Global Issues TED Partners

In the Skype Studio: How social media transforms ideas and movements

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

Last week, Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Crimea, giving a controversial speech that posited Russia’s annexation of the peninsula as part of historical tradition. In March, when Crimea first voted to become a part of Russia, TED Fellow Ed Ou was there. He shared what he saw on the ground—Russian flags being hoisted over a military base—during a Skype conversation with Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, makers of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Square; Bahia Shehab, Egyptian street artist and TED Fellow; Anwar Dafa-Alla, the organizer of TEDxKhartoum; and Brian Ries, Mashable’s real-time news editor.

Above, watch this fascinating conversation in the lobby of TED2014, about how social media shifts the power dynamics of social movements, allowing individuals to tell their own stories above and beyond what the government and traditional media have to say.