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About this Video

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In a world so motivated by the future, how can we use modern technologies to capture the wisdom off the past?

Using the power of photography, Chris Rainier National Geographic Society Fellow takes us on a journey to cultures that are using modern technology smart phones, computers, cameras, and video to both preserve their quickly disappearing ancient traditions, as well incorporate traditional knowledge with cutting edge technology to find sustainable solutions for the pressing
global issues.

Traveling the planet for over thirty years, Rainier has been in a race against time – to document ancient communities struggling to save their ways of living for future generations. Now with the advent of technologically driven storytelling and social media – he focuses his energy on helping empowering indigenous communities to gather around the “fireplace” of the web to tell on a global level, socially important story’s for the survival of the planet – story’s of what it means to be alive and human in the 21st Century.

As a National Geographic Explorer and Photographer, Chris is most acclaimed for his documentation of Endangered Cultures around the globe. He is also Director of The Last Mile Technology Program, preventing traditional cultures from being left on the wrong side of the Digital Divide.

About the Speaker

Chris Rainier

Chris Rainier

Chris Rainier is a National Geographic Society Fellow and documentary photographer – who is highly respected for his documentation of endangered Cultures and Languages around the globe. In 2002 he was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award by the Explorers Club for his efforts on cultural preservation, and he has recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society of London-specializing in Cultural Studies

During his continued tenure with the National Geographic Society he has been the co-founder and co-director of both the Enduring Voices Language Project and Director of the All Roads Photography Program, designed to support indigenous groups with modern technology desiring to document their traditional culture and create sustainable solutions to preserve the planet in the 21st Century.

In the early 1980’s Rainier was Ansel Adams last photographic assistant- during his tenure with the noted photographer- he worked with Mr. Adams to amplify the use of Art Photography as a social tool – helping to preserve threatened wilderness areas and National Parks. Rainier went on to collaborate with UNESCO and IUCN on a Global Project using photography to preserve endangered wilderness areas around the world.

Rainier has completed photographic projects for the United Nations, UNESCO, Amnesty International, Conservation International, the Smithsonian Institution, Time Magazine, the New York Times, LIFE Magazine, and the National Geographic Society. Rainier has photographed global culture , conflict, famine, and war in such places as: Somalia, Sarajevo/Bosnia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cambodia, and Iraq for TIME Magazine, – and for NPR Radio.

He lectures and teaches seminar & workshops throughout the world on using modern technology to preserve ancient cultural traditions. He has lectured for: TED Global, The Aspen Institute IDEAS Festival, The EG Conference, Google, Apple, Nokia, MIT Media Lab, and Adobe.

He is the director of the Last Mile Technology Program, which supports underrepresented and indigenous cultures with modern social media, computers, cameras, and video equipment. Empowering them to tell their own cultural stories and share their traditional knowledge to find global solutions to the pressing issues on the planet in the 21st Century. In addition he is creating a global digital archive of the worlds most endangered languages and cultural knowledge.