Three days after Julian Assange released the most recent WikiLeaks documents, and 36 hours after deciding to publicly address the subject, the MCDM program put together the provocative event, “Open Secrets: An Open Conversation about WikiLeaks and Information Transparency in America,” drawing an excited crowd of roughly 130 people to the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Public Library downtown on Friday evening, December 10. In addition to the crowd, the MCDM orchestrated a Livestream (watch video) of the event which by now has drawn 286 unique views and at the time had a peak of 80 participants. All discussion was bolstered by a vigorous Twitter feed (#opensecrets).
Three guest speakers with a vast and varied knowledge of media and communications served as the fulcrum for a robust conversation about WikiLeaks and WikiLeaks’ affect on communications, the founder Julian Assange, and transparency in media.Mike Fancher, Retired Executive Editor at The Seattle Times, Brett Horvath, Director of The Leaders Network, and Sarah van Gelder, Editor-In-Chief of Yes! Magazine acted as panelists and thought provocateurs in the discussion, though by no means did the event follow the typical panel model. Instead, MCDM Director Hanson Hosein and Associate Directors Scott Macklin and Anita Verna-Crofts circled the audience with microphones and read out questions from the Livestream and Twitter, allowing everyone in the auditorium and at home to question and comment.