participate. We will be monitoring Quora for interesting questions to spark our interviews – so feel free to get involved and post your curious questions. If you post a question, make sure to let us know!

Here’s just a couple of the questions we’re thinking about:

How is influence different from fame, celebrity or notoriety?
How is social media affecting the transatlantic relationship?
How has the internet changed what it means to have influence?

Stay tuned! More updates coming soon!