Svenska institutet and Hyper Island's collaboration Young Leaders Visitors Program which focuses on social media as a tool for positive change, is currently taking place at Hyper Island Stockholm.
The program aims to lay the foundations for a long-lasting and mutually rewarding relationship between Sweden, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine by strengthening and connecting influential voices in both regions. We were curious to find out more from one of the course attendees.
Hello Hiba, where are you from?
I am Lebanese but I was born in Ghana, Africa where my parents currently live. I have moved around a lot for both education and work. So I believe that I am a citizen of the world.
What do you do in your home country?
I am a double agent: During the day, I work as a creative director for DDB (based between Dubai and Kuwait). I work in mainstream with both the private and government sector and on CSR programs as part of the pro-bono work we do. While during the night, I strive to become a freer artist by becoming a better human. I am constantly looking for new challenges and new mediums for much needed change.
What is the course you're attending about?
The course is Young Leaders Visitors Program, the Swedish Institute initiative that will provide us with all the tools and processes to shape public opinion using social networking.
Is the course meeting your expectations?
The whole program has been well organized in which diverse areas of leadership and team building, social networking techniques and shared experiences and knowledge are covered. Although it is too early in the program to make a clear conclusion, but it has certainly been a valuable learning experience.
What learning experiences do you think you'll bring back with you once the course is over?
In addition to all the interactive media techniques and communication, one main value I will definitely carry back with me is the realization of the possibility of change.
What expectations did you have before arriving in Sweden?
Born an idealist that sometimes borders on naivety, my expectations are always BIG! I want change- a 'new' revolution that will see change in myself, my country and the world. I've hoped Sweden will help provide the tools of change. To quote John Mayer, I certainly don't want to wait on the world to change.
What surprised you about Hyper Island once you arrived?
The freedom of expression and experimentation that the students are given. It is very refreshing to see and be part of. The students work with the idea of anything is possible is certainly inspiring!
What's culturally different between your home country and Sweden?
Lebanon is a country under-construction. It is a country that has still not found its true identity. I'm not sure if finding an identity is the solution or as Rem Koolhaas said in his book SMLXL it is just a mouse trap. What is certain is that Lebanon is rich with its diversity (multi-cultural and multi-religious) that has coexisted side-by-side throughout history. This small country with its unlimited human potential has shown continuous resilience throughout its long eventful past and has been the yearning of every Lebanese in diaspora.
Thank you Hiba!
More information on the course can be found on Svenska institutet's site.