SXSL: Live Desk

Jason Goldman: Everybody I’m
Jason Goldman, I’m the White House Chief Digital Officer
here and welcome to South by South Lawn. As you can see it’s a
gloriously beautiful day here at the White House. All of our, all of our
prayers and chanting worked to keep the rain away. We had some help from NASA
who will be joining us later and we have just a beautiful
day here outside on the South Lawn. We’re standing in front of
the sign, the South by South Lawn sign that was built
by Adam Savage from Myth Busters and when it gets
dark you’re going to see how this sign lights up based on
how what people are tweeting and how they’re engaging
on social media. I’m joined here with DJ
Patil, who is the White House Chief Data Scientist
and we’re going to be talking to some of the great
attendees who are here today. DJ Patil: It has been
an amazing morning. We have this — good thing
that our data people out at NASA and everyone else can
crunch the numbers and get us the weather — Jason Goldman:
That’s right. DJ Patil: — that we want. Jason Goldman:
That’s wonderful. Yeah, we, we, it’s really,
it’s a really good day. We have folks — the basic
plan right now, is folks are still entering from outside. They’re coming through the
White House State floors where there’s a variety
of musical performances. Also the photographer and
artist Chuck Close is doing some of his large format
photos in the State Dining Room. So there’s a whole bunch of
stuff happening right behind us in the White House and
then folks are coming out and seeing this great spread
that we have on the south lawn. We’ll have a full day of
programming of art, music, interactive discussions and
then a film screening at night. DJ Patil: Yeah, the biggest
thing is, this is the channel you want to be
following along on on all day long and also at White
House, You’re going to see all
of this live stream. You, even if you can’t be
here, this is something you want to be following along
all day on because it’s just going to be an
amazing line up. Jason Goldman: And if
there’s things that you want to see or there’s things
that you want to say to us about it’s going, the live
stream is going, you should tweet us and let us know. I’m at goldman44. DJ Patil: I’m at dj44. Jason Goldman: And we will
happily look for your tweets and do some answers. So, let us know if there’s
anything we can tell you. Great. DJ Patil: I think we,
we should get going. Jason Goldman: We
should get going. DJ Patil: So the first
person we have is, you know, who better to kick the day
off with is the most amazing thing you can think
of is going to space. Jason Goldman:
Going to space. DJ Patil: So what, we
should just bring on a live astronaut. Jason Goldman: Let’s bring
on a live astronaut. DJ Patil: All right, so we
bring on a live astronaut. All right, we have
astronaut Anne. Anne McClain: Good morning. Jason Goldman: It’s
great to have you. Thank you so
much for coming. Tell us a little bit
about your background. Tell us a little bit about
your time with NASA. Anne McClain: So I was
selected in the 2013 class of astronauts and so we are
busy training right now for missions to the
International Space Station as well as with our
commercial partners Boeing and SpaceX. They’d like to get those
launches going in the next couple of years. So I think what’s really
exciting right now is that in the next few years we’re
going to see launches from American soil again — Jason Goldman: Yeah. Anne McClain: — and it
should be a good show. Jason Goldman:
That’s amazing. How have you, how’s the
transition to NASA from your military background? Anne McClain: Well the big
thing is in both of the locations I’ve found that
you’re part of something bigger than yourself. I was very honored to serve
my Country and continue to serve my Country in a
military capacity and moving to NASA I find that we have
a lot of responsibility there. I, you know, as part of —
as representing Americans and humans throughout our
solar system, you’re part of something bigger than
yourself and you couldn’t succeed just on your own and
so you rely on a team both in the Army and at NASA. DJ Patil: All right so we,
I have to ask because being now an astronaut and you
know, you’re kind of dealing with this transition. What’s the coolest behind
the scene things that — Jason Goldman: That’s
a good question. DJ Patil: — people probably
just don’t realize as, wow, I wish I was an astronaut
and got to do that. Anne McClain: Well, so I’ll
tell you one of the coolest things that’s
happened to me lately. So most people — some
people may not know that since 2000 we’ve had
astronauts continuously in orbit right now. I like to point to the sky
because my friend Kate Rubins right
now as we speak. DJ Patil: All right. Anne McClain: And one of the
coolest things we got to do is talk to her about some
