Yesterday was day 2 of the Signis World Congress 2017 known as #SignisWC2017 and I was delighted to see some common themes emerging from the many sessions, workshops, and panels, all of which address communication today, for and from Catholic communicators from over 100 countries!
Theme 1: The importance of integrating believers’ experience in the real (physical) and virtual (digital) world. Neither can replace the other. In this digital age, we cannot replace real communities and real relationships with virtual communities and relationships. They are not two worlds, but two aspects of the same world, the world in which we live. As Catholic communicators, it is up to us to bring these worlds together: to find ways of “being Church”–in all its different aspects–both in the physical world (e.g. gathering for the celebration of the sacraments, relating as the Body of Christ) and in the virtual world (e.g. online faith communities, ways of experiencing and sharing Christ online). How can we help believers “integrate” their experience of God and the Church in both spheres so that they reinforce each other?
Theme 2: The importance of our becoming the presence of Christ in the digital culture, so that the digital culture has a heart, a soul where the preciousness and sacredness of each person are at the center of all communication efforts, rather than other agendas, such as trends, popularity, power, or greed. Our model for communicating is our God, who sent his Son to take on human flesh so as to reveal himself, to communicate himself to us, and to draw us into deeper and deeper communion with God and with others.
Theme 3: The urgency of responding to the needs of the world today which are radically changing so quickly, in large part due to the explosive development of the digital culture, to the point that it has changed the way people relate with each other. Because of the global nature of Signis, we are looking at the characteristics of humanity’s needs today from a multitude of perspectives: from 100 countries, from the viewpoint of all the disciplines present in Signis: film, journalism, anthropology, media literacy education, digital culture, television, and radio.
But above all, my favorite part of the week is connecting with Catholic communicators from around the world, each of whom are amazing communicators.