New digital-first journalism project leverages artificial intelligence and social media to explore issues that matter most to Ontarians
Through the eyes of people with real, lived experience and with the help of artificial intelligence insights, TVO’s The Thread with Nam Kiwanuka invites Ontarians to explore the issues that affect them the most. The innovative, solutions-based journalism project dives into a new topic every month, facilitating conversation and sharing new ideas that can catalyze meaningful change. This month’s theme is reimagining work.
“The Thread with Nam Kiwanuka is an exciting digital project because it is led by Ontarians,” says John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. “Our team has created a modern journalism model that combines the insights of artificial intelligence, and shared experiences on social media with a community-oriented focus. It’s thrilling to see it all come together.”
Following conversations about housing affordability in January and food costs in February, March’s focus is reimagining work. It’s an issue top of mind as thousands of workers across Ontario look to “restart” pre-pandemic routines of office commuting and in-person meetings. What do Ontarians want from the future of work? What are their perspectives on issues like the Great Resignation, workplace equity and working from home? And how do we best move forward in this brave, new world?
“I’m excited to have conversations that put people at the front and centre of issues that impact their lives on a daily basis,” says host Nam Kiwanuka. “Oftentimes, the needs of individuals take a back seat to politics. We’ve spoken to so many people who are enacting solutions that have ripple effects across their communities. I look forward to sharing these stories and hearing from more people across Ontario.”
TVO has teamed up with Polly, the artificial intelligence system of Ottawa-based startup, Advanced Symbolics Inc. With the help of Polly, The Thread with Nam Kiwanuka pinpoints the conversations that are of most pressing concern to Ontarians. Polly seeks out patterns across publicly shared social media in real time, synthesizing public sentiment about the top issues based on keywords, context and demography.
The Thread with Nam Kiwanuka uses social media to connect with Ontarians and directly hear their perspectives and ideas for moving forward. Instagram followers will find relatable ‘reels’ from Kiwanuka, explainer-style videos and direct testimonials from those with lived experience on the topic, both experts and everyday Ontarians.
Free and open to all, individuals from across the province are invited to join a Zoom event every month. At these events, Kiwanuka is joined by special guests for an open conversation, as well as a “town hall”-style Q&A opportunity.
Join the conversation on Instagram at @TVOTheThread. The next episode of conversation highlights premieres on Wednesday, March 30 at 9 PM on TVO, TVO.org, YouTube and TVO channels on smart TV services such as Apple TV and Roku.