So you want to build a tech tool which bridges political divides... | MIT Center for Civic Media
Willow Brugh, known as willowbl00, works with digital tools to enable coordination between response agencies and emergent response groups in areas affected by fast and slow crisis. She studies citizen engagement and combining distributed and centralized decision making structures at the Center for Civic Media at MIT's Media Lab. Previously she's been a Professor of Practice at Brown University, an affiliate at the New England Complex Systems Institute, and a fellow at Harvard Law’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Moderating transumanist discussion groups lacked direct action, so she cofounded a makerspace in Seattle. Those lacked scale, so she cofounded the Space Federation to legitimize and link hacker, maker, and coworking spaces across the US. Those lacked impact on inequality, so Willow cofounded Geeks Without Bounds as an organizer and host of social good hackathons. Those lacked sustainability, so Geeks Without Bounds shifted into an accelerator for humanitarian projects. The capacity to use those tools and methods was lacking in the larger response space, so Willow became the Community Leadership Strategist at Aspiration to increase capacity in digital response.
In brief, Willow looks at connections, systems, empowerment, and powerlessness and strives to both understand and improve whatever she finds. Sometimes that’s with the Occupy Sandy Movement, sometimes it’s with the Naval Defense University.
She has transcendance tattoos that are impressive enough to be photographed for a National Geographic blog, and has keynoted the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference. Willow has successfully worked with FEMA Field Innovation Team for Hurricane Sandy, and was awarded a ceremony at the White House for her contribution.
So you want to build a tech tool which bridges political divides...
I reached out to friends at Center for Civic Media about how much I've been hearing lately about folk wanting to "pop communication bubbles." A bunch of these (and Berkman) folk have been working on things like that for a long time, and have some excellent things to share in regards to our attempts, successes, failures. This is a near-exact transposition of their response to my prompt.
Platforms which already try to bridge political (or other) differences:
- Mic.com, which started as PolicyMic but pivoted / gave up
- Wael Ghonim's https://techcrunch.com/2016/01/28/inside-parlio-egyptian-activist-wael-g...
- Systems that give people feedback on their news reading behavior (most haven't worked very well)
A review of these systems is in
- Matias, J. N., Szalavitz, S., Zuckerman, E. (2017) FollowBias: Supporting BehaviorChange Toward Gender Equality by Networked Gatekeepers on Social Media.In Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer Supported CooperativeWork & Social Computing. ACM Press, 2017 http://natematias.com/media/research/FollowBias_CSCW_2017-Matias-Szalavi...
- Sean A. Munson, Stephanie Y. Lee, and Paul Resnick.2013. Encouraging Reading of Diverse Political Viewpoints with a Browser Widget.. In ICWSM.http://dub.uw.edu/djangosite/media/papers/balancericwsm-v4.pdf
- Q. Vera Liao and Wai-Tat Fu. 2014. Can you hear menow?: mitigating the echo chamber effect by sourceposition indicators. In Proceedings of the 17th ACMconference on Computer supported cooperative work &social computing. ACM, 184–196.http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2531711
- D'Ignazio, Catherine. 2014. Engineering serendipity : TerraIncognita and other strange encounters with global news.Thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/95597
- Siamak Faridani, Ephrat Bitton, Kimiko Ryokai, and KenGoldberg. 2010. Opinion space: a scalable tool for browsing online comments. In Proceedings of theSIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in ComputingSystems. ACM, 1175–1184. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1753502
- Matias, J. Nathan, Elena Agapie, Catherine D’Ignazio, and Erhardt Graeff. (2014) Challenges for Personal Behavior Change Research on Information Diversity. Workshop on Personalized Behavior Change, at The 32nd ACM Conference onHuman Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’14). http://http://personalizedchange.weebly.com/position-papers/challenges-f..."bad url"]
https://unfold.com/ breaks news into simple statements, lets users vote their opinion
Things which indicate how great Amber is and that it should be used, but I bet were great when they led somewhere:
- http://newschallenge.tumblr.com/post/19479653130/differentfeather ["not found"]
- http://newschallenge.tumblr.com/post/19491857457/popping-the-filter-bubb..."not found"]
- http://lietome.babelon.co/ [-->Go Daddy page
Cheers, and happy informed making!