Team | MIT Center for Civic Media

Director and Associate Professor of the Practice

Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the Center, is cofounder of the citizen media community of Global Voices.

Prior to MIT, Ethan worked with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University on projects focused on civic media, freedom of speech online, and understanding media ecosystems. He led a team focused on Media Cloud, a project that builds an archive of news stories and blog posts applies language processing and presents ways to analyze and visualize the resulting data. Zuckerman also founded Geekcorp, a non-profit technology volunteer corps that has done work in over a dozen countries, and helped found Tripod, an early participatory media company.

Assistant Director

Lorrie LeJeune is Assistant Director of the Center, to which she brings a diverse background in science, technology, and publishing. Lorrie began her career in pharmaceutical development, but her fascination with writing, editing, illustration and Macintosh computers eventually led her into a career in publishing at the MIT Press, the University of Michigan Press, and O'Reilly Media, where she spent nearly nine years as a product manager, editor, and cover illustrator. In past incarnations Lorrie was the program manager at France Telecom's R&D lab in Cambridge, MA; the managing director of OpenWetWare, a wiki dedicated to open sharing of information in science; and most recently, senior editor at Scitable, Nature Publishing Group's online library for science education.

Associate Professor of Civic Media, MIT Comparative Media Studies

Twittter: @schock

Sasha Costanza-Chock is a researcher and mediamaker who works on social movement media, co-design, media justice, and communication rights. He is currently Associate Professor of Civic Media at MIT's Comparative Media Studies program (, and is a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He sits on the board of Allied Media Projects (, and is a cofounder of Research Action Design ( For more info see

Alum, MIT Media Lab

I am a designer and researcher originally from Seattle, WA. I'm interested in participatory design methods, and excited to work on projects related to education, community spaces, learning through play, and public health. 


Researcher/ Community Manager

Anushka Shah is a researcher on the Media Cloud project at the Center for Civic Media. Originally from Mumbai, India, her focus is on using data to map the focus, tone, and frames of news conversations in India and Africa. She hopes to use the insights from the news analysis research here at the Media Lab as a way to reverse engineer fictional and popular media aimed at addressing social perceptions. She has a background in governance and applied statistics for language analysis, and has also previously worked with non-profits and political parties in Western and Northern India. 


Twitter: @anushka1991


Research Affiliate

Catherine D’Ignazio is the person behind that really cute baby. She is an Assistant Professor of Data Visualization and Civic Media at Emerson College who investigates how data visualization, technology and new forms of storytelling can be used for civic engagement.

Professor D'Ignazio has conducted research on geographic bias in the news media, developed custom software to geolocate news articles and designed an application, "Terra Incognita", to promote global news discovery. She is working on sensor journalism around water quality with PublicLab, data literacy projects and various community-educational partnerships with her journalism students. Notably, she co-organized a hackathon at the MIT Media Lab called "The Make the Breast Pump Not Suck!" Hackathon.

Her art and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation,, the LEF Foundation, and Dream It, Code It, Win It. In 2009, she was a finalist for the Foster Prize at the ICA Boston. Her work has been exhibited at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, Museo d’Antiochia of Medellin, and the Venice Biennial.

Professor D'Ignazio is a Fellow at the Emerson Engagement Lab and a Research Affiliate at (and alumna of) the MIT Center for Civic Media.

Administrative Assistant

Daniel Minty splits his time at the Media Lab between Civic Media and the Director's Office, where he supports the groups as an Administrative Assistant. Before his time in Cambridge, he completed his studies at the Indiana University MFA-Poetry program, where he taught Creative Writing and Basic Composition. His poetry can be found in BLOOM and in the Poet's Weave radio archive.

Head of Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Edward Schiappa conducts research in argumentation, classical rhetoric, media influence, and contemporary rhetorical theory. His current research explores the scope and function of rhetorical studies, including the relationship between rhetorical theory and critical media studies.

He has published 10 books and his research has appeared in such journals as Philosophy & Rhetoric, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric Review, Argumentation, Communication Monographs, and Communication Theory.

He has served as editor of Argumentation and Advocacy and received NCA's Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award in 2000 and the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Distinguished Scholar Award in 2006. He was named a National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar in 2009. He now holds the Paul W. Frenzel Chair of Liberal Arts in the University of Minnesota's Department of Communications Studies, where he teaches graduate courses on contemporary rhetorical theory, critical communication studies, rhetorical criticism, and popular culture criticism.