of the science she’s done lately. She gave us a call last week
and talking to her on video and seeing that she was the
first person to sequence a DNA in space. Jason Goldman: Wow. Anne McClain: She’s running
science experiments on the space station. And when you think about
the whole conglomeration of technology that it took to
get a human to sequence the DNA in space. She launched on a rocket. Jason Goldman: Yeah. Anne McClain: Okay, she
trained in a T-38 jet. She had a biology in
science background. She lives in a small
confined area up in space working with four different
countries and she sequenced DNA as well. Jason Goldman:
That’s amazing. DJ Patil: Who’s DNA? Anne McClain: That,
that I don’t know. Jason Goldman: Yeah. Anne McClain: I’ll ask her. DJ Patil: All right. One of the things that’s
really cool about that, especially, is because the
President has been super focused on the use of how
do we think about genomic medicines. There’s the President’s
Precision Medicine Initiative. The Cancer Moonshot and
all of these things. So, it’s one that’s extra
close to our heart being just 30 feet
from his office. Anne McClain: Yes, yes and I
have no doubt, you know, we were in hundreds of
experiments every day on the space station and the
benefits of those experiments really affect
everybody nationwide and worldwide and I really
encourage everybody to go online, look up NASA
spinoffs and really understand how that
technology affects your everyday life. DJ Patil: Cool. I think that, I mean that’s
connected to one of the things you just said, which
is like the idea of being a part of something
bigger than yourself. That’s the part of being
part of a team that’s attracted to a mission
that’s bigger to yourself. I think that’s a key message
for the people here today because we’re hoping,
although the folks that we have are part of programs
and part of events and part of nonprofits and companies
that are all a mission driven part of something
that’s bigger than themselves. What do you find as the key
to sort of like, you know, being willing to like really
operate in that mode where you’re thinking about
the larger mission? Anne McClain: You know I
think that the key is that everybody you talk to, every
person you talk to from any country from any background,
you have to understand that they hold a piece of the
puzzle that you need to be successful. DJ Patil: Yeah. Anne McClain: And so
everyone that I meet, I’ve met some incredible people
just in the last hour here on the White House lawn
that all hold pieces of the puzzle that we all need in
order to achieve our mission and so being humble enough
to say, hey I only have part of the solution, what part
do you bring to the table — DJ Patil: That’s great. Anne McClain: — is
really essential. DJ Patil: I love that
and that, like, takes vulnerability. You have to be willing to
say I don’t have it all figured out. Anne McClain: Absolutely. Absolutely. You have to be able to —
and you have to admit when you’re wrong. DJ Patil: Yeah. Anne McClain: Because it’s
much quicker for the team to move on. You can’t just — there’s
really no place for egos. There’s a place for hey what
do you bring, what do bring, what do I bring? Let’s go do something. DJ Patil: I mean I think
this is the perfect place to start our day because I
think if everyone can come out on the South Lawn with
that kind of attitude, like we’ll have a
wonderful afternoon. Anne McClain: Yeah, this is
a great atmosphere to do it. DJ Patil: Yeah. Anne McClain: I’ve met some
incredible people so far. We’ve got people that
broadcast rock concerts to children’s hospitals — DJ Patil: Yeah. Anne McClain: We’ve got the
Cancer Moonshot down here and I can’t wait to walk
around and see who else you guys have invited here. Jason Goldman: Great. DJ Patil: I think that’s
like one of the things, like you know it’s been
amazing systematically. We hear from everyone,
including the Secretary of Defense when he says, you
know the most powerful thing waking up in the morning
is being part of something bigger. And, you know if you had
one message to say that everybody should be writing
down on a piece of paper. What would that one thing
they write down be that they should stick up
on their wall? Anne McClain: Get out
of your comfort zone. Jason Goldman: Yeah. Anne McClain: Everyday, get
out of your comfort zone. I, you know, where I,
where I got to in life. I was uncomfortable. I thought I was
going to fail. I did fail. I had to try things that I
didn’t know if I was going to be good at and every time
I got out of my comfort zone I just found that I could
achieve more and more and more, and more people need
to get out of their houses and go do something that
scares them a little. Go do that thing that in the
