Last Friday I attended an Eisenhower Fellow panel discussion on the Internet, Elections and the Transformation of Public Debate at MIT. It was lead by Eisenhower Fellow and Social Sphere founder John Della Volpe and featured fellows from a dozen countries including Egypt, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Colombia and South Africa.
It was fascinating to hear what interested the non-American fellows about the power of the Internet to change society. And, how they recognized that the Internet works best as an organizing tool when you have a cause or leader you can believe in.
I returned to my office to find an email with a new YouTube video from http://gladyskravitz.blogspot.com. It reminded that in America the Internet also provides an important platform of dissent for the "little guy."
Gladys is a Bridgewater, Massachusetts resident who was angered two years ago when a corrupt tribal chief, with help from Jack Abramoff, a Detroit casino mogul, and inept local officials in the next town, decided to put a casino in her backyard. Instead of staying angry she turned to the Internet and has become a major source of exposing the hypocrisy of predatory gambling supporters in Massachusetts.
See for yourself what she has to say about teachers' unions and slot machines.