SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Video Volunteers' Jessica Mayberry is among twenty social entrepreneurs chosen from across the world to participate in the ninth annual Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) of Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley. The GSBI empowers its participants to build sustainable, scalable organizations and to solve problems for people living in poverty around the world.
Video Volunteers, founded by Ms. Mayberry in 2003, is an international media organization giving voice to the world's unheard communities by providing them with journalistic, technical, critical-thinking, and creative skills in order to produce news videos on vital community issues. Ms. Mayberry is being recognized by the GSBI program for her vision and work in providing the poorest sectors of Indian society with creative models of community media that help them make their presence felt in mainstream media while also giving them the opportunity and skills to earn a livelihood.
"We believe that the 'creative poor' can be real winners in the rapidly changing media landscape," says Ms. Mayberry. "Video Volunteers employs an innovative business model for democratizing media from the bottom up. Taking part in the GSBI will provide us with state-of-the-art, social entrepreneurial business practices designed to ensure the ultimate sustainability and scalability of our community media model. Being recognized by the GSBI is also confirmation that media is now considered a viable form of empowerment for people from the poorest backgrounds."
Developing countries have very few "stringers" in rural areas – presenting extreme difficulties for major newspapers and TV stations in reporting on issues that happen outside the main cities. With the ambitious goal of developing a nationwide network of 625 news stringers, one for each district in India, Video Volunteers will not only be able to provide local news content directly from the slums and villages that rarely receive coverage, but they will be able to do it in a much less costly manner than mainstream media.
"This low-cost, innovative model will eventually ensure that every village in the developing world will have the ability to use the latest technologies to advocate for their rights," explains Ms. Mayberry. "Video-enabled cell phones already exist in all corners of the world, and a model like Video Volunteers' can harness this technology to capture and expose human rights violations worldwide. The rapid rise of citizen journalism, such as witnessed during the Arab Spring, has indicated that the world is hungry for more local coverage of events they haven't had access to before." Video Volunteers sells content made by the Community Correspondents to different media partners, including NGOs and foundations, as well as major TV and online news networks such as MTV, Current TV, and various CNN properties.
About the Global Social Benefit Incubator
The GSBI is the signature program of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. The experiential skill-building program combines online and in-residence training exercises with mentoring from academic leaders and Silicon Valley visionaries over an intensive 8-month period. The in-residence program, on campus from August 7-19, culminates with a business plan presentation on August 18. Ms. Mayberry has been preparing for months and has worked alongside an eclectic group of social entrepreneurs from around the world. Says Ms. Mayberry, "It is exciting to see that the world of social impact investing is viewing community media as an important growth area. It suggests that we will be able to diversify the mainstream media on a large scale by bringing in marginalized voices."
About Video Volunteers
Video Volunteers identifies, trains and empowers grassroots media producers who create change in and for voiceless communities in the developing world. The organization's work has been recognized by the Knight News Challenge, Echoing Green, TED, Waldzell, the King of Belgium, UNDP, UNESCO, YouTube, and others who have helped Video Volunteers elevate the voices of these rural communities.
If you wish to attend Video Volunteers Founder Jessica Mayberry's business plan presentation at Santa Clara University on August 18, or to speak with Ms. Mayberry or Chair of the Board Davia Temin, please contact Trang Mar at Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, please visit www.videovolunteers.org or follow us @twitter/video volunteers or fan us on Facebook/Video Volunteers.
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