Robbie Stokes Jr. of ‘I Talk to Strangers’ on the power of using BlackBerry for relationship-building


We always love to hear about someone using the best smartphone tools to drive change and improve the lives of others. As you know, BlackBerry smartphones have some best-in-class messaging capabilities</a., and Robbie Stokes Jr. is using them to do some powerful things – one stranger at a time. At 25 years old, he leads the worldwide program I Talk to Strangers, which demonstrates the power of relationship-building and networking to young adults.

Robbie achieved what he calls “Social Success” at a young age. He has travelled across the country meeting people from all walks of life, sharing his story, hearing their stories and bringing communities closer together. His message is clear: we are all strangers…until we say hello.

I had the chance to chat with Robbie to find out more about his passion for networking:

BIZ BLOG: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

RSJ: Growing up in a military family, my childhood was defined by new countries, new environments, and the necessity to meet new people and make new friends. Even after settling down, I continued to reach out to others, building relationships. When I sat back and reflected on what I had achieved, I realized that the basis for all of it was building strong relationships through talking to strangers.

BIZ BLOG: How did I Talk To Strangers get started?

RSJ: It all started in my hometown of Titusville, Florida. I started taking my message to local high schools and middle schools, and to the mayor of Titusville himself. As more and more people began to live it for themselves and share their own stories, I realized the potential existed to grow this idea across the country — so I went on a national tour and the stories began to pour in.

BIZ BLOG: How did you use your BlackBerry® smartphone while on the road?

RSJ: Well, I didn’t have a laptop when I went out on tour, so it was just me and my BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 smartphone. I used it to document my journey, sharing my story with others along the way. That’s when it hit me: I’m on a moving train, in an airport or on a bus, and I could still email or BBM™, take pictures or shoot live video. Within minutes, I could have it posted online and have people ask for more because they were inspired by it. Staying connected by using my BlackBerry smartphone helped me grow the idea. Technology has really been at the forefront of this program and my BlackBerry smartphone helps me do the job the way I need it to be done.

BIZ BLOG: Anything else you’d like to share with us?

RSJ: One thing I’ve learned on my journey is if you develop relationships with the people you don’t know, you can create endless opportunities and teachable moments for yourself. Technology should be used as a tool to help bring us together – it’s meant to help us reach further, to help connect with others around the world, to share our stories, to push our projects and passions, to listen and learn and to broaden our scope. I’ve used my BlackBerry smartphone to further the honest and genuine conversations I’ve been having for years.

Interested in learning more about how Robbie is using his smartphone to engage and build powerful relationships? Check out the website he’s created for I Talk to Strangers, and follow him on Twitter® and Facebook®.

Do you know someone who’s using their BlackBerry device in an inspiring or unique way? Let us know. We’d love to hear your story.

About Luke Reimer

@Luke_Reimer is a Senior Marketing Manager at BlackBerry helping to design, launch, and manage enterprise marketing programs - particularly concerning content across digital mediums. Beyond spreading BlackBerry goodness in enterprise communities, you can find Luke cooking up a storm, out on his motorcycle (when Canadian weather allows), or digging into a good science fiction book.

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