TED Conversations

Carol Harnett

Chairperson, Health & Performance Innovation Institute


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How can the TED community help inform people about some of the issues associated with Kony 2012 & Invisible Children?

Maybe I've been under a rock somewhere but, until today, I had never heard of Joseph Kony. That was until I saw this YouTube video: http://youtu.be/Y4MnpzG5Sqc.

Kony 2012's mission is to make Joseph Kony famous by using social media and targeted famous people with reach. Their hope is that by making Kony famous, he will be captured and brought to justice.

It's been brought to my attention that there are questions around how "Kony 2012" and Invisible Children are using the money they're raising. That said, they're creating momentum. How do we capitalize on that and bring awareness to a global audience about the issues in central Africa?

This is an effort that the TED community can support - to spread the word and to inform about qualified non-profits that are trying to help.

I believe this is an idea worth spreading.


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  • Mar 18 2012: What can TED do? By creating the space for people to view content such as Natalie Warne's video TED offers each of us the chance to critically reflect. I checked the outbound links in the comment stream, and found them less than persuasive.

    I then viewed the web pages of the International Criminal Court. It was as long ago as 2005 that Joseph Kony and his cronies were indicted by the ICC. Seven years it took for this evil man to come to our collective attention. Seven years for him to continue to perpetrate crimes against humanity. That his crimes were committed five, ten or twenty years ago makes them no less serious. If it were your child that had been abducted and forced to kill or be killed, what would you want to happen?

    If we wish to judge Invisible Children - as some seem to want to do - should we not balance the relative harms? I can live with directors who are well paid, they seem deeply motivated, they have it seems worked for the common good. If they have failed to meet the required standards to run a charitable organisation I feel sure that the required corrective steps can and will be taken. Please note that I have no connection with IC other than being one of those who have viewed 'the video'.

    What of Kony? Kony must surely be brought to justice - for what good is a justice system that fails to try the vilest of criminals? The International Court is the place where the actions of Kony and his co-accused must be scrutinsed. IC want him there sooner rather than later. This is an aim with which we surely can all agree? Thank you Nathalie, thank you Carol and thank you TED.
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      Mar 18 2012: I appreciate your comments, Andy. I believe we need to show as much balance as we can around this and other issues. TED is a great forum to vet our beliefs, thoughts, ideas and information. Warm regards, Carol

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