local communities

People in local geographic areas may need help communicating with each other in order to collaborate in building and sustaining healthy communities. Grassroots action at any level - neighborhoods, towns, or cities - can help improve local services, welcome newcomers, and develop cultural, economic and political capital.

Filming at "Puerto Rico en Reflejos: Rafael Angel Carrasco-Vazquez"

Anabel Vasquez Rodriguez and Rafael Angel introduce the exhibit.

On Fri 27, together with Jenny Larios Berlin, and Sasha Costanza-Chock, I attended the opening event at Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA) for Rafael Angel’s exhibit, "Puerto Rico en Reflejos." IBA is the community organization of the Villa Victoria community in Boston’s South End. One program of IBA’s varied community development work is community building through arts education and events. The IBA galleries host artists from around the world, and this was the first instance of a show by a Villa Victoria resident.

Awesome Summit 2012 - Collaboration, not Calcification

Live notes from the "Collaboration, not Calcification" session at the Awesome Summit, by Ellen Chisa, Nikki Lee, and Rahul Bhargava.

Last session! Thanks guys for sticking around. We're going to talk about collaboration, and do-away with the slides.


Awesome Summit 2012 - The Age of Peak Guilt

Live notes from the "Age of Peak Guilt" session at the Awesome Summit, by Rahul Bhargava, Matt Stempeck, Ellen Chisa, and Willow Brugh.

Alexis Ohanian introduces the panel by explaining the problem. Currently, to do well we ask for money by showing a sad kid. This poverty porn just causes us to feel guilty. Have we reached the peak? What else can we do instead. The panelists all have experiences with using positive experiences to cause good.

Zach Walker - DonorsChoose.org"

Most people in the room are aware of Donor's Choose. While it's older than Kickstarter, it's frequently responded as "Kickstarter for Public Schools n America." Teachers can post projects they'd like to do in their classrooms, but that they don't have funding for. People around the world can contribute to fund their projects.A few examples:

Awesome Summit 2012 - Giving More Than Money

Live notes from the "Giving More Than Money" session at the Awesome Summit, by Rahul Bhargava, Ethan Zuckerman and Willow Brugh.

Matt Stempeck (@mstem) comes to the Center for Civic Media from the Washington activism world. The organizations he worked with always lacked money. When it became time to run a campaign, organizations always wanted to figure out what to ask for... and the obvious question is to ask for money. But people don't like to be asked for money. Now, more people do their jobs over the Internet - can we structure organizations so we can benefit from people's skills, not just from their ability to write checks.

Awesome Summit 2012 - Decentralized Organizations and Open Brands

Live notes from the "Decentralized Organizations and Open Brands" session at the Awesome Summit, by Rahul Bhargava, Ethan Zuckerman, Matt Stempeck and Willow Brugh.


Awesome Summit 2012 - Lightning Talks

Live notes from the "Lightning Talks" session at the Awesome Summit, by Rahul Bhargava, Ethan Zuckerman, Matt Stempeck and Willow Brugh.

Christina introduces a session of lightning talks. She sent out an invitation for people doing awesome things to join us here at the Summit today. Each will get about 5 minutes to talk about their ideas:

Nathaniel James - Adventures in New Giving, @newgiving, @nj140

Awesome Summit 2012: Slow Funds

Live notes from the "Slow Foods" session at the Awesome Summit, by Rahul Bhargava, Ethan Zuckerman, and Willow Brugh.

Christina is a foodie, so she looks to food movements for driving messages. A critical one for the Awesome Foudnation has been the Slow Food movement. She is starting to champion "slow funding" based on the slow foods movement. She just substitutes "food" with the word "funds" and gets:

Raising public awareness, improving access and encouraging the enjoyment of funds that are local and sustainably grown.

Christina introduces a few people to share their work along this idea.

Rick DeBos (Grand Rapids, MI)

Awesome Summit 2012: Intro Session

Live notes from the intro session to the Awesome Summit, by Rahul Bhargava and Ethan Zuckerman

Christina Xu welcomes a varied and enthusiastic crew to the Awesome Summit at MIT's Media Lab. For two days, the trustees of various different Awesome Foundations have been meeting to discuss internal affairs. Today, the conversation opens up to the general public, where the topic at hand is the future of philanthropy and social change.

Awesome Foundation is now three years old. The pink "fast forward" logo, designed by founder Tim Hwang, is a really good example of organizational philosophy. It is created by simply typing 8 in the Webdings font. Awesome Foundation is all about having a great idea. People may not be the most professional at it - but they just do it.

The "standard" model is to involve a group of 10 trustees, each of whom contributes $100 per month. The group gives out a $1000 monthly grant, with no strings attached. Some examples of recent grants include:

Everyone has a plan: Frank Hebbert of OpenPlans

Frank Hebbert of OpenPlans

liveblogged by @mstem, @natematias, @schock, and @beckyhurwitz.

How do we empower citizens as equal partners in urban planning with data and analytical tools? If new tech can enable planners, tool makers and community groups to create meaningful change, how do we get there?

Frank Hebbert (@fkh) works at OpenPlans, building tools to help citizens and government come together for better city planning. He thinks we can make great places and beat climate change with the winning combo of planning, tech and public participation.

Frank graduated from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, and is also a programmer and GIS nerd. He now runs the Civic Works group at OpenPlans.

When Lulzes Go Global

Moderating is Ethan Zuckerman, the director of The MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media and co-founder of the citizen journalist network Global Voices. He is probably best known for the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism.

There are all kinds of great internet memes out there that we don’t get to understand just because we don’t speak the languages. Memes require an enormous amount of background contextual knowledge to understand what, exactly, makes them funny. Ethan references his previous ROFLCon appearance, where talked about Makmende and challenged the organizers to bring in a more global outlook. Fortunately, ROFLCon responded in force and provided Ethan with an all-star panel of international internet culture translators.