The text below is an excerpt from the original article by, published October 13, 2014 on Carleton Now Magazine.
When I meet Carleton entrepreneur-in-residence Giovanna Mingarelli in the 1125@Carleton living laboratory, she is armed with a laptop, an iPad and her cellphone. After I take her photo, she picks up her iPad and snaps a shot of us high-fiving on her newly launched mobile application startup PlayMC2.
The photo is one of thousands that young people all over the world are shooting as part of a quest to crowdsource small acts of dignity.
“When the micro-actions of young people are combined,” says Mingarelli, PlayMC2 CEO and co-founder, “it permeates out into the world and reduces the negativity we see.”
Mingarelli, who graduated from Carleton in 2007 after studying political science and international relations, is aware of the widespread cyberbullying and general negativity that pervades our lives.
Her startup, officially launched Sept. 15, is partnering with the non-profit youth empowerment organization Global Dignity on its first ever mobile campaign Less. More. The campaign encourages students, educators and others to become involved in the MC2 “dignity quest” – by picking up a piece of garbage, smiling, or helping an older person cross a street, for example, – which are grouped together with #dignity on the app.
Pointing to a Global Dignity YouTube video that illustrates the magnitude of negative and aggressive content shared on social networks, Mingarelli notes, “Fifty per cent of young people worldwide are experiencing online bullying in some way. And that negativity often gets all the exposure.
“While it doesn’t have to be that way, the way many of us share our content is often harsh and hurtful,” says Mingarelli, who took on the role as Canada country chair for Global Dignity after attending the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland in 2012.