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Melissa Jun Rowley
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Melissa Jun Rowley is a journalist and social entrepreneur focused on the intersection of technology and social impact. She is currently developing “Magic Makers,” an initiative spotlighting teens using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) to advance humanity. Melissa is also the Editorial Director of The Toolbox, a technology and social change platform, founded by Peter Gabriel.

As a former field producer for CNN, Associated Press and other major news outlets, Melissa has flown in zero gravity at NASA, produced business updates from the New York Stock Exchange, and produced coverage of the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys and Grammys. Her online work includes features for CBS News, Mic.com, Huffington Post Impact, Mashable, Village Voice Media, Discovery News, BlogHer, MTV Act, Cisco's Technology News Network and the Smart+Connected Communities Institute. She is also the Storyteller At Large for the United Nations Millennium Campaign.

Passionate about youth advocacy, Melissa mentors Global Teen Leaders for the We Are Family Foundation. Splitting her time between New York City, Los Angeles and London, she's a compulsive traveler and a great lover of jazz, poetry, rock 'n' roll and dance.

Entries by Melissa Jun Rowley

How The Internet of Everything Is Helping 'Unbanked' Citizens Around the World

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 10:12 AM

Unbanked, underbanked, underrepresented, and nearly uncounted are a few adjectives describing three quarters of the world's population. Many adults are in this state due to poverty, travel distance, and a plethora of paperwork. More than 50% of people living in developing countries don't have bank accounts, leaving them vulnerable to...

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Meet the Entrepreneur Who's Designing Her Company as a Work of Art

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 9:36 PM

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Renowned 20th century inventor and designer Buckminster Fuller once famously said: "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." Evoking the same...
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How Five Women Entrepreneurs Are Building A League of Extraordinary Teens

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 12:13 PM

A wise person once said to me, "You don't have to wait until you're 30 to start helping the world." These are the words of 14-year-old Hunter Zampa, the youngest winner of the Food Network show Chopped and a passionate food activist, who's doing his fair share to help others...

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The Truth About Sex Slavery And A Path To Empowerment

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 3:53 PM

This post was originally published on The Toolbox, a platform spotlighting tools for social impact.


The images we see make impressions on us. They tell stories. They swim through our consciousness, and some are so prevalent that they eventually become emblematic of global issues in...

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We Can't Breathe, But We Can Get Organized in the Name of Eric Garner and Racial Disparity

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 3:17 PM

This post was originally published on The Toolbox, a platform spotlighting tools for social impact.

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"I Can't Breathe" signs and chants blanketed the streets of New York City Wednesday evening -- emblematic of the outrage the public is feeling after...

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Creating Empathy in the News: There's an App for That

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 2:00 PM

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Graphic photos of war, incidents of racism, militarized police, and the killing of journalists are just a handful of the images desensitizing the American public. In some cases, such pictures and videos instigate action among people so disturbed by what they're seeing that...

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Data Science Meets the Power of the Crowd

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 2:57 PM

This post was originally published on Cisco's Technology News Site.


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In the tech startup world, the ABC's (Always Be Closing) are ubiquitous. In the open-source, collaborative world, the triple-Ds (Design, Development, Data) are about to be at the...

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Why It's Time for Tech and Travel to Intersect for Impact

(4) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 6:00 AM

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Tourism is one of the world's fastest growing industries. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the number of tourists venturing to different countries in a single year hit more than one billion in 2012. While this is a positive...

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How High-Tech Underwear Is Combating Gender Inequality

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 12:14 PM

Today is International Day of the Girl, a day declared by the UN as the time to speak out against gender inequality around the world. I can't think of a better way to commemorate this occasion than to spotlight a powerhouse female entrepreneur whose mission is to empower girls and...

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Pride in Vulnerability and in Praise of Men

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 10:34 AM

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"I'm going to be vulnerable with you," he said. "I'm going to share things I haven't shared with anyone."

I looked at Jack from across the candlelit table, and I felt a slow smile rise to my cheekbones.

"Tell me more."...

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I'll Never Forget the Moment New York Became One

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 3:12 PM

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It started out like any ordinary Tuesday morning. I walked along 26th Street in Chelsea carrying my strawberry and granola parfait, and waved to the fortune teller sitting on the corner.

"Good morning, Summertime," she said, as I winked at her....

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5 Tools for Empowering and Protecting Citizen Journalists in Ferguson

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 1:17 PM

This post was originally published on The Toolbox, a technology and social change site founded by Peter Gabriel.

Since the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown took place in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, a heated conflict between the police and demonstrators in the area...

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Dear Gawker, Not All 'Sketchy' Neighborhoods Are Black Neighborhoods

(32) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 5:29 PM

Racism. Let's talk about it. Plenty of people mentally wander to a different place when the topic of racism arises -- a place somewhere between discomfort and distrust. While this is a congested intersection, it's not a bad spot to park. On the contrary, this is exactly where we should...

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How Technology Is Shaping the Next Wave of Journalism

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 2:43 PM

This post was originally published on Cisco's Technology News Site.

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Advances in technology mean advances in all forms of communication, which mean changes in journalism. With a plethora of gadgets and high-end technology hitting the...

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Courage, Compassion & America's Best Kept Secret

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 12:47 AM

This post was originally published on The Toolbox, a social change and digital tools platform founded by Peter Gabriel.


I've been thinking a lot about courage and wishing I had more. That's not to say that I haven't ever done anything courageous in my life; it's...

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Haiti Isn't Asking for Handouts; It's Dancing to 'Sounds of Solidarity'

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 4:28 PM

This post was originally published on The Toolbox, a social change and digital tools platform founded by Peter Gabriel.


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Dancers at Gardy Girault's No Passport event, Royal Oasis hotel rooftop

Music. Vibrations. Dance. For some, these art forms...

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What's Next in Social Networking? Meaningful Simplicity

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 11:42 AM

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Data scientist and MIT professor Alex Sandy Petland coined the term social physics to describe the way human social networks spread ideas and transform those ideas into action. As niche social networking services are becoming more prevalent and more focused, a...

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How The UN Is Curating a Panel of Global Citizens (Not Through Clicktivism)

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 4:09 AM

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There are 7 billion people in the world -- 7 billion people who all need access to clean water and sanitation, a good education, an honest and responsive government, reliable energy, health care, protection against crime and violence, and other rights crucial to...

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Comedy & Cause: Why Laughing Matters

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 12:11 PM

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I always seem to fall in love with the quintessential Renaissance Man, someone who's passionate about many things and comes pretty damn close to mastering all of them. So, it was no coincidence that I befriended someone I consider to be a genuine...

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The United Nations Goes Beautifully Human With Humans of MY World

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 11:45 AM

Established to promote strong international relations and preserve world peace, the United Nations should be the most beautifully human organization in the world -- one that reflects the needs and priorities of citizens everywhere. However, it hasn't been...until now and social media is an instrumental part of the master plan....

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