back of your mind you think about at 11:00 at night. The world needs it. Jason Goldman: That’s great. I think that’s
a great place — DJ Patil: That’s why you’re
an astronaut and we’re not. Jason Goldman: Yeah, I think
that’s a great place, I think that’s a great
place to leave off — DJ Patil: Yeah. Jason Goldman: — I really
appreciate you spending the time with us and
talking with us today. It’s great to have you here. It’s an honor to have a real
live astronaut at our event and I hope you enjoy it. Anne McClain: Well thank you
for the opportunity and I’m going to go walk around and
meet some more great people. DJ Patil: Thanks Anne. Jason Goldman:
Thanks so much. Anne McClain: Take care. Jason Goldman:
Thanks so much. Anne McClain: Thank you. Jason Goldman: That’s great. DJ Patil: Okay, well
that’s a good start. Jason Goldman: That’s
a good start, yeah. DJ Patil: I’m feeling pretty
good about how the day’s going. Jason Goldman: Yeah. All right. DJ Patil: All right, so next
we have an incredible crew of people. We’ve got Rajiv
here from Starbucks. Rajiv Chandrasekaran:
Hey how are you? DJ Patil: Good, good. And you brought. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: I’ve
got two amazing guests. Brian Aft U.S. Marine Corp Veteran. Brian Aft: How you doing? Rajiv Chandrasekaran:
And David Vobora. David Vobora: Hey. DJ Patil: And just tell
everyone a little bit about why these guys are so cool? Jason Goldman: Please. Yeah, go for it. Rajiv Chandrasekaran:
Is that okay? David here played football
in the NFL for a couple of years. After retiring from the NFL
he went down to Dallas, opened up a gym. He was going to focus on
training pro athletes and he met one of our nations five
living quadruple amputees from modern wars and he
started to train them and now he has set up a gym in
Dallas where he is working to strengthen some of our
most seriously wounded warriors and got them
doing amazing things. Brian Aft served in the U.S. Marine Corp. and he’s been training with
David and I mean if he wasn’t in his wheel chair
right now he could show you do pushups right here
on the White House lawn. DJ Patil: I’m sure. Rajiv Chandrasekaran:
It’s amazing. Jason Goldman: Please. DJ Patil: I was going to
say, David first of all, I mean, thank you
for your service. I mean woah. Jason Goldman: It’s
great to have you here. Thanks so much
for being here. DJ Patil: You can tell the
workout, the workout’s working. (laughter) Brian Aft: The whole premise
of this is if you treat a man broken,
he’ll act broken. Right? If you look a man in his
eyes and you treat him like a whole person
they’ll rise up. So we have able bodied,
disable bodied athletes training a long side and the
two really champion to push each other. Jason Goldman: Right. Brian Aft: So, pro, pro
athletes and a warrior, the battlefield mindset
is very similar. Right? Jason Goldman: Right. Brian Aft: And what they
do is the real thing. So it’s cool to create a
tribe and a group of people that are, you know, working
on individual goals but collectively can help
encourage and inspire each other. DJ Patil: Totally. What do you thinks the most
important message you give to folks that are just kind
of coming out of the war zone, just dealing with
serious injuries and looking to start a new
chapter of their life? Brian Aft: Stick with you
buddies and definitely, definitely don’t go
all by your lonesome — DJ Patil: Right. Brian Aft: — in some hole
somewhere with a bottle of booze or something. DJ Patil: Right. Brian Aft: That’s like the
worst thing you can do ever. Stick with your buddies,
stick with people like this that want to be
there for you. You know and just, I mean
deal with your problems. Jason Goldman: That’s right. DJ Patil: I was going to say
that’s another big theme that we’ve heard through
South by South Lawn is the teamwork aspect and the
need to be part of a team. Jason Goldman: Yeah, I think
that’s right and so what if, I’m wondering if there’s
things from your prior experience in the military
about team work that you find are applying now like
in the work that you’re doing. Brian Aft: Over
with this guy? DJ Patil: Yeah. Brian Aft: Oh, yeah. Everything. All the group workouts. I mean everything is us
helping each other make ourselves better. DJ Patil: Right. Brian Aft: I mean because
doing it by yourself, honestly, it just sucks. DJ Patil: Yeah, totally. David Vobora: In the
military there is one is one and one is none. DJ Patil: Yeah. David Vobora: And it’s not
just military we train, it’s also civilians and the
civilians need to be around these veterans to realize
what teamwork and what grit looks like. DJ Patil: Right. David Vobora: And then the
veterans need to be around the civilians to realize
they’re not far from reintegrating. Right? DJ Patil: That makes sense. David Vobora: So it’s
community done well and I think this whole initiative
with South by South Lawn is about that. Jason Goldman: That’s great. David Vobora: How do we
create breakthroughs and create social justice at
some level that creates a civic responsibility
for the individual? Jason Goldman: Right. David Vobora: That’s what
Upstanders has done so tremendously in
telling these stories. Jason Goldman: Yeah, and
that’s what I was going to ask is how you
guys got involved. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: So
what we’ve done, we’ve told ten stories of remarkable
American citizenship. Ordinary people who are
doing extraordinary things and we have, at Starbucks,
we’ve created these stories and we’re streaming them to
the country for free and we just want to connect people
with this, you know, remind them that we are a nation of
people who are creative, who are problem solvers and you
find that in the cities sometimes across America. I mean David here, he was
driving through a parking lot one night when he saw
Brian and Brian looked pretty ragged and
Brian was drinking. Brian was abusing drugs. Brian was sleeping with a
loaded weapon next to his head and David embraced him,
brought him to his gym and turned his life around and
now Brian is mentoring other veterans and turning
their lives around. DJ Patil: That’s amazing. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: So
this is the sort of, you know, citizenship. It’s the sort of
civic engagement. The sort of community that
we need more in our country and so we decided to just
share ten of these stories. We set up a booth here
on the South Lawn. DJ Patil: Yeah. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: It’s
an amazing place to be here today and just want to help
share the message and we’re also taking nominations
for our next season. DJ Patil: Oh, great. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: We
want to hear from the attendees, we want to hear
from the country, quite frankly, all the people
watching, stories of great citizenship that we
can help amplify. It’s what this
event is about. DJ Patil: Right. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: We
just want to help you guys scale it. Jason Goldman:
I appreciate it. DJ Patil: I was going to
ask, how do they nominate? Where do they go to
find this content? Watch a story? Rajiv Chandrasekaran: So, You can see all the
stories, the ten stories. You can see this amazing
video in David’s gym of these guys and
nine other stories. One about a Methodist
minister who learns a mosque is going to be built across
the street from his church — DJ Patil: Amazing. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: And
his stomach tightens in knots and he’s
ripped by anxiety. Two days later he posts a
giant banner on the front lawn of his church that says
Heartsong Church welcomes the Memphis Islamic Center. DJ Patil: Yeah. Rajiv Chandrasekaran:
And he shows the value of friendship and you know, a
town in Michigan where they raised enough money to send
every high school graduate off to college. A town where it’s, most of
the people are below the poverty line. A young woman here in DC at
age 21 who’s built an app that’s saving tens of
thousands of pounds of food a year. So, we’re celebrating
these stories. You find them there and then
upload your own videos with just hash tag Upstanders and
hashtag SXSL and we’ll find them. That’s is where you can find these and
you can share the stories and we just want to share
more of these with our country. DJ Patil: That’s great. Thank you so
much for coming. It’s wonderful
to have you here. Jason Goldman: Thank you for
everything you’re doing. Really appreciate it. Thanks for sharing
your stories with us. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: Well
we appreciate this, I mean coming here to
the White House. Seeing this today. DJ Patil: Yeah. Rajiv Chandrasekaran: The
people’s house but you are really embodying the spirit
of what makes this place great. DJ Patil: I was going to say
you guys are the ones really doing it. Thank you for doing it. Jason Goldman:
Thank you so much. Thanks for coming. DJ Patil: Thanks
for joining us. All right. Okay. Jason Goldman:
Enjoy the afternoon. DJ Patil: Okay, next up we
are going to Deirdre and Kelly, Shelley. Okay, getting it right. All right, Deirdre
and Shelley. Shelley Danner: Hi. DJ Patil: Hey, welcome. Shelley Danner: Thank
you so much for coming. DJ Patil: Absolutely,
thank you. Did you come in all
the way from Detroit? Jason Goldman: I am Jason. Shelley Danner: Yeah. DJ Patil: Awesome. Jason Goldman: That’s great. So tell us what
brings you here today. Shelley Danner: Well we’re
really excited to share the story of the non-profit
we run called Challenge Detroit. Jason Goldman: Okay,
tell us about it. Shelley Danner:
Deirdre do you want to? Deirdre Groves: Challenge
