Dan is Changing the World with Social Media

It's a new month and that means we've got a new online intern.

Here's a bit more information to help you get to know Dan.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Windsor, Ontario, Canada


Q: What university do you attend?

A: I attend the University of Windsor.


Q: What are you studying?

A: I'm studying Behaviour, Cognition and Neuroscience


Q: What do you want to be when you "grow up?"

A: I have been studying Behaviour, Cognition, and Neuroscience throughout my undergrad, but for the past few years, have been imagining a new way to use neuroscience as a unique perspective on human rights. What does our shared DNA tell us about our differences? How do our brains change, and in what conditions?

Before being selected as WFP Online Intern, I imagined myself pursuing neuroscience research and leading on to social activism. I could see myself in 30 years working with the UN, maybe as a Canadian diplomat. And now, even to have an online internship at the age of 21 is unreal.

Through a deeper understanding of the brain, people from all nations can gain a greater tolerance, empathy and appreciation of human behaviour, and therefore, human rights.


Q: Why did you apply to be an online intern?

A: What got me about the internship was the way I'd be able to communicate all over through social media, but keep it at home by raising funds and awareness here in Windsor, Canada. This is the first time I'd really thought about combining these two circles of influence. I'm also pumped to bring awareness and participation to the University of Windsor.

As a first-time WFP project, it's nice to be able to work without travel, and for the short period of a month.


Q: How do you think students can use social media for social change?

A: Students are a huge force on social media. We share links, videos, opinions and interests, buy and sell used textbooks, plan events, and keep a close eye on what each other is doing. What I want to see is students challenging students; teaming up and creating a stronger voice together than could be possible separately.

When someone comes across ways of social change on social media, they are more likely to act if they can do so right from their computer and at that instant. Websites like Freerice are already taking advantage of this, and I think online games and contests will soon follow.

A problem is more easily ignored when it isn't in front of us, but social media can present us with quotations, pictures, and videos of those both working on and enduring the issues of hunger.


Q: Why are you interested in WFP and the work we do around the world?

A: While this world is facing many controversial arguments, nobody deserves to go hungry - especially to the point of starvation. Only recently have I learned that hunger is the biggest solvable problem facing the world. It is not common knowledge that there is enough food in the world today for everyone to have proper nourishment. Awareness of this fact alone changes the way world hunger is viewed and therefore how we act.

I am interested in raising as much awareness as funding.

When someone is starving, it's hard for them to think of much else, such as caring for a family or education. This is a block to economic growth. The process of building a self-sustained community interests me by spreading knowledge and skill as well as resources. This is the "teach a man to fish" proverb in the most literal sense. I plan on exposing the realistic advantage we have in the fight against hunger.


Follow Dan on Twitter @DanBrownBrowns and see how he uses his social network for social change.