A recent report from UNICEF cited more than half of Ukrainian children have been displaced due to the war. New technology has proven vital in getting resources to those affected. Today, we’re in conversation with DCN Global President Nikos Panagiotou to discuss his organization's initiative to raise funds to help Ukrainian children in need through an NFT auction. Mr. Panagiotou and DCN Global are based in Thessaloniki, Greece.
1. Hello, Mr. Panagiotou! It’s a pleasure to have you here. Before we begin, can you give a brief introduction of yourself to our readers?
Hi, it’s my honor to be with you for such a great purpose. I’m an Associate Professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Media Communication in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. I have been a DAAD Scholar at Deutsche Welle, Chevening Scholar of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK, RCAP Scholar from APU University Japan, Scholar to Beijing Foreign Studies University, Scholar at Sabanci University (Turkey), Scholar of the State of Luxembourg.
I have an extensive research work which has been funded from Google (DNI Initiative fund). I am the initiator and organizer of Thessaloniki International Media Summer Academy, President of Digital Communication Network Global and Director of Peace Journalism Lab School of Journalism and Mass Media Communication in Aristotle University. I have a track record in research and project work regarding disinformation, Fake News Hunters and Refugees against disinformation.
2. Great! Before we talk about DCN Global’s #LittleHumansForUkraine initiative, could you tell us more about DCN Global? What do you do?
The Digital Communication Network Global is a strong collaborative network that connects professionals of the digital age from a variety of backgrounds, to generate ideas, tools, and products for media outlets, civil society organizations, businesses and public authorities.
DCN Global's mission is to create a lasting impact through empowering a new generation of global voices and ideas in the digital communication space. To achieve our mission, we serve as an open space for communication, creativity, and connectivity with the purpose of promoting democratic and resilient societies by being a catalyst for credible information and democratic norms and behaviors. DCN Global's foundational premise is that, in the complex new information space, only digitally empowered coalitions of different professionals can identify creative and sustainable solutions to today's and future challenges. Our premise makes DCN Global a unique voice in training, research, publishing, and content and production creation for the 21st century. DCN is a truly global organization with communities in Europe, Africa, the Western Hemisphere and South and East Asia.
3. We have seen other examples of cryptocurrencies and NFTs being used to support Ukraine. Has charity and supporting people in need been forever changed by what we are seeing happening now?
Indeed, as mentioned on Bloomberg, Ukraine’s NFT use as crypto donations tops $60 Million, while the Ukrainian government is preparing to give away cryptocurrencies to 66.000 refugees. Web 3.0 and cryptocurrencies have changed not only the way we show our support, but the way we communicate, act, and interact in an interconnected world.
DCN Global has organized virtual discussions and webinars about the Metaverse and our network’s experts look into various applications which will change our lives. Journalism, Communication, Charity, and other fields will be forever transformed. We are trying to use these new technologies that are cross-border and decentralized to helping Ukrainians who are suffering because of a conflict that belongs to another time, the cruel and inhumane Putin’s aggression. In the future DCN wants to become a global trainer, introducing new technologies like blockchain and decentralizing financing to larger publics, democratizing the metaverse, to benefit and engage as many people as possible.
4. How did the #LittleHumansForUkraine initiative come about? Can you tell us more about the campaign?
Since Putin’s army’s invasion in Ukraine, DCN Global has been in constant touch with the Ukrainian community, people who are either actively supporting the resistance, in shelters with relatives and neighbors, all over the country, or as refugees, trying to save families from the horrors of war.
We asked the DCN community to share stories with the world in order show a civil society perspective and showcase human experiences. Behind the tweets and news we read, there are human lives, impacted in unimaginable ways. We have already received dozens of stories, photos, videos, and information and we are seeking more, to be amplified in social media and grow our #HumansForUkraine campaign, using digital connectivity to increase global sensitivity and empathy and generate support.
We hoped that this war would finish soon, but unfortunately - as the situation worsened - we kept thinking and exploring ways to provide help to Ukrainians.
DCN members on the ground collected drawings from kids in Ukraine, reflecting their feelings and emotions while living with the spectrum of war. The children's artwork was turned into an NFT Collection that will be auctioned off to raise funds and draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
All proceeds will go to Voices of Children, a charity with the stated mission of giving every child who has suffered from the war in Ukraine the psychological and psychosocial help they need.
5. Thanks a lot, Mr. Panagiotou. It was a pleasure having you here. Before we let you go, do you have any closing thoughts that you’d like to share with us?
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about this initiative. I would like to kindly ask your community to support our common transparent cause. Visit the auction at Open Sea and submit your bid!