Detroit is all about attracting and retaining
talent to the city of Detroit. People form the city, people
from across the country, even sometimes other parts
of the world who are really passionate about the
opportunity to make an impact, but more importantly
to learn by doing. Jason Goldman: That’s — how
did you get started in that. Like what — how
did this begin? Deidre Goves: Well we
started back in 2007 about the time when the recession
was hitting and it was hitting really hard in
Michigan and especially Detroit, as you surely know
and we said, we need an opportunity to
keep people here. Young talent is
leaving in mass. How can we keep talent here? Talents that are passionate
about making a difference in their community? And so we, Shelley and I met
by happenstance at one point and we have another
visionary leader that’s a part of our team and it’s
just amazing to see what has come of in the city and from
our program over the past almost ten years now. DJ Patil: That’s amazing. Tell me about some
of the victories. Tell me about some of the
big successes you’re most proud of. Shelley Danner: So we
actually launched in 2012 officially as an official
non-profit and we run a fellowship program. So we have
different partners. We partner with companies
from across the city, like General Motors — DJ Patil: Oh, okay. Shelley Danner: —
Goodwill Industries. A whole variety of companies
and they employ the talent that we bring and
keep in the city. And then we partner with
non- profits and we’ve done incredible projects with
non-profits like the Coalition on
Temporary Shelter. The Detroit Riverfront
Conservancy and even the mayor’s office. DJ Patil: And what’s been
the, you’re working with a ton of different groups. I mean it feels like, you
know, it just must be like dealing with so much
emails and phone calls. Like, what have you learned
about prioritizing or which folks to talk to or how to
even deal with the incoming. How to make that as like how
do you deal with just the band with of that operation. Shelley Danner: Sure
that’s a great question. So, something that really
matters to us is cross sector partnerships and
collaboration and that multidisciplinary
interdisciplinary aspect. Shelley Danner: So we often
think of Challenge Detroit as an eco-system because
we want to be a diverse inclusive community where
we’re bringing all kinds of partners together. Would you like to add on? Deirdre Grove: I think
we’ve learned that everyone matters and whether it ‘s
the smallest organization, a startup, someone we’ve
never even met or a — DJ Patil: Right. Deirdre Grove: — or a
leader at one of our fortune 500 companies in Detroit,
everyone in every organization plays a very
significant role in what’s happening in Detroit right
now and we want them to be, like Shelley said, part of
our eco system and we want to be part of theirs. DJ Patil: You know,
Jason I was going to say. First we heard about the get
out of your comfort zone. Jason Goldman: Yeah. DJ Patil: Make sure that
you’re being part of something bigger. Second is we heard about
really coming together along. What I’m hearing you say is
like, bring everyone along together. Jason Goldman: Yeah. DJ Patil: So if you’re,
you’re, what is it, what’s the trick when somebody’s
not sure how to really kind of take the leap into
getting out of the comfort zone that you did, what,
what would you tell them to get them to know that that
leap is actually safe? Shelly Danner: Yeah, well
we would say go for it. As two woman who are running
this non-profit and one thing that we’re super
excited about is that we’ve act, we’re in our
five year anniversary. So this is the fifth year
of running our fellowship program. Deirdre do you
want to add on? Deirdre Grove: I would
just say, don’t be afraid to take that risk. Risks are incredibly scary. You don’t know what
the outcome is — DJ Patil: Yeah. Deirdre Grove: But if you
trust, if you have a vision and we really believe in
setting a strong vision for our organization. DJ Patil: Right. Deirdre Grove: And I’d say
as woman leaders in the community for ourselves, set
your vision and go for it. DJ Patil: Yeah. Deirdre Grove: And we
practice that with our fellows all of the time. Jason Goldman: That’s great. How do you define
the vision for there? Deirdre Grove: Our vision is
to see Detroit as a holistic community where we can
bring everyone together. So we really look at
our vision as a part of Detroit’s bigger vision
where again, we can bring people together from
all different sectors. Jason Goldman: Yeah. Deirdre Gove: All
different industries. All different ages and
really be a place where we can talk about making a
social impact and using our intellectual capital
to make that impact. DJ Patil: I think, I think,
I love that part about like attaching your vision and
