Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

How Fictional Story Worlds Influence Real World Politics

Last time, I shared with you the first of a series of occassional field reports and thought pieces from a team I have been putting together at MIT and USC to reflect on what we perceive as a potential continuum from engagement with participatory culture (especially fan communities and practices) and public participation in civic and political activities. As we described last time, this work is currently at a conceptual level as we gather examples of groups which are using elements from popular culture to provide a bridge into real world social and political concerns. Eventually we hope to do more indepth case studies working with organizations and their members to identify best practices that may be increasing young people's civic engagement and from there, develop materials which may foster even greater public participation. This reserarch has been funded in part by the Center for Future Civic Media at MIT (funded by the Knight Foundation) and reflects my involvement in a new John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation initiative focused on youth, new media, and public participation.

Money as Media

Seems that Iranian activists are using banknotes to relay messages:
http://payvand.com/blog/blog/2009/11/16/exhibit-iranian-banknotes-uprising/
Make sure to check it out and see all the examples of the modified banknotes.

From the post:
'Anti-government activists are not allowed to express themselves in Iranian media, so theses activists have taken their expressions to another high circulation mass-medium, banknotes. The Central Bank of Iran has tried to take these banknotes out of circulation, but there are just too many of them, and gave up. For the activists’ people it’s a way of saying “We are here, and the green movement is going on”.'

Lets see what we get when we analyze this from a data communications perspective:

Grassroots Mapping in Palestine

Josh Levinger and I visited the West Bank for a few days following the MobileActive/UNICEF Mobile Data Innovations workshop. (Andrew posted about this last week) We were hoping to meet up with some members of the activist community who are organizing against the growth of Israeli settlements into Palestinian land. As mappers, we hoped to test some new low-cost tools and to learn about how such techniques can support communities in this fundamentally geographic dispute.

On Chuck and Carrot Mobs: Mapping the Connections Between Participatory Culture and Public Participation

One of my proudest moments at the Futures of the Entertainment 4 conference was moderating a session on Transmedia for Social Change, which closed off the first day of the event. This panel brought together a number of people who I have encounter recently through my research on the relations between participatory culture and public participation: Stephen Duncombe - NYU, author of Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in the Age of Fantasy (The New Press); Andrew Slack - The Harry Potter Alliance; Noessa Higa - Visionaire Media; Lorraine Sammy - Co-creator Racebending; and Jedidiah Jenkins-Director of Public & Media Relations, Invisible Children.

Gov 2.0 Expo extends deadline for submissions

Just came over the wire:

We've Extended the Call for Presentations for Gov 2.0 Expo to January 6, so there's a little more time for you to submit a proposal. If you're passionate about the power of the Web and how it can be leveraged to create greater transparency, participation, and collaboration between government and citizenry, we want to hear from you.

Whether you're submitting a 50-minute session or panel discussion, 90-minute workshop or a 5-minute rapid fire presentation (as demonstrated at the Gov 2.0 Expo Showcase in September 2009), please choose the track which best fits your submission from the choices below.

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