Project Lead

Emilie is a developer and project lead at the Center for Civic Media, heading up the development and implementation of Promise Tracker.

Passionate about facilitating community engagement with technology to promote learning, participation and more resilient networks, Emilie has worked on the collaborative design and implementation of tech & media programs in the US, Haiti, Brazil and Sierra Leone.

Prior to joining the Civic team, Emilie spent 3 years in Port-au-Prince working with Digital Democracy, the UN Refugee Agency and Humanitarian OpenStreetMapTeam to integrate technology tools into local initiatives to address gender-based violence and promote community development in Haiti.

PhD Researcher

Erhardt Graeff is a sociologist, designer, and entrepreneur. His work explores creative uses of media and technology for civic engagement and learning.

His latest project is Action Path, a location-based app for civic reflection and engagement. He also works with Media Cloud, a joint project of the Berkman Center and the MIT Center for Civic Media, using which he led research on the impact of media activism around the death of Trayvon Martin. Additionally, Erhardt has written about designing drones to be more civic, bots and information privacy, cyberbullying, and political memes. He regularly leads workshops on civic media and participatory design for students, teachers, and social entrepreneurs.

Erhardt is a PhD Researcher in the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab. He is also a founding trustee of The Awesome Foundation, which gives small grants to innovative and promising projects.


Ian Condry is a cultural anthropologist interested in globalization from below, that is, cultural movements that go global without the push of major corporations or governments. He has written books on hip-hop as it developed in Japan (Hip-Hop Japan, 2006) and Japanese animation as a global force (The Soul of Anime). His current research explores social media in Japan and the US and its uses for activism, entertainment, and entrepreneurship. Condry teaches courses that emphasize ethnographic approaches to media and culture, including Japanese popular culture, anime and cinema, as well as a graduate level seminar in media theory and methods. He founded and organizes the MIT Cool Japan research project which uses scholarly seminars, interdisciplinary conferences and artistic events to examine the cultural connections, dangerous distortions, and critical potential of popular culture.

PhD, MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media

Nathan, who completed a PhD at the MIT Media Lab and Center for Civic Media, researches factors that contribute to flourishing participation online, developing tested ideas for safe, fair, creative, and effective societies. Starting in September 2017, Nathan will be a post-doctoral researcher at the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy, as well as the Paluck Lab in psychology and the sociology department.

Nathan's current projects (C.V.) include large scale experiments on reducing discrimination and harassment online, as well as observational studies on social movements, civic participation, and social change. Nathan regularly liveblogs talks and events and has published journalism in the Atlantic, Guardian, and PBS IdeaLab. He coordinated the Media Lab Festival of Learning in 2012 and 2013.

Before MIT, Nathan completed an MA in English literature at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Davies Jackson scholar. In earlier years, he was Riddick Scholar and Hugh Cannon Memorial Scholar at the American Institute of Parliamentarians. He won the Ted Nelson award at ACM Hypertext 2005 with a work of tangible scholarly hypermedia. He facilitated #1book140, The Atlantic's Twitter book club from 2012-2014, and was an intern at Microsoft Research Fuse Labs in the summer of 2013.

Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies

Professor Jing Wang received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Soon to join MIT’s Comparative Media Studies, she also serves as the Director of the Institute of Civic Media and Communication at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. Wang is the founder and organizer of New Media Action Lab (NMAL) and serves as the Chair of the Advisory Board of while sitting on the Advisory Board of Wikimedia Foundation. In spring 2009 she launched an NGO 2.0 project (“Chinese NGOs in the Web 2.0 Environment") undertaken in collaboration with two Chinese universities, Ogilvy & Mather China, and three Chinese NGO partner organizations.

Professor Wang published several books and articles, among them, the award-winning The Story of Stone, High Culture Fever, and the editor of Locating China: Space, Place, and Popular Culture, Popular Culture and the Chinese State, China’s Avant-Garde Fiction, Cinema and Desire (with Tani Barlow). Her current research interests include advertising and marketing, civic media and communication, social media action research, pop culture, and nonprofit technology, with an area focus on the People’s Republic of China. Her book Brand New China: Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture is available from Harvard University Press.

Visiting Professor

Kate Crawford is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Visiting Professor at the MIT Center for Civic Media and a Senior Fellow at the Information Law Institute at NYU. Over the last ten years she has researched the social, political and cultural contexts of networked technologies. Her current work focuses on a range of data practices, from the ethics of big data, crisis informatics, networked journalism, and the everyday uses of mobile and social media. She has conducted large and small-scale ethnographic studies in Australia, India and the US. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, and a founding member of the Media and Communications Department at the University of Sydney.

