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SXSW Interactive 2014

Breaking the Mold: How to Thrive When Allies Turn

It's great to be a thought leader when your perceived allies are on your side. But how do you stay true to your ideals when allies decide you are a traitor to "the cause" and throw you to the wolves?

Whether you are a feminist who disagrees with Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" movement, a progressive leader who agrees with Bill O'Reilly, or a political influencer who decides it's better to approach opponents with love rather than vitriol, innovators and voices of influence can't afford to go along just to get along.

Well known tech mavericks, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates dissented against their peers in a different media age. Mark Zuckerberg did it before Facebook was Facebook. Most recently, Change.org pissed off the entire progressive movement to be more open and grew from 6 million users to 40 million in a year.

From dissenting against allies to sleeping with the enemy, change agents must learn how to go against the grain to maximize results or risk failure.

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  1. How do you keep focused on independent thinking and challenging the status quo within your own community while being attacked by allies?
  2. How do you break the mold without being broken?
  3. How to protect your personal brand when the very people you thought were in your camp decide to go on the attack?
  4. How do you channel your inner-innovator to maximize media results?
  5. When the media and allies increasingly categorize issues as black and white with no shades of grey, how do survive "sleeping with the enemy" to provide nuanced ideas that may upset both sides?



Joanne Bamberger, Editor, Broad Side Strategies

Meta Information:

  • Tags: media
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Non-Profit and Activism
  • Level: Intermediate
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