TECHVERSIFY CASE STUDY
A NEW WPBT2 (PBS South FL) SERIES
As billions of people interact with digital technologies every single day, many struggle to balance real life obligations with the increasing demands of constant connectivity. A new show on WPBT2, “TechVersify,” aims to educate viewers in the art of using technology for maximum personal and professional benefit.
The first season, would not have been possible without seed funding from Gulliver Schools and the Center for Social Change. Produced by Two Parrot Productions with local production partner WPBT2 (South Florida’s premier PBS affiliate), “TechVersify” was released digitally, one mini-episode per week, across a large swath of WPBT2/PBS channels and apps – including uVu, YouTube, social networks, Xbox, Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV.
“Miami makes the perfect epicenter for the ‘TechVersify’ plot because it’s the melting pot of so many diverse perspectives. However, it was equally important to travel outside Miami to cities like Austin, Texas; Tokyo, Japan; and Kathmandu, Nepal,” says Creator/Producer Jessica Kizorek. “Tech is impacting lives everywhere, so we had to put the conversation in a global context.”
“TechVersify” explores this new landscape by telling stories about the psychological impact of the digital age through diverse human characters. Women, minorities and members of the LGBT community are the stars of the series. The show is guided by expert analysis from psychiatrist Eva Ritvo, M.D. “TechVersify” who illuminates what’s going on inside our brains and how technology can have both good and bad effects on our lives. Rather than being a slave to our gadgets, “TechVersify” postulates, we should aim to leverage technology to make ourselves happier and healthier.
“We are proud to support a WPBT2/PBS series that grasps the impact of technology as much as we do,” said Frank Steel, Gulliver’s head of schools. “Joining with Jessica and ‘TechVersify’ is an obvious fit for us. Gulliver may be a private school, but this partnership gives us a way to contribute to cutting-edge public education.”
Later this fall, once all six mini-episodes have been released digitally, the segments will be compiled as a 30-minute stand-alone documentary for distribution on broadcast television both locally and nationally.
Gulliver Schools is a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit, independent, coeducational, nonsectarian day school with the mission of providing a superior, personalized college-preparatory education fostering well-rounded, successful, lifelong learners. Gulliver is committed to developing the unique gifts and talents of each student in a nurturing environment that promotes academic excellence, innovation, global understanding and character. For more information about Gulliver, please visit www.gulliverschools.org.
About Jessica Kizorek
Jessica Kizorek is the president of Two Parrot Productions and the creator/producer of “TechVersify.” An investigative journalist who has traveled to 60+ countries to cover international humanitarian efforts, this time Kizorek turns the cameras on her own backyard: Miami. On the heels of a 66-month research project she spearheaded into how technology impacts the modern female entrepreneur, “TechVersify” marries Kizorek’s passion for diversity in tech and her fascination with the brain science of happiness. www.JessicaKizorek.com.
About Two Parrot Productions
Two Parrot Productions is a video production company that devotes itself exclusively to creating inspiring video content for top-tier non-profit organizations such as The United Nations, Lions Club and Make-A-Wish International. With a focus on the human beings behind each story, Two Parrot gives a voice to diverse (and often disenfranchised) perspectives from every corner of the world. www.TwoParrot.com.
WPBT2, South Florida’s premier public broadcaster, connects organizations and institutions across this diverse region and preserves South Florida’s history. Leading the way in this global society, WPBT2 serves diverse communities from the Treasure Coast to Florida Keys and is committed to creating and presenting unique arts, education and cultural heritage programming across three television channels – WPBT2 HD, WPBT2 Create/WORLD and WPBT2 Vme (Spanish-language). WPBT2 is also South Florida’s leading media company for unique local stories across a variety of digital media platforms, including online and mobile through WPBT2 Video (video.wpbt2.org) and through the PBS app on Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV. More information on WPBT2, its programs and its services for the community can be found at www.wpbt2.org.
CAST & PERSPECTIVES
- The Urban Perspective: Lang Dobson “Without social networks, without the internet…I don’t know how I would make money. I feel like technology has built a bridge for inner city youth to venture out and open their eyes to see that there’s more to life than the underprivileged neighborhood they come from.”
- The Psychiatric Perspective: Eva Ritvo, M.D. “TechVersify is vitally important because we’re living in a time of unprecedented change. Tech is profoundly changing our brain. The problem is, nobody is thinking about. We just got addicted to all this stuff without any awareness about what is going on and what is happening inside our brain.”
- The MedTech Perspective Geeta Nayer, M.D. “Technology is changing the way we think about our bodies. This concept of constantly being plugged can dangerous to an extent.”
- The Creator Perspective: Jessica Kizorek “Master the game of using technology to get you what you want. There is so much power in your hands…but you have to learn how to use it.”
- The Latina Perspective: Daniella Veras “Seek out resources in your community to educate yourself.”
- The Funder Perspective: Matt Haggman “Funding diverse people and projects is critical to the Knight Foundation and our entrepreneurial efforts in Miami.”
- The Transgender Perspective: Lukkas Wolf “Tech gives us the opportunity to connect with other transgender folks that are stepping forward as activists in their community.”
- The LGBT Perspective Rebekah Monson “Marginalized people now have greater access than ever before to resources, friends, family, and social support networks.”
- The Sexual Perspective: Dr. Sonjia Kenya “Tech is definitely changing the way that people meet sex partners and have sex.”
- The Diversity Perspective: Michael Hall “When you’re talking about diversity inclusion, you’re talking about a digital divide.”
- The Hacker Perspective: Mike Firmature “You can either decide to get on board with learning about technology or you can get hit by it. It’s really your choice. I mean, you can see the train coming.”
- The Youth Perspective: Ella Edwards “YouTube has made me a better dancer. I can go watch people turning doing new things. I learn from that.”
- The Disabilities Perspective: Joy Nestor “Social media’s great because it allows us to feel like we’re part of things even when we can’t necessarily be.”