Research Affiliate

Leo Burd is a researcher with the Center for Civic Media, where he is developing novel technologies and approaches to bridge the digital divide and foster social empowerment. Leo is particularly interested in the design of innovative phone, web and mapping applications to support youth participation, social inclusion and local civic engagement. Prior to joining the Center, Leo was part of Microsoft's Global Learning Research team, directed a non-profit organization that built "computer and citizenship schools" in Sao Paulo slums and was involved in a variety of projects that used technology to improve quality of life in different parts of the world.

Luisa loves stories. Stories conveyed through words, numbers, audio and visuals. She likes to think about how those stories are told and how to involve more people in the process. She grew up in Germany and California. During and after her undergraduate years at UC Berkeley, she worked in Chennai, Goettingen, Munich, Duesseldorf and New York. She’s most recently made her home in Somerville and you can find her studying and making maps, audio documentaries, designing workshops, asking Python questions on Stackoverflow or scoping out community art projects.

Research assistant

Mariel Garcia-Montes, @faeriedevilish, is a CMS graduate student and research assistant at the Center of Civic Media, and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center. She is pondering the questions she asked herself (without the chances to formally explore) throughout her work in tech capacity building in civil society in Mexico and Latin America – especially those around youth, media, civic/moral education and digital literacies. Previously, she worked for UNICEF (HQ), SocialTIC (Mexico), and has been involved in over 100 tech for change projects in the last decade.

Research Affiliate

Natalie conducts research with our partners and develops research agendas using our tools, drawing on her experience in digital epidemiology and public health.

Research Scientist

Rahul Bhargava is a researcher and technologist specializing in civic technology and data literacy. He creates interactive websites used by hundreds of thousands, playful educational experiences across the globe, and award-winning visualizations for museum settings. As a Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Civic Media, Rahul leads technical development on projects ranging from interfaces for quantitative news analysis, to platforms for crowd-sourced sensing. He has a special interest in how new technologies are introduced to people in settings focused on learning. Rahul is a drummer and father based in Somerville, MA.

Professor of Comparative Media Studies

William Uricchio is Professor and Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program and Professor of Comparative Media History at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He has held visiting professorships at Stockholm University, the Freie Universität Berlin, and Philips Universität Marburg; and Guggenheim, Fulbright and Humboldt fellowships have supported his research. Uricchio considers the interplay of media technologies and cultural practices, and their role in (re-) constructing representation, knowledge and publics. In part, he researches and develops new histories of 'old' media (early photography, telephony, film, broadcasting, and new media) when they were new. And in part, he investigates the interactions of media cultures and their audiences through research into such areas as peer-to-peer communities and cultural citizenship, media and cultural identity, and historical representation in computer games and reenactments.

Research Affiliate

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.


Research Assistant, Comparative Media Studies

Alexandre Goncalves is a Brazilian Science reporter. He worked for O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper covering biotechnology and science policy. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as an information architect at many software companies.

He is interested in issues such as democracy in the digital era, social implications of new media, and communication activism to promote social reform. These interests are fueled by his experience in the media and his knowledge of information technology.

M. Ali Hashmi is interested in projects and ideas at the intersection of journalism and technology. In particular, Ali is interested in: 1) understanding the ontology of digital asymmetries on the Internet; and 2) developing relevant media technologies for leveling the inequalities produced by these asymmetries. At the lab, Ali is working on applying machine learning and natural language processing on large-scale journalistic corpora. Prior to MIT, Ali was a McCormick scholar at Medill (Northwestern) and a Knight fellow at the Globe Lab (Boston Globe, NYTCO). He has worked as a software architect and development manager for Bell Canada for more than eight years, leading Business Intelligence and data integration teams in Toronto, Montreal, London (Ontario) and Bangalore; he has also worked as a journalist in Pakistan. He holds an MSJ degree from Northwestern University, a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Western Ontario.

Communications Director

Andrew conducts the communications efforts for MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing and its research groups, including the Center for Civic Media from 2008 to 2015. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. His work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects such as website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotion.

