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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Podcast: Gabriella Coleman, "Anonymous, the Politics of Spectacle, and Geek Protests against the Church of Scientology"

Trained as an anthropologist, Gabriella (Biella) Coleman examines the ethics of online collaboration/institutions as well as the role of the law and digital media in sustaining various forms of political activism. Between 2001-2003 she conducted ethnographic research on computer hackers primarily in San Francisco, the Netherlands, as well as those hackers who work on the largest free software project, Debian. She is completing a book manuscript "Coding Freedom: Hacker Pleasure and the Ethics of Free and Open Source Software."

Photo by Trebor Scholz.

Interview with creators of Konbit, labor-matching tech for Haiti

In response to the Haiti earthquake a year ago, MIT Media Lab students Aaron Zinman and Greg Elliott participated in a (partially Center-sponsored) independent activities period class to develop technologies that could work both in the immediate aftermath of the crisis itself and in the future, by seeding ideas and capacity for other technologies in Haiti.

Through their work in that four-day class, Zinman and Elliott identified a problem: relief organizations without decades-long ties to a country can't quickly find local labor, so those organizations bring in labor from the outside networks they have access to--at great cost to both the organization and the local laborers who have been passed over. As a solution, Zinman and Elliott have since developed Konbit, a way to help organizations source that local labor.

Podcast: Nitin Sawhney, "Media and Resilience: Creative DIY Cultures and Civic Agency among Marginalized Youth"

Nitin SawhneyNitin Sawhney, Ph.D. is a Research Fellow and Lecturer with the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT. His ongoing research, teaching and creative practice engages the critical role of arts interventions in contested spaces and participatory media with marginalized youth. Nitin completed his doctoral work at the MIT Media Lab where he conducted research on open design collaboration and DIY cultures in the context of sustainable development, as well as wearable and responsive community media interfaces in transitional spaces.

Q&A: CoLab, the MIT Community Innovators Lab

The MIT Community Innovators Lab is a center for planning and development within MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. CoLab works with low-income communities in putting their assets to work to help strengthen civic life and use the market as an arena for achieving social justice. Its vision is for domestic and international communities to be democratically governed, provide the means for residents to generate decent livelihoods, and be clean, healthy, and environmentally sound. CoLab Radio describes how that vision happens step-by-step, story by story, in communities.

1.) What does it mean to do this kind of work at MIT? Are there unique opportunities and challenges in this setting?

This Week in Civic Media: Q&A with the MIT Global Challenge, Konbit in Haiti

From the Center

  • Q&A with the MIT Global Challenge "Celebrate the work that comes into the competition, not just the winners"
  • @medialab's "Konbit": Connecting orgs in Haiti to Haitian labor, whether online, offline, literate, illiterate...
  • @Katrinskaya: MIT lab unrolls messaging program to help #Haiti rebuilding with sourcing local labor by @konbitmit

"The Columbus Dispatch is an idiot"

  • @jayrosen_nyu: Columbus Dispatch pulls "homeless man with golden voice" from YouTube The Columbus Dispatch is an idiot

Diversity at media conferences

Meet the new Congress, same as the old Congress


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