“Social media can help individuals and groups improve and connect and focus on the things that matter and the things that bind us rather than divide us,” said Prince Harry.
During the past several months of the pandemic, we’ve all been going online more than ever. Acknowledging the power and importance of digital platforms in creating a sense of community, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down to chat virtually with young leaders from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust who have all founded organizations focused on using digital and social media for positive change.
“There’s a lot of negativity out there, there’s a lot of noise,” said Prince Harry. “Experts describe it as ‘the attention economy,’ which is basically just a shouting match benefitting the wrong people. But social media can help individuals and groups improve and connect and focus on the things that matter and the things that bind us rather than divide us.”
The four founders they spoke to during the virtual chat are Rosie Thomas, co-founder of Project Rockit in Australia, a youth-driven movement against cyber-bullying; Brighton Kaoma, founder of Agents of Change Foundation in Zambia, a foundation of young radio reporters committed to factual storytelling; Hunter Johnson, founder of The Man Cave in Australia, an organization committed to fostering healthy masculinity, respectful relationships and gender equality; and Vee Kativhu, founder of Empowered by Vee, an annual academic conference empowering students through mentoring and access to opportunities in the UK.
“We believe in a world where kindness and respect thrive over bullying, hate and prejudice, and every young person is free to realize their potential,” said Thomas, whose sentiments were echoed by both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Over the course of the 30-minute conversation, Harry and Meghan spoke with the young leaders about the power of social media in fostering community, the importance of safe online spaces, and the tools needed to build a more empathetic digital world.
“It’s on all of us collectively to make the world a better place—and we are,” said Harry, with Meghan adding, “You can train people to be cruel or you can train people to be kind.”
In a speech last month, the Duchess made a similar plea for more kindness online, saying, “You understand that our online world has the power to affirm and support as much as it does to harm. But we are not meant to be breaking each other down; we are meant to be building each other up. So use your voice both on- and offline to do just that – build each other up, support each other.”
Watch the full conversation below: