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Melissa Jun Rowley
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Melissa Jun Rowley is a journalist, entrepreneur and activist focused on the intersection of storytelling, technology and social justice. As the founder and CEO of Humanise, Inc., she is developing TheToolbox.org, a data-driven humanitarian initiative created by the iconic musician Peter Gabriel. Having secured a partnership with the World Economic Forum, Melissa is leading efforts to alleviate the socio-economic divide in urban environments and emerging markets through collaborating with local communities to bring them the most empowering and inclusive technology and smart city solutions.

As a journalist, Melissa writes about gender issues, race, youth advocacy, and how emerging technology can be be harnessed to instigate social change. Her online work includes features for Fast Company, CBS News, Mic.com, Huffington Post, Mashable, Village Voice Media, Discovery News, BlogHer, MTV Act, Cisco's Technology News Network and the Smart+Connected Communities Institute.

Previously, Melissa was a field producer for CNN and Associated Press Television News. She was also an on-camera correspondent for the Super Bowl and the interactive CBS News series "What's Trending." Her work in the field has granted her a range of colorful experiences, including flying in zero gravity at NASA, producing business updates from the New York Stock Exchange, and producing live coverage of the Golden Globes, Emmys, Grammys and Academy Awards.

A die-hard believer in the brilliance and tenacity of young people, Melissa is a mentor for Three Dot Dash, a global initiative of Nile Rodgers' nonprofit the We Are Family Foundation, which supports the efforts of Global Teen Leaders around the world who are actively working to promote a more peaceful society. To emphasize her belief in the power of the youth, inclusion and open source technology, Melissa is authoring a book about teen activists using STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & math) to transform communities.

Entries by Melissa Jun Rowley

UNHCR Supporter Douglas Booth On The Refugee Crises, Xenophobia & Optimism

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 10:04 AM

This post was written by TheToolbox.org editor and UNESCO Ambassador, Madison Salters, and was originally published on TheToolbox.org.

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The war engulfing Syria over last five years has displaced nearly 6.6 million people within the country's borders, with an additional...

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Why Every World Economic Forum Attendee Should Help #BringBackOurGirls

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 9:17 AM

Powerful, wealthy, influential, and worldly, yet out of touch are just a few adjectives many critics use to describe the business leaders and politicians who attend the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos. On January 20, day one of WEF, Pope Francis advised forum members to consider...

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Putting Stock in Climate Change Action

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 1:57 PM

This post was originally published on TheToolbox.org, a tech and social impact initiative co-founded by Peter Gabriel and powered by Humanise, Inc.


Finally, the world can agree on something. The earth has a fever that needs to be broken, and if it doesn't...

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Refugee Crisis: Politicians Argue, While Tech Communities Convene To Build Solutions

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2015 | 9:26 AM

This post was originally published on TheToolbox.org, a tech and social impact initiative co-founded by Peter Gabriel and powered by Humanise, Inc.

For four years, residents of war-ravaged Syria have had their homes and families torn apart. What's worse is more damage is yet to...

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Promoting Peace: From Board Rooms to Refugee Camps

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 9:48 PM

This article is part of TheToolbox.org's #WomenInFront series, powered by Humanise. Learn more about the initiative at WomenInFront.net, or join the conversation on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Social equality has the greatest chances at being achieved...

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Meet the Men Moving the Needle for Gender Equality

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 12:00 PM

This article is part of TheToolbox.org's #WomenInFront series, powered by Humanise. Learn more about the initiative at WomenInFront.net, or join the conversation on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


As Humanise and TheToolbox.org near the end...

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The New Way To Network: Stripped Down And Story-Driven

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2015 | 7:14 PM

Women have never been more empowered than they are today. According to the Global Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, more than 126 million women entrepreneurs were starting or running new businesses in 67 economies in 2012. In the US, the number of women-owned businesses is expected to grow...

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How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty? Suffrage Still a Controversial Topic in 2015

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 9:45 PM

This post was originally written by Humanise and TheToolbox.org editor Madison Salters as part of the gender equality initiative #WomenInFront.


With all eyes on the austerity protestors who stormed the red carpet at the Suffragette film premier in London, demonstrating against...

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How Today's Women In Film Are Flipping The Script

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 4:33 PM

This post was originally published on TheToolbox.org, as part of the organization's gender equality initiative #WomenInFront.

As far as the gender pay gap in Hollywood goes, the cat's been out of the bag for decades. But thanks to the cyber hacking of Sony Pictures, a number of...

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Why Neighborhood Data Are Vital for Detroit's Full Economic Recovery

(1) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 8:10 AM

This post was originally published on TheToolbox.org, a social impact and technology initiative founded by Peter Gabriel and powered by Humanise, Inc.

Growing up an hour and a half outside of Detroit I had feared the city for most of my childhood, primarily because of...

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Aiding Refugees? Yes, The Blockchain Can Do That And More

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 11:12 PM

This post was originally published on TheToolbox.org, a social impact and technology initiative founded by Peter Gabriel and powered by Humanise, Inc.



Some say blockchain technology is going to become as significant in modern society as the internet. Others are calling the...

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5 Socially Relevant Films Catching Award Season Buzz

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 8:16 PM

This post was originally published on TheToolbox.org, a social impact and technology initiative founded by Peter Gabriel and powered by Humanise, Inc.



Venice. Telluride. Toronto. Film festival season is in full effect with Oscar buzz already reverberating across the air waves and...

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The Cry For Media Freedom in Egypt

(0) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 1:02 AM

This post was originally published on The Toolbox, a tech and social impact initiative of Humanise, Inc.

Something exquisitely tragic happens when power and politics bind the hands and mouths of journalists. A lifeline between all sides of the truth and the eyes of those...

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How a Human-Centered Soundscape Is Making London a Smarter City

(0) Comments | Posted August 30, 2015 | 2:43 PM

This post was originally published on The Toolbox, a tech and social impact initiative of Humise, Inc.

At its finest, urban development is human-centered -- of the people and for the people. In London, a vast playground of nearly nine million residents, this approach is vital...

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Defining Success for Mobile Education in Emerging Markets

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 4:19 PM

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

For people in developing countries, mobile phone ownership can mean the difference between illiteracy and having an education, which can ultimately mean life or death. In sub-Saharan Africa 10 million kids drop out of school every year....

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Why Youth Day Is Vital for All Generations

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 9:54 PM

This post was originally published on The Toolbox, a community-driven platform enabling people to become everyday activists.


No one understands how rapidly the world is changing or adapts to cultural shifts better than young people. At ripe and impressionable ages, today's teens have witnessed political...

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

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 11:12 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 | 10:36 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 | 1:13 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 | 4:53 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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