Corporate Backers: Phil Banfield of AdExcite on Film Annex's Afghan Development Project & GIVE
As part of our interview series with Digital Media thought leaders, we talked to Phil Banfield, the CEO and Co-founder of AdExcite, one of the largest and fastest growing premium video ad networks online. Banfield answered our questions about the recent Film Annex's initiatives in Afghanistan and shared his ideas about digital media, technology, and education. Film Annex is currently building Internet classrooms in Afghanistan with the mission to improve the Afghan education system and the economy of Afghanistan. Last week, we finished the construction of our first classroom.
Film Annex: What do you think of Film Annex's initiatives in Afghanistan?
Phil Banfield: It is a noble effort, harnessing an innovative medium which has the potential to create real change.
F.A. Digital and social media have changed the political scenarios of several countries in the last two years. Can they also affect the educational and financial landscape? If yes, how so?
P.B. It has the potential to go beyond distributed learning and really empower the population to harness digital and social media to bring about economic and social change. The ability to start and run traditional and digital businesses online enables the population to circumvent traditional barriers to accessing product, materials, labor marketplaces and capital. Social media carries the same promise for education, news and political/social reform.
F.A. Is digital media the most efficient source that can educate the Afghan youth?
P.B. Yes, without a doubt, especially mobile.
F.A. Can digital media and advertising sustain financially upcoming countries like Afghanistan and their educational system?
P.B. Not sure if advertising can do it on its own. A large component of this has to be opening up new markets to trade (e-commerce)
F.A. How can digital media serve the emancipation of women and provide them with an independent education, connectivity, and financial freedom?
P.B. I think the digital universe democratizes individuals and erases gender specific challenges and prejudices. An end user, seller, writer or service provider can be of any race, gender, nationality, etc. and find an audience or marketplace online.
F.A. What is your opinion on investing in the education of the Afghan youth and women by building schools in Afghanistan?
P.B. Tough to say, I don’t know enough about the socio-economic environment and barriers to improving the education system in Afghanistan. I imagine they are numerous and that it is a challenge. Digital initiatives would seem to be the saving grace.
F.A. Our goal is to increase the average yearly income in Afghanistan from $900 to $8000. How long do you think this will take?
P.B. 1 to 2 generations.
F.A. Veterans have a prominent role in the Film Annex initiatives in Afghanistan. What is your opinion on (G.I.V.E.) - Global Initiative for Veteran Entrepreneurship and building veteran business opportunities?
P.B. I’ve heard that the unemployment rate among VFW’s is incredibly high. We have a tremendous skill base in our veterans, especially when it comes to their experience/knowledge/understanding of the people of Afghanistan, so G.I.V.E. seems like the right approach to matching our available skilled workforce with business opportunities.
More about AdExcite: AdExcite is at the forefront of the display media advertising revolution. Our technology platform enables massive scaling of global video and New Standard display ad inventory. Hundreds of quality publishers work with AdExcite to maximize the value of their online inventory. Our technology allows a site to reach beyond the standard banner to add significant incremental revenue. Fortune 500 advertisers utilize our New Standard units to effectively reach their target demographic in a more immersive and efficient environment.