Giving voice to disenfranchised communities
Leonardo “Crossing Borders” puts emphasis on outstanding new developments that provoke fundamental challenge of predominant mind-sets with effect on corporate learning. This allows for awarding new promising and "daring" enterprises to astablish alternative approaches that "make a change" through impact for the individual for corporate and society: Gary Copitch and People’s Voice Media have taken citizens learning to new heights in the work he initiated and pioneered, by giving a real voice to disenfranchised communities.
People’s Voice Media works in deprived areas across the UK with the aim to empower local communities through the use of social media technology. The Advisory Board was impressed how People’s Voice Media works in partnerships with the BBC, further and higher education institutions, the third sector and public sector to develop a network of community reporters and social media centers. People’s Voice Media actively encourages members of socially excluded communities to gain new skills and have a voice by taking part in their community reporters training programs. Individuals who participate in the program are taught to use social media technology and are sent for training with the BBC: The community reporters program is about empowering people to support dialogue between agencies and communities and to have a voice so that their perspectives can be heard.
By doing this, he clearly is getting the European community based debate going about the role of the new social networking media by giving voice to so far disenfranchised citizens. Corporate learning can learn a lot from his quite different ways how to involve people and how to get them engaged. In all those impressive achievements of Gary Copitch and People’s Voice Media, the international advisory board sees a fulfillment of Leonardo’s spirit whom the prize feels obliged to.