Limitless Lab launches' I Know, Rights!', a toolkit and media innovation camp to empower young communicators as human rights defenders
MANILA, Philippines - Limitless Lab empowers future media practitioners to become human rights defenders through the launch of the "I Know, Rights!" project, which includes a 3-day media innovation workshop and a practical human rights toolkit for aspiring media professionals.
The "I Know, Rights!" Human Rights and Media Innovation Camp took place from May 10 to 12 at the Linden Suites in Ortigas, with the active participation of 50 students from different parts of the Philippines. The camp served as both an interactive workshop and a human rights organization fair.
Media professionals continue to play a vital role in human rights.
In the workshop segment of the camp, students were exposed to a wide range of media-related topics by esteemed journalists.
Carmela Fonbuena, the Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, served as the main speaker on the first day. She emphasized the crucial role of journalists and communicators in promoting human rights, especially in the face of advancing technology and the growing number of citizen journalists.
“That is the role of us journalists– to give voice to the voiceless, and to report the unreported,” said Fonbuena.
Despite their vital role, media professionals continue to face attacks, as emphasized by Paul Soriano, the Secretary General of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines. His discussion centered around the challenges encountered by Filipino journalists, including the issue of red-tagging. Amidst these challenges, media practitioners are urged to hold the line, including student journalists.
“Press freedom is ours. It's not just the plight of journalists and media workers; campus journalists also have a role in defending it,” he reiterated.
The speaker lineup concluded with the renowned journalist and author Rambo Talabong, who shared valuable insights on crafting impactful stories with limited resources.
Rambo stressed that in addition to curiosity and courage, effective communication is essential for media practitioners to make their stories resonate with the public. He also highlighted the significance of remembering the purpose of their work - to serve and stand alongside the masses. This is where they uncover the essence of their work and draw inspiration to persevere in the field.
Encouraging innovation in media through design thinking
In addition to hearing from renowned speakers, the participants were provided with the opportunity to learn and apply design thinking principles through the guidance of the Limitless Lab team.
Joie Cruz, the founder and CEO of Limitless Lab, introduced design thinking and its potential for creating inspiring and innovative human rights campaigns.
“As a development communications practitioner who was once a student, we understand at Limitless Lab the importance of equipping our communication and media students with the right knowledge, mindset, and skills needed for them to become human rights defenders. Through these initiatives, we also hope to train them on how to protect themselves should they be subject to human rights attacks.” added Cruz.
Through hands-on activities and facilitator support, the participants had the chance to practice the design thinking methodology while developing innovative human rights campaigns for their chosen advocacies, such as LGBTQIA+, farmers, women, and media.
To ensure comprehensive campaign development, Limitless Lab invited representatives from different sectoral organizations for participants to interview and collaborate with.
"Young people had the opportunity to interact with representatives from sectoral organizations and collaborate with them using the design thinking methodology to develop human-centered campaigns," said Matt Matias, Limitless Lab's Training Specialist.
Drawing insights from these interviews, the students created campaigns that aligned with the groups' call to uphold human rights. These activities in campaign creation not only enhanced their ability to disseminate information to a broader audience but also honed their soft skills in creative problem-solving, empathy, and collaboration, which are vital in today's landscape.
Amplifying our call to uphold and defend human rights
To cap off the event, a human rights fair was organized, featuring representatives from various human rights groups and the media such as the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Tanggol Magsasaka - Southern Tagalog, Panaghiusa Philippine Network to Uphold IP's Rights, UP Los Baños - Babaylan, and Agham Youth. They were present to share their advocacies and engage with the participants.
Additionally, participants had the opportunity to pitch their sectoral campaigns and demonstrate how they would amplify their call for human rights.
"The participants have shown sincere interest in the topics, which is a crucial starting point in developing more young critical minds that will hopefully serve the nation's interests later," observed Paul, emphasizing the need to further empower campus journalists and highlighting that discussing various issues is a step forward.
"At a time when journalism and the media industry remain under attack, gatherings like this are important in boosting the morale of future journalists," he added, underlining the youth's potential to build a media industry that truly serves the public's interests.
Alongside these activities, Claire Linatoc, Limitless Lab's Co-design Lead and Content Specialist, introduced the "I Know, Rights!" human rights toolkit for future media practitioners. It provides comprehensive teaching materials, including human rights concepts, actionable practices, and a variety of tools and worksheets for students across all communication fields.
"From our conversations with communications students, it's clear that there is a need for a practical toolkit that will provide them with human rights knowledge and methods they can use in the field. So using the unique co-design method of Limitless Lab, we design the toolkit hand-in-hand with students, incorporating their ideas and insights every step of the way.“ shared Linatoc.
Matias also reiterated that the toolkit serves as an important reminder that the role of future media practitioners is to tell the truth and stand in solidarity with the people.
The toolkit offers a step-by-step guide on how students can create effective human rights campaigns using the design thinking methodology, and it concludes with a comprehensive guide for teachers on how to integrate it into class discussions.
With the launch of this toolkit and the camp, Limitless Lab is paving the way for communication practitioners who are fully committed to anchoring human rights in their work. To access the toolkit, visit https://bit.ly/IKRToolkit.
ABOUT LIMITLESS LAB
Limitless Lab is a global design and social innovation agency that trains people on innovation methodologies and co-design social innovations with governments, NGOs, and corporations. From co-designing digital platforms, knowledge products, and learning experiences, Limitless Lab believes that the most impactful innovations are co-designed with local communities.
Since 2018, Limitless Lab has helped hundreds of various organizations and individuals on solving complex challenges using design thinking. These organizations include The Asia Foundation, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, Smart Communications, ADB, DTI, DICT, Microsoft, and the ASEAN Foundation.
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