Dan Reed ’08 Delivers Earth Day Convocation
by Corley Tweedy ’14
On April 22, Bridgewater College alumnus Dan Reed, class of 2008, returned to campus to give a special Earth Day message.
"Sitting where you are now, not too many years ago, I never thought I'd be back here to give one of these things," Reed said. However, his work with The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs has given him a key message to share with the campus community.
Reed explained his work on a project called Planet Forward, which addresses many big ideas such as world hunger. Reed shared frightening statistics with the audience about how many people are currently classified as "food insecure" (those who are unsure where their next meal will come from), and how many more there will be soon, as the planet's population increases yearly. "As a planet, we will need to produce more food in the next 40 years than we have in the last 8,000 years," Reed said.
Reed is instrumental in a project known as Planet Forward, which uses social media to connect young innovators with politicians and business executives in Washington, D.C. Reed explained how his project works by allowing people to post videos to Planet Forward containing their problem-solving ideas, and how these ideas are then passed along to those who have the power to make change happen.
"The fun part of my job is taking these good ideas and publicizing them," he said, describing several ideas which have gotten national television attention. He explained that the goal of Planet Forward is to spark conversation at a grassroots level, rather than the traditional top-down style. In this way, Planet Forward hopes to use the power of storytelling to bring about big change in our world.
Reed urged the audience to be curious, ask questions, communicate, and most of all, contribute. By gleaning the benefits of mass and social media, Planet Forward hopes to inspire individuals to take the first step in changing our world.