Codesign Facilitator and Community Organizer

Becky is the Codesign Facilitator and Community Organizer at the Center. She spends her time with changemakers of many kinds codesigning tools and methods to leverage media and technology for equitable social change. Prior to joining the Center, she led the SaferMobile project at MobileActive, a program to educate and train activists, journalists, and human rights defenders in mobile phone security. Becky has lived domestically and internationally working at the intersections of social justice, technology design and development, and media making. She is particularly dedicated to the demystification of technology and the democratization of technology creation and use. Becky holds a B.S. in Comparative Media Studies from MIT and an M.S. in Information Management and Systems from the UC Berkeley iSchool.


Benjamin Mako Hill is an scholar, activist, and consultant working on issues of technology and society. He is currently a researcher and Ph.D. Candidate in a joint program between the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Media Lab, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and a Research Fellow at the MIT Center for Civic Media. His research focuses on sociological analyses of social structure in free culture and free software communities. He has been an leader, developer, and contributor to the Free and Open Source Software community for more than a decade as part of the Debian and Ubuntu projects. He is the author of several best-selling technical books, and a member of the Free Software Foundation board of directors. He is an advisor to the Wikimedia Foundation and the One Laptop per Child project. Hill as a Masters degree from the MIT Media Lab.

PhD student in Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab

Charlie is a graduate student in the Speech + Mobility group.

Head of Social Innovation - Digital Currency Initiative at MIT Media Lab

In 2009 Chelsea graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in Sociology and minors in Arabic and Feminist Studies. Prior to coming to MIT, she worked with an international development start-up called Nuru International. With Nuru, Chelsea headed up the development of co-learning and design opportunities between Western development practitioners and local social entrepreneurs. Chelsea's research at Civic Media focuses on how alternative learning pathways translate into career opportunity for individuals who traditionally face significant obstacles to accessing higher education. The heart of this work is concerned with understanding evolving notions of meritocracy within the tech industry, and how that shapes the way that race, gender and educational pedigree influence an individual's career trajectory in technical fields.

As a thin-blooded Texas native, Chelsea hopes to thrive in her studies by hiding from the cold weather (aka anything below 80 degrees) in the library and labs on campus. Her desk will be the one with the vitamin D sun lamp nearby.

Former Director/Principal Investigator

Chris Csikszentmihályi co-founded the Center and became its Director in 2009. Csikszentmihályi also founded the MIT Media Lab's Computing Culture group, known for developing political technologies that rebalance power between citizens, corporations, and governments. Trained as an artist, he has worked in the intersection of new technologies, media, information activism and the arts for 16 years, lecturing, showing new media work, and presenting installations on five continents and one subcontinent. He was a 2005 Rockefeller New Media Fellow and a 2007-2008 fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and he recently served on a US State Department tech delegation to explore technological tools to strengthen civil society in the face of narco-trafficking violence in the Mexcio-US border region.

Research Affiliate, Center for Civic Media

Chris Peterson works, teaches, and researches at MIT. He works at the intersection of digital strategy, new media, and social change.

In addition to his research affiliation with Civic, he is on the Board of the National Coalition Against Censorship, a Fellow at the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and the founder, owner, and sole-proprietor of

He earned his B.A. in Critical Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he completed his thesis on Facebook privacy and/as contextual integrity advised by Ethan Katsh and Alan Gaitenby. He earned his S.M. in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, where he completed his thesis on user-generated censorship advised by Ian Condry, Ethan Zuckerman, and Nancy Baym.

Christina Xu multitasks at Breadpig, an uncorporation that directs geek resources towards fixing the world. She is also the founding director of the Institute on Higher Awesome Studies, a Knight News Challenge-winning nonprofit that promotes microgranting as a new alternative to traditional funding.

Knight-Mozilla Fellow

Dan Schultz (@slifty) is a 2012 Knight-Mozilla Fellow working at The Boston Globe to explore opportunities for newsroom innovation. He graduated from the MIT Media Lab in 2012, where he designed and prototyped an automated bullshit detector for the Internet. Before coming to the lab Dan was trained to think in terms of systems at Carnegie Mellon University, and was awarded a Knight News Challenge grant to write about "Connecting People, Content, and Community" on the PBS Idea Lab.

A West Coast girl at heart, Denise Cheng comes to MIT from all over. Her background is a mix of journalism, media empowerment and community building, including as a Peace Corps volunteer and the citizen journalism coordinator for The Rapidian, a hyperlocal based in Grand Rapids, Mich. She has long examined the rise of participatory media and its implications for journalism. She has explored civic media off the Web, from low power FM to digital storytelling and the Indy Media movement. Currently, Denise focuses on the future of work and how to configure a worker support infrastructure for the peer economy.

