UC Riverside Alumnus Wins Webcasting Competition

By Staci Wilson, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
May, 18, 2012 

Sunday May 20 through Monday, May 21, President Barack Obama will host a North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit in his hometown, Chicago. Over sixty presidents and prime ministers from about fifty-four nations are expected to attend, hailing from both NATO member countries and non-member countries, for the purpose of strengthening global security policies and practices. This will be NATO’s twenty-fifth summit since its foundation in 1949, the third summit to be hosted by the United States, and the first summit held in a U.S. city other than Washington. Although the event itself will be closed to the public, there will be a number of concurrent programs intended to educate interested parties about the organization and its endeavors. The city of Chicago is currently making security and traffic preparations for about 2,000 journalists and thousands of additional expected visitors.

WE-NATO, a social media portal dedicated to educating the public about both NATO and the global political issues it deals with, hosted an international competition to support the coverage of this historical event. The entry requirements were simple: one minute webcam videos describing the contestants’ thoughts on peace and security, but the results were rather inspiring. WE-NATO has now selected twenty “iReps” from all over the world to travel to Chicago for the summit and report back on their experience via a variety of social media—twitter, facebook, blog sites, webcams—opening up the event in a way it never has been before. This form of coverage is expected to provide not only minute by minute information on summit related activities, it is also intended to politically engage a younger audience and get them talking about issues currently shaping our world.

Among the winners of the WE-NATO competition: UC Riverside alumnus, Andrew Buchanan. Buchanan graduated from the university in 2010 with a B.A. in religious studies and a B.S. in anthropology. In his WE-NATO competition entry, he talked about his ideas regarding the relationship between security and public will, particularly with reference to the Arab Spring demonstrations. Buchanan will travel to Chicago on Saturday, before the summit itself begins, for a series of panel discussions with various diplomats and his fellow iReps. Over the course of the summit, his live updates from Chicago will be available on twitter (@andrewjbuchanan), in addition to opinion pieces posted to we-nato.org. To view his original winning entry, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DHYCSrXVdk

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