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Tamseel Hussain shares his views on using tech and social media to effect positive change

  • November 8, 2017
  • By Joann Mathews
  • 0 Comments
Tamseel Hussain shares his views on using tech and social media to effect positive change

We continue our Meaningful Mo series on people who are making a difference in their communities with Tamseel Hussain.

He is a mobile and social media expert who specialises in building inclusive tech led movements that engage young people. In other words, he spends his time using social media for worthy causes by promoting positive change.

With an impressive resume spanning 10 years of professional experience with organisations such as Change.org, Oxfam India and Greenpeace, Tamseel has led numerous social media projects with diverse civil society groups, media houses, tech-startups and politicians.

His work includes efforts that further using technology as a powerful medium for change from building award-winning platforms, citizen-led online campaigning, online petitions, public engagement movements, social media mobilisation, VR/360 advocacy, digital adaptation, change management to mobile storytelling.

All the while, he has never taken his eye off his humanitarian agenda. He has worked with school kids in the Middle East and Southeast Asian countries to promote diversity and cultural exchange.

“A year and a half ago I quit my job to research India’s young population.” There are more than 700 million people in India between the ages of 13-35, making it one of the youngest nations in the world.

The use of social media is on the rise and initiatives like Digital India are exposing people to the power of the internet. People are dependent on their phones now more than ever before. At the same time the amount of noise they are exposed to on a daily basis has made them lose interest and trust in media, politics, non-profits and the government.

“From a cultural standpoint, we are experiencing a pivotal moment in human history, where the power of people's voice is respected at the same time manipulated.”

The only way to save yourself from this uncontrollable digital noise is to ensure that people feel a certain degree of ownership towards these 3 essentials of modern living mobile phones, public spaces and social media.

Highlights of 2017

Tamseel has been actively involved in championing these three platforms for the good of the underprivileged. Some of his efforts include: training waste-pickers at a landfill in Nizamuddin to tell their stories on Instagram, working towards eliminating the mental health stigma in India, working with architects to ensure that young people go to public markets more than malls and using mobile journalism to create awareness on Air Pollution in Delhi. He has even spent time training traditional media houses to prioritise mobile journalism and social media over broadcast TV and enabling smaller organisations to be Digital first.

His People Like Us Create (PLUC) initiative aims to enable 700 million + Indians to use their mobile phones to tell stories that matter. “Let’s call it a network of people who understand the true power of their mobile phones."

Challenges

He believes that the biggest challenge is make people believe in the cause of using social media for good. "The gap in understanding mobile and social media is a real and significant problem. People don't see a point. While the idea of putting your thoughts and opinions out there on social media can be intimidating it is a crucial step to having your voice heard on the issues that matter."

You can follow Tamseel on Twitter @Tamseel_h

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By Joann Mathews, November 8, 2017
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