your mission to a larger one. Because I think that helps
it make it all the more real to the people working on it. Shelley Danner: There’s a
lot of people who have been working so very hard and so
very long in Detroit and as we all know there are
challenges in Detroit. We call Challenge Detroit,
Challenge Detroit for a reason. DJ Patil: Right. Shelley Danner: But there’s
also incredible good work going on and we’re just one
of the many organizations in Detroit right now doing
all that good work and continuing to move
forward with everyone. Jason Goldman:
That’s awesome. DJ Patil: Yeah, I was just
going to mention real quick, you know, like one of
the things that you’re powerfully talking about is
one of the places that is super important to the
President is Detroit and including that on Thursday,
the Opportunity Project that the President leads is going
to be announcing number of the commitments that are
going to be working to help scale projects like yours. Shelley Danner: Well
we love hearing that. That’s amazing. Deirdre Grove: Yes,
Detroit’s important to us too of course. DJ Patil: Right. Deirdre Grove: Not only
historically has Detroit been a hub for innovation
and entrepreneurship, but we’re seeing that in a very
different way today and the automotive industry
is important. We are still absolutely the
motor city, but to see the non-profits, the star ups,
the tech industries that we’re partnering with
it’s pretty awesome. Jason Goldman: That’s great. DJ Patil: That’s great. Jason Goldman: Awesome. Well thank you so
much for being here. DJ Patil: Yeah. Jason Goldman: We’re really
glad you could come. Hope you have a
great afternoon. Thank you so much. DJ Patil: Thanks for all
the work you’re doing. Absolutely. Absolutely. Jason Goldman: All right. DJ Patil: Okay. Next. Oh wow look who
we’ve got here. Jason Goldman: Anil Dash? DJ Patil: Anil Dash. Jason Goldman:
How’s it going? I’m Jason. DJ Patil: Oh we
don’t, I don’t get — Jason Goldman: Carmen? So nice to meet you. Anil Dash: I don’t know the
decorum for Facebook Live. DJ Patil: Decorum
for Facebook. We establish the
decorum here. Anil you’re the — Jason Goldman: So Anil and
Carmen I believe you guys just came from the press
briefing room, is that right? Anil Dash: That’s true,
that’s definitely a once in a lifetime thing. Jason Goldman: How was
that experience? Carmen Rojas:
It was amazing. It was (inaudible). DJ Patil: Tell us a little
bit about what it was like? Carmen Rojas: So it was full
of people from the press and we got to, we got a little
bit of time to talk about the work that we’re doing. Why we’re connected. Why we’re so excited about
South by South Lawn. Anil Dash: We had an amazing
announcement I think we should hear about. Jason Goldman: Oh,
let’s hear it here. Carmen Rojas: So we are
announcing the launch of a digital platform called
Together We Work which is focused on curating a set
of digital tools for young workers to take action
in the workplace. So now you don’t have to
search the entire internet. You can go one place, and try out a bunch of digital tools
and then actually hear from young workers today
and their experience. Jason Goldman: And what kind of
workers do you think would most be looking for this? Carmen Rojas: So the tools
actually run the gamut, so there’s a tool
that allows workers to launch petitions
on their worksites. So their greatest success
is that they have 25,000 Starbucks Barista’s who are
on the platform working — DJ Patil: Yeah. Carmen Rojas: — to change
the issues of scheduling and pay for Starbucks workers. We have a tool called Loomio
which works for people who are trying to convert their
businesses into co-ops and allows workers to make
democratic decision making in the work place. There’s Fairy God Boss
which, allows ranks employers based
on gender parity. Jason Goldman:
That’s amazing. That’s great and Anil what
did you talk about in the brief hearing today? Anil Dash: Well you know
we’ve got this panel coming out at 4:00 today that
people can watch on the live screen. Jason Goldman: Good plug. Anil Dash: And we’ve got
folks like Carmen and people working across areas like
marriage equality, civil rights that is just
incredible and inspiring and what we’re trying to talk
about is the, everybody feels like they want
to change the world. What does it look like? Jason Goldman: Right. Anil Dash: What do you
actually do in your community, in your town with
your people, your friends, your neighbors, to actually
make something happen like what Carmen’s discussed and
so that’s what I’m really, really animated
and excited about. It’s like there’s so much
cool innovation here but how do we actually pull, roll up
our sleeves and do the work? Jason Goldman: What would you say to someone who’s like, you you know, watching the live
