Allan Isfan is a co-founder of FaveQuest, a young start-up. This blog covers start-up topics.

Friday, June 27, 2008

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A big dream, a big mission: THEM = US

I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart pumping and brain full of thoughts and couldn't go back to sleep so I decided to document a big dream I've been having for the last couple of months.

Many people are calling for entrepreneurs to start launching companies that solve real problems.

For example, Fred Wilson's "Am I Bored With “Web 2.0”? http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2008/06/am-i-bored-with.html

or

Umair Haque's multiple blogs at http://discussionleader.hbsp.com/haque/ .

So I'm going to share a dream that I've had that was in large part inspired by Pangea Day www.pangeaday.org, an event that took place on May 10th of this year, as well as my children as I watch them play on-line.

As some of you may know, I'm the co-founder of favequest, a company that is building a social video platform. We have a first stab at an app running in facebook http://apps.facebook.com/favequest/ and we're working on a branded one for a media company as part of revenue generation plan. Our platform is meant to create communities centered around video.

So what does this have to do with the big dream? My big dream is to use media (primarily video) to connect kids across the world to each other and their planet. I'm talking about creating a safe place for kids in the range of 6-12 where they can find content specifically for them and interact with other kids across the world. Ideally the content is created by other kids but it can also be professional content like National Geographic that kids can watch, share and talk about. The content itself doesn't matter as long as it is remarkable enough for kids to want to talk about it and learn about their world.

Why do I think this can make a big impact? Pangea Day was a good example of the use of film to connect people across the world. It was a day during which my family, friends and I learned about life in other parts of the world. Reacting to the story about a war child, one of my girls actually said ... I didn't know there was a war going on!! What better way for her to understand this than the media created by another kid living through this. Much more powerful than CNN.

The key point though is not the learning for the sake of knowledge ... it is the realization that people across the world all have the same needs and desires, whether you are a kid or an adult. It is a realization that we are all the same no matter what colour and where we live.

A realization that THEM = US leads to empathy and hopefully caring which can leads to action. If people don't care, nothing happens.

This realization can be incredibly powerful. It has caused things like "Combatants for Peace" http://www.pangeaday.org/filmDetail.php?id=73 . This incredible documentary was filmed by the organizer of Pangea Day about Israeli and Palestinian former soldiers that denounced violence and instead sit around the table to talk and seek an end to the conflict.

Without worrying too much right now about the details and many roadblocks ... imagine that our kids got engaged with each other across the world. Imagine having Pangea Day every day with our your kids at the center. Imagine what these kids would grow up to be and how they could impact our world?

I think this is a dream worth chasing ... and I can't do it alone. I've spoken to people like Tom Williams (CEO of GiveMeaning.com), the founder of Club Penguin, David Usher (the singer http://www.davidusher.com/) and many others. This will happen!

Please comment or email me, find me on facebook or twitter (@isfan) and tell me what you think about this and what you want to do to help.

Cheers,

Allan
PS. As I finish this blog, it is 6:14am and my eight year old walks in to the office and boots up the computer to go on webkinz ... ironic

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4 Comments:

Blogger gregory said...

well, yeah, there is no them, only us ... how big is your we is the only measure of a person, it should stretch out to include everybody

lot of people know this now

what do you propose to do?

my two rupees, ignore anyone who doesn't think this way, they are not important

1:47 PM

 
Blogger allan isfan said...

gregory,

thank you for your comment and advice ... good to remember. i'll be posting a bit more about the concept in the coming days

10:34 AM

 
Blogger Tom Williams said...

Allan,

Go get em!

--Tom

1:49 PM

 
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7:07 AM

 

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