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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Video: Civic Media Session, "Bustling with Information: Cities, Code, and Civics"

Nick Grossman, Nigel Jacob, and Max Ogden

Moderator: Center director Chris Csikszentmihályi

Cities are vibrant, complicated organisms. A still-working 200 year old water pipe might rest underground next to a brand new fiber optic cable, and citizens blithely ignore both if they are working well. Cities are constantly rewriting themselves, redeveloping neighborhoods and replacing infrastructure, but deliberative structures like school boards and city council meetings continue to run much the way they have for generations. In what ways can information systems rewrite our understanding of civics, governance, and communication, to solve old problems and create new opportunities in our communities?

Nick Grossman is Director of Civic Works at OpenPlans. He oversees development of new products around smart transportation, open municipal IT infrastructure, participatory planning, and local civic engagement.

Nigel Jacob serves as the Co-Chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, a group within City Hall focused on delivering transformative services to Boston's residents. Nigel also serves as Mayor Menino's advisor on emerging technologies. In both of these roles Nigel works to develop new models of innovation for cities in the 21st century.

Max Ogden is a fellow at Code for America and develops mapping tools and social software aimed at improving civic participation and communication. This year Max is working with Nigel and the Office of New Urban Mechanics to create technologies that better enable education in Boston's Public Schools.

Civic Media Sessions
Hosted by the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, these open sessions highlight cutting-edge media research and tools for community and political engagement.


Rethinking IT Training in the Age of Online Labor Markets

A few of us at the Center are beginning to explore a new approach to Information Technology job training. We have heard from our colleagues focusing on workforce development at the Community Foundation of South Woods County that it's hard to determine the set of skills that will make an IT trainee employable. Asking employers in the community is a good place to start, but at best, they can say what skills they're looking to hire now -- not what they'll need in 12-24 months when training is complete. We really want information about what IT skills are going to be in demand by the time a new set of IT workers can be trained.

The Week in Civic Media 02.04.11: Costanza-Chock to join CMS faculty, N'western launches news innovation lab

From the Center 2.0

  • Dr. Sasha Costanza-Chock, civic media specialist, joins MIT faculty
  • Medill and McCormick launch a news innovation lab with $4.2 million in Knight funding via @niemanlab


  • "In Egypt, should Internet access be an inalienable right?" @c4fcm weighs in via @washingtonpost
  • @washingtonpost: Syrians use Facebook, Twitter to call for protests on #Feb4 and #Feb5 #Syria #Egypt #Jordan
  • John Palfrey op-ed on Egypt protests and the Global Network Initiative:

Crisis Mapping

Dr. Sasha Costanza-Chock, civic media specialist, joins MIT faculty

An exciting announcement just via MIT Comparative Media Studies director Jim Paradis. Costanza-Chock will work closely with the Center starting with his arrival this fall:

Comparative Media Studies at MIT is pleased to announce that Dr. Sasha Costanza-Chock has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Civic Media and will begin teaching at MIT in the fall of 2011.

Sasha Costanza-Chock is a scholar and media maker who works in the interrelated areas of social movements and information and communication technologies; participatory technology design and community based participatory research; and the transnational movement for media justice and communication rights, including comunicación populár.

His work has involved the use of mobile phones for social change; digital literacies and digital inclusion; and race, class, and gender in digital space. He has done research on the transformation of public media systems; the political economy of communication; and information and communications policy.

The Week in Civic Media 01.28.11: Civic media podcasts, National Conference for Media Reform

From the Center/MIT

North Africa protests

  • @Rosental: Amazing coverage of Egyptian protests at @globalvoices: tweets and blog posts from the front lines

The Future of (Sometimes Money-Making) News


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