stream and is just like, you know I used to believe that
like change was possible, but like, you know, I joined
up on a bunch of mailing list and it didn’t really
do anything for me. Like what would you say to
the person who feels like that that hasn’t happened? Anil Dash: I think it’s a
lot of us is it’s easy to fall into the cynicism and
one of the things is to look for the people
who are leading. Jason Goldman: Right. Anil Dash: If you go out
there and seek them out and say who actually
did something. I think of Evan Wolfe’s
sitting on the panel today who founded Freedom to Marry
back in 2003 but had been working on the issue of
marriage equality for 20 years prior. How many of us have an issue
we care about that we’re going to say I’m going to
put in the 35 years that it takes. Jason Goldman: Right. Anil Dash: But he got to
earlier this year, shut down his organization, not
because of a lack of funds — Jason Goldman: Right. Anil Dash: — not because
of a lack of support. Jason Goldman: Because
they did it. Aanil Dash: Because they
actually accomplished a mission that they set out
to do 30 plus years ago. Jason Goldman: That’s right. Anil Dash: That I don’t know
how you can’t be inspired and motivated by that. Jason Goldman: Please. DJ Patil: I was just going
to say, you know, something that Anil just said and I
think is really important is something the President says
very often which is fight, we have to fight cynicism. Anil Dash: Right. DJ Patil: And we have
to fight it every day. So, what would you say to
people who are sitting out there because you guys have
dealt with a lot of the cynicism online and
digitally and people who are getting that cynicism. Anil Dash: Right. DJ Patil: How do
you rise about it? Carmen Rojas: I really
think to Anel’s point. Like finding those
real life examples. So you look at that
35 year history. Now look at an issue that
I’m, that’s really near and dear to my heart, the
raising the minimum wage. Jason Goldman: Right. Carmen Rojas: Five years ago
a $15.00 minimum wage was not impossible. DJ Patil: It
wasn’t possible. Carmen Rojas: And it was
like people would say that and you were like a martian
from outer space and now we have fast food workers
across the country, retail workers across the country
working people, people who work and don’t earn $15.00
an hour saying that that’s their right and I think that
the promise of technology to connect those people and
create collective power to move on these issues. The moment is now to
actually make that happen. Jason Goldman: That’s great. What, what, I’m interested
in the point though, I think that’s a great point, what
have you found about the leaders that you’ve talked
to and like the leaders that you talked to and then of
course who you are, what is like the common
characteristic that kind of binds them together? Anil Dash: I think one of
the things I’ve seen is a muscle you have to exercise. It’s a little bit every day. There isn’t some
one giant moment. There is no
overnight success. Jason Goldman: Right. Anil Dash: Every day you get
up and you face a setbacks and you face a challenge and
you know, same as like, I’m like oh I had too big of a
dinner last night I better go for a run — Jason Goldman: Right. Anil Dash: Well he same
thing is like, well the movement hasn’t happened on
its own while I slept, like how are we going to
get you know people — Jason Goldman: Right. Anil Dash: — to care about
civil rights, about workers’ rights, about
all these issues. You say today I’m going
to do a little bit. I’m going to do what I can. Push the ball forward and
keep exercising that muscle. Jason Goldman: Well that sounds
like a good place to stop because speaking of moving
forward I think we’re about to move forward to the next
part of the programing on South by South Lawn. So, it was great
having you both here. I’m excited for your panel. Thank you so much. Anil Dash: Yeah. It’s going to be
an amazing day. Thank you so much for
the work you’re doing. DJ Patil: Also for being
in the briefing room. Jason Goldman: Yeah,
thank you so much. DJ Patil: Okay, and I
think that’s done for us. Jason Goldman: I think
that’s all, we did it. DJ Patil: That’s
— we made it. Jason Goldman: There will
be a lot more on Facebook. There will be a lot more
on You can watch
all the panels. You can watch all the
musical performances that are going to happen
from the South Lawn. We hope you stay tuned
throughout the whole day and please continue to hit us
up on Facebook, Twitter, wherever, let us know about
what you think of what you’re seeing and what
else you want to see. DJ Patil: We’re listening
and we want to hear from you and we hope you keep on
engage and fight the cynicism every day. Jason Goldman: Thanks
very much everybody.

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