‘Following Heart’ is a series of stories of women from around the world who use technology to pursue their passions. Three inspiring video stories were created by brothers Jack and Finn Harries under their ‘JacksGap’ project in collaboration with Skype -- you can check out the videos below.
The first Following Heart episode follows the story of Danielle Turano, a musician and violin teacher in New York City. Turano is very passionate about music and loves sharing her knowledge of the art with children, but after Hurricane Sandy hit and flooded the subways, it stopped her from reaching the children, until she decided to try reaching them over Skype. Microsoft’s video communications app then allowed to her to expand her reach as she took on students from different states.
“I do have a dream, everyone has a dream. One of my dreams is to see a student of mine go on to bigger stages and better things… I would know that at that moment I gave them everything that I knew, that I shared with them everything that I had…” – Danielle Turano
The second episode in the story is of a shark conservationist in the Bahamas. Jillian Morris is adamant that sharks are more afraid of humans than humans are of them and has dedicated her life to protecting them and educating people about these wild animals. She finds that showing people sharks is a very powerful method to change their negative opinions of the creatures. Kids in particular are typically exposed to these negative misconceptions of sharks at their early age which would affect them as they grow up, so Morris uses Skype to expand her reach beyond the Bahamas to get her message out to the world.
Check out her video story below which features some magnificent underwater footage of sharks swimming alongside Morris in peaceful serenity.
The third and final video of the Following Heart series follows Leslie Watts, an artist that sees beauty in people that others might not. Watts lives in Canada and paints portraits using traditional techniques and uses paint modems that date back to ancient Egypt. Her paintings can take several months to complete, and Skype gives her the ability to have her subjects pose live on a weekly basis. Something that would be much more difficult if it involved long distance travel. Since Watts spends most of her time painting in isolation, Skype also allows for her to converse and socialize during this time, which can be great for morale.
“[By using Skype], those being painted have the flexibility to work around their own schedules and pose in the comfort of their own homes,” – Finn Harries
There you have it, that’s the end of Following Heart series. You’ve just witnessed how technology can really help people pursue their passions and accomplish their dreams. Makes us wish the inspiring series continues beyond just these three stories, but it's surely not the last time we’ll hear about Microsoft products making a real difference in people’s lives.