Last weekend I attended the Nextdaybetter-TFC Speaker Salon. TFC is The Filipino Channel, and Nextdaybetter is a “culture platform that builds and activates diaspora communities to create a better future.” “What in the world does that mean?” you may ask. Well, in last Saturday’s context, it meant working with leaders in various areas within the Filipino-American community to help share their work and spread their ideas for social and technological change for the better. Three of the speakers and their projects that make the next day better were particularly inspiring.
One was a Google and USAID fellow (I did not even know that there were Google fellows!) who is working on crisis mapping. Examples she used included Typhoon Haiyan and Haiti earthquake hotspots. Ultimately, one of the goals or uses of the map is to be able to coordinate resources for help with people who need the help. I believe the program is still in beta testing. I thought that it would also be useful for people to check on the areas their loved ones are in when there are natural disasters or other crises. For my line of work, I thought it would be useful as supporting evidence for humanitarian legal work such as political asylum, where we need to document country conditions.
Team Rubicon was another spotlighted program that helps veterans reintegrate into civilian life and be able to use their organizational, logistical, and other military skills for “constructive rather than destructive” purposes by providing aid, medical attention and other relief to areas struck by natural disaster. Two areas Team Rubicon provided disaster relief for were the areas struck by Hurricane Sandy in New York and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
And finally, another project I learned of was filamthropy. It is an organization that helps promote philanthropic causes in the Fil-Am community through social media, awareness building, and giving circles.
During the event, we were fed by Chef Tim Luym, who owns Attic and Frozen Kuhsterd, and who will be starting a special breakfast menu at Breakfast at Tiffany’s in San Francisco in September, and Flan Flan Ta Tas!, a yummy flan company.
We were also approached and asked how we would make the “next day better.” I tried my best to give a sound bite, at first about my personal philosophy, and then about the work that I do. It is harder than it sounds.
The idea of the giving circle and filamthropy’s idea of promoting causes through social media really resonated with me. I have been thinking about particular causes I would like to promote, such as fundraising to provide stipends for solo and small firm immigration attorneys to provide legal assistance in times of humanitarian crisis – for example, the current border children crisis. There is a need for immigration attorneys to provide legal assistance and be watchdogs at the Artesia Detention Center in New Mexico. There is so much to think through, though. The simple questions to promote the cause are the hardest to answer, such as “Why should people care?” and “How is this going to help my community?”
This leads me to ask you – what is your story? What is your soundbite, if you will? How do you make the next day better? Is there some goodwill or a cause that you would like to cultivate?