In a packed room of global changemakers, RYOT News Co-Founders Bryn Mooser and David Darg and Actor Ian Somerhalder (RYOT News Advisory Board) rocked the Social Good Summit yesterday in New York City. Host and Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore moderated this discussion about how RYOT News and social media can empower global citizens. Watch excerpts from this entertaining panel in our VIDEO: RYOT News Founders and Ian Somerhalder rock Social Good Summit.
Actor and Activist Ian Somerhalder, who started the Ian Somerhalder Foundation emphasized, “If you can empower a young person or anyone to realize that you can do something locally that’s actually going to impact our global nature, it’s really, really empowering, and it creates doers, it’s not just talking.” Ian is passionate about the environment, animal rights, sustainability, and green energy. He’s very active on Twitter, and feels great about sharing RYOT News because the stories have a call to action versus “slacktivism.”
Every story on RYOT News includes an action box, which gives you the ability to make a positive impact by donating, signing a petition, sending a tweet of sharing the story. RYOT News Co-Founder Bryn Mooser then added, “As David and I were building it (RYOT), we spent a lot of time talking with Ian about how do we make sure each piece of content that you’re pushing out there has a totally embedded action back to a philanthropic base, and it doesn’t become a dead end.” The site works with hundreds of non-profits, and raised $700,000 for charity in the past four weeks with an incentive to get tickets to the Global Citizens Concert.
Both Bryn and Co-Founder David Darg come from a journalism background. David reflected on news today, “The age old rules of journalism that you have to be objective have created this environment that I think is best explained by comparing it to a wildlife documentary where the lion is attacking a gazelle, and you’re like, why didn’t you intervene and save the gazelle, and people say, whoa, I can’t interfere with nature….And so news has a take step back approach, but we’re passionate to say, you shouldn’t be able to report on the news in Syria and not report what you can do about it and the solutions.”
When asked about the best social media sites, Ian shared that he uses Twitter the most (and his loyal fans are passionately sharing @IanSomerhalder and @RYOTNews tweets.) Ian expanded, “Now they’re re-tweeting this, it’s in schools, they’re talking to their parents about it, and social media changed the world.” He added, “This all has to be in a collaborative spirit, and I truly encourage anyone whether you have 5 followers or 5 million followers to use that microphone to amplify voices around you,… and spread that information,…that’s the idea, using social media to create quantifiable change.”
Towards the end, Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore asked Ian if it is ok to use pop culture news like Miley Cyrus to try to get readers into something more meaningful. Ian replied with a big grin, “From Miley to Syria” as a potential headline.
It’s sad, but true that if you associated Miley Cyrus to Syria in a headline, people would click on that story. Big thanks to Mashable, RYOT News and Ian Somerhalder for the best panel by far at the Social Good Summit #2030Now. And don’t forget to follow @RYOTNews @IanSomerhalder @IS_Foundation.