From the Global Internet Evangelism Network forum in Denver, CO.
In a pretty impressive effort to spur innovation among Seventh-day Adventist technologists, TAGnet.org has offered a series of financial awards for innovative, executable ideas in three categories.
There will be a first ($10,000), second ($5000), and third ($2500) place prize in each category as well as a grand prize for $15,000. Not too shabby.
The initial $75,000 for this first year's Net Prize all comes from lay church members, including Tom and Vi Zapara and Denzel McNeilus.
The deadline for the prize is in April 2009 and will be awarded at next year's GiEN forum in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
As soon at the folks at TAGnet or GiEN post further details, I'll keep you posted.
I'm pretty interested in thinking about how social media can be employed in these categories for the Adventist ethos. I spoke about free speech and blogging in the church and over the following days I had some great discussions from a lot of folks. It's clear that the momentum here is toward fresh, workable technology solutions.
What do you think of this innovation prize? Any ideas?
This is my final post.
I'll leave you with some thoughts from General Conference Vice-President Lowell Cooper's sermon.
He shared an history of media and talked about how movable type printing, telephony, and the web have not only marked communication changes, but also adjustments in religious message. He encouraged us to increase literacy among ourselves(fight the recent Atlantic Monthly piece on how Google might be making us stupid) and increase literacy in the 2/3rds world, where most Adventists can't even read the Bible.
He shared how Adventism arose in the heyday of print media, which stressed the linear and the analytical and the individual. But now, online multi/social/media and global accessibility emphasizes non-linear connections, speed, and communities.
He spoke about our community witness, our need to connect in open and deeply reflective ways for the mission of God on earth. In emphasizing this, he noted that when Jesus said "you are the light of the world," Jesus did not use the singular, He used the plural. The text actually reads: you all are the light of the world.
Thinking about balancing individuals and communities has some serious implications for our we expand the mission and ethical witness of our church.
In conclusion, he reminded us of the power of the deep message of scripture (like the truth above) and how staying grounded will give us guidance as we innovate in these hyper-changing times.
Photo credit: Rajmund Dabrowski/ANN
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/787