Humans of the world Unite!

The photo-storytelling technique started by the Humans of New York Facebook page has spread from New York to Rome, London to Beijing and now is being used to document people all over the world. The United Nations Millennium Campaign has launched a Facebook page called Humans of MY World (HOMY). Chief Storytellers William Moore and Saige Martin have created an internet presence documenting the stories of people in 15 different countries from Mexico to the Philippines. The page itself is based off of the United Nations global survey which asks global citizens to choose their priorities for a future global agenda www.myworld2015.org.  This exciting journey across the world has given English speaking followers an insight into the lives and values of people half way across the globe while on a quest to gauge priorities of people all over the world. I am often taken aback at how many core social priorities that I share with people living in faraway countries. During their most recent trip through Kosovo, a wide range of priorities were mentioned and documented including gender equality, environmental protection, education, climate change, and water security.

HOMY kosovo

Typical “Humans of” pages usually intend to create an accessible and creative interface with which viewers can learn personal and interesting fun facts about people living in their community. Although the Humans of MY World page uses a similar format, the questions asked and views expressed on their page are more focused and socially important than your average “Humans of” page. Views expressed here tend to be socio-political in nature as the intention of this project is to “bring a fresh, innovative, human perspective to big data and development statistics”. This is the first time this Social Media based technique has been used by the UN and they have been quite successful in giving people a virtual microphone with which they can express which issues are most important to them. This revolutionary surveying approach has served as a useful aid in spreading the MY World survey.

In a conversation I had with Chief Storyteller William Moore, I asked him how participants are chosen for this project. Their methodology is quite different than that of many other “Humans of” pages whose intentions are far more recreational. “The people that we post choose us as much as we choose them. We approach all types of people, and we always start by asking them to take the MY World survey.” They’ve interacted with people from all walks of life. He seemed to speak particularly fondly on an exchange with a young homeless teenager in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These kids were who lived on the street were trustworthy young people who had run into some bad luck. These teenagers discussed with Moore what it is like to wake up one morning with all of his things missing. Apparently, drunken people in Buenos Aires had taken to a game of stealing their things in the night. Moore was particularly struck by this interaction. “We’re all trying to hold onto what we have, and inevitably, we don’t always succeed. Sometimes we wake up and something, or someone, has gone.”

People like this boy have just as much a right to have his voice heard as any one of us. Help to change our world and let the UN Millennium campaign know what is important to you. If you would like to be a part of the UN Millennium Campaign’s project through the MY World survey please visit: https://www.myworld2015.com Or learn more about their Humans of MY World Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/homy2015 Or visit their blog at: http://blog.myworld2015.org/

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-Annalise Kukor

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