Davos Panel Prep: Can Web 2.0 Reduce Religious Strife?
Jan 22, 2009
This panel features Tony Blair and I will be a discussion leader on new media’s role in helping religious dialogue.
Official title: How can new catalysts – such as the innovative use of technology and social media – stimulate new forms of interfaith and intercultural dialogue and how can they be replicated more widely to move society towards common goals?
This may be “anti Web 2.0″, but one point I would like to raise is that as much as social media is supposed to enhance dialogue and understanding, it can also be used as an avenue to promote hate.
The far right in France has loved the power of the Internet, since they received limited access to mainstream media and faced difficulty getting their message out. Now, with Web 2.0, they can play to their audience and keep out those who do not support their views.
The strength of the Internet in helping you dive deeply into a very specific question can help it become an instrument of intolerance and hatred when people limit themselves to a self-supporting silo of beliefs.
This is stretching the point, but could Web 2.0 turn into a modern-day version of Rwanda’s Radio des Mille Collines in promoting a genocide?
An analogy could be drawn to the nationalistic and anti-foreigner videos posted during the running of the torch.
Any other thoughts on Web 2.0 “helping interfaith dialogue”?
I have started a Delicious Tag: WebReligion
This is a 2-hour session with lead facilitator Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard Law school’s Berkman Center and author of the recently published The Future of the Internet – And How To Stop It.
My fellow discussion leaders:
Peter Bisanz, Director, Entropy Films, USA
Chris DeWolfe, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MySpace.com, USA
Arianna Huffington, Editor, Huffington Post.com, USA
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, USA
* Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder and Chairman, Cordoba Initiative, USA
* H.R.H. Hussam Bin Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince of Saudi Royal Family; Chairman, Zain Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
* Khalid Abdulla-Janahi, Chairman, Ithmaar Bank, Bahrain
* H.H. the Begum Aga Khan, Founder, Princess Inaara Foundation, United Kingdom
* Fatih Alev, Chairman, Muslims in Dialogue, Denmark
* Kjell Magne Bondevik, President, The Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, Norway
* John Bryant, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Operation Hope, USA
* Lord Carey of Clifton, Archbishop of Canterbury (1991-2002), United Kingdom
* Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
* John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University, USA; Chair, Global Agenda Council on Faith
* Mark Ebert, Executive Director, Three Faiths Forum, United Kingdom
* Eduardo S. Elsztain, Chairman, IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones, Argentina
* Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University, and William Ziegler Professor, Harvard Business School, USA
* Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore
* Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
* Ronald S. Lauder, President, World Jewish Congress (WJC), USA
* Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of the Russian Federation
* George W. Mallinckrodt, President, Schroders, United Kingdom
* Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland
* Abu Eesa Niamatullah, Imam and Executive Director, Cheadle Mosque, Cheshire & Prophetic Guidance, United Kingdom
* Matthieu Ricard, Director, Karuna-Shechen, Nepal
* David Rosen, Chief Rabbi, International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Relations, USA
* Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Britain and the Commonwealth, United Kingdom
* Pavel Shashkin, Secretary Executive, Economic Council, Department for External Church Relations, Moscow Patriarchate, Russian Federation
* Awraham S. Soetendorp, Rabbi, Jewish Institute for Human Values, Netherlands
* Sadhguru J. Vasudev, Founder, Isha Foundation, India
* Jim Wallis, Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer, Sojourners, USA