Recent news from the Center for Civic Media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Towards a New Civic Ecology: Addressing the Grand Challenges

Last week, I was asked to deliver one of the keynotes for the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges conference which was hosted on the USC campus. I had not been aware of the Grand Challenges program previously, but it seems to bring together engineering students and faculty to work together to confront some of the major problems of the 21st century, seeking to inspire them to direct their research towards the public good and social betterment. I was asked to open a panel on Communications by telling them what they needed to know about how to share their insights and ideas with key stakeholders in the current media landscape.

What follows is my attempt to capture some of the key insights that I shared during my presentation.

Towards a New Civic Ecology

Wanted: Post-Doc to Help Research Youth and Civic Engagement

I sent word via Twitter and Facebook a few days ago that we are now searching for a Post Doc who can work with out Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics research group. This is a project that is being funded by the MacArthur Foundation as part of a larger network of affiliated researchers seeking to understand young people's civic engagement. You can learn more about our research here and our group blog is here.

USC's Annenberg School for Communication is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join its Media, Activism, Participatory Politics (MAPP) Case Studies Project.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will assume significant responsibility in conducting case study based research for the Project. This research will investigate the continuities between participatory culture and civic engagement. As such, qualified candidates should be aware of current research trends in fan studies, civics, globalization and/or media studies and should be ready to apply that knowledge to the case study research.

This Week in Civic Media 10.08.10: Hacks/Hackers, News Challenge's new focus, Job openings

Hacks/Hackers here Oct. 30

  • Hacks/Hackers hackathon here at MIT! "Making geolocal apps using OpenBlock" http://cot.ag/c8xvhs Oct. 30

Knight News Challenge

  • @jczamora: Knight News Challenge opens Oct. 25, 2010. Application deadline: Dec. 1, 2010. Apply @ www.newschallenge.org
  • @NiemanLab: Knight News Challenge announces new categories: mobile, revenue models, and reputation http://nie.mn/aZYsm4

Jobs

From Our Friends

Knight Foundation seeks Detroit program director

And now a word from our sponsor...

The Director co-develops and manages multi-million-dollar initiatives in partnership with local and national leaders as well as other Knight Foundation colleagues. While the primary assignment is in Detroit, program directors also play a vital role in advancing Knight Foundation initiatives across multiple communities.

Qualifications are:

Perhaps a revolution is not what we need

A few weeks ago, Malcolm Gladwell, he of the Tipping Point, set off a fire storm in the blogosphere and twitterverse in response to a pointed critique of the political value of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. Gladwell's comments drew a sharp comparison between the kinds of activism which fueled the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the kinds of activism which emerge through the new digital platforms. From where I sit, Gladwell is comparing apples to oranges or in this case, movements and platforms. The Civil Rights Movement certainly tapped into networks of all kinds -- from the congregations of churches to the sisterhood of sororities, and deployed a broad range of communications technologies available at the time. Twitter is however simply one of many communications platforms through which we forge politics in the 21st century. There's a tendency to look at it and try to read its features as totally embodying a new kind of public, but that is profoundly misleading. We do not live on a platform; we live across platforms.

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