Denise is drawn to neighborhoods, design, languages, empowerment and DIY media, and she designs frameworks—media expression or fulfilling work—that enable people to pursue what they find meaningful. Keep up with her on Twitter (@hiDenise) or at her blog.

Knight News Challenge Fellow

Dharmishta Rood studies the internet, and is interested in the intersection of technology, culture and human interactions. She is the co-founder of Populous, a Knight funded project that aims to provide collegiate and small town newspapers with the tools they need to survive in a web 2.0 environment. The project exists with three goals: to create an open-source CMS that newspapers can use for free, to create a platform newspaper staff can use to organize around goals, community events and the creation of news, and to integrate networking features that will allow community members to both share and create news.

In addition to being a researcher at Harvard Business School, she co-directed t=0, a festival for entrepreneurs, which happened at MIT fall 2011. Dharmishta holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a B.A. in Design | Media Arts from UCLA. She is currently learning to do handstands.

Civic Technology Programmer

Edward is a Civic Technology Programmer at the Center for Civic Media. He creates and maintains digital tools for enabling civic engagement and media participation.

Prior to joining the Center, Edward worked as a consultant on web development and civic technology projects in Detroit, MI. He is also a cofounder of the i3 Detroit hackerspace, and the lead developer of the Seltzer CRM hackerspace management tool. His other interests include technology-based art, machine learning, and neuroscience. Edward holds bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Physics from MIT and a master's degree in Applied Math from the University of Waterloo.

He maintains a project blog at and can be found on Twitter as @elplatt.

Alum, Center for Civic Media and Comparative Media Studies

Gordon Mangum joins the Center for Civic Media having worked in radio and media development for the last decade. He was previously Country Director of Internews Sudan, which built a network of six community radio stations in South Sudan and border areas of Sudan. While there he directed the training of local journalists in the run-up to the vote for independence in 2011. He has also consulted with radio projects in Somalia, Uganda and Cambodia. He was most recently Chief Engineer of WERS in Boston, where he helped students learn about radio broadcasting and analysed digital strategies, and has previously work at Maine Public Radio and ESPN Radio Boston. His interests include developing and improving information systems, participatory civics, and music. Gordon holds a dual B.A. from the University of Virginia in Philosophy and Religious Studies.

At the Center for Civic Media, Heather works on projects related to civic data and online storytelling and co-organizes the DataLore Hackathon.

Alum, MIT Media Lab

Jude is a research assistant at the Center for Civic media. Prior to joining the media lab, he worked with journalists in Kenya and Africa on developing both civic and journalistic tools.

MIT Comparative Media Studies

With an intellectual passion grounded in enthusiasm for real grassroots social change and consciousness-raising, Katie’s interests lie in empowerment through discourse and discursive strategies.


Katrin Verclas is the co-founder and editor of, a global network of practitioners using mobile phones for social impact. Katrin has written widely on mobile phones in citizen participation and civil society organizations, and mobile phones in health and for development. She is a co-author of Wireless Technology for Social Change, a report on trends in mobile use by NGOs with the UN Foundation and Vodafone Group Foundation, and author of A Mobile Voice: The Use of Mobile Phones in Citizen Media. Katrin's background is in IT management, IT in social change organizations, and in philanthropy. She served as the Executive Director of NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network, the national association of IT professionals working in the more than one million nonprofit organizations in the United States. Previously, she served as a program officer at the Proteus Fund, focusing on the use of technology in civic and democratic participation, and in government transparency. She is the editor of "Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission", published by Wiley & Sons, published in April 2009. She is a frequent speaker on ICTs in civil society at national and international conferences. She is 2009 TED Fellow and a fellow at the MIT Media Lab. Katrin serves on the boards of Mobile Voter and Ushahidi.

Visiting Scientist

Leo is the Founder/CEO of Sourcemap, a spin-off from the Center for Civic Media dedicated to supply chain transparency.

Research Affiliate

Leo Burd is a researcher with the Center for Civic Media, where he is developing novel technologies and approaches to bridge the digital divide and foster social empowerment. Leo is particularly interested in the design of innovative phone, web and mapping applications to support youth participation, social inclusion and local civic engagement. Prior to joining the Center, Leo was part of Microsoft's Global Learning Research team, directed a non-profit organization that built "computer and citizenship schools" in Sao Paulo slums and was involved in a variety of projects that used technology to improve quality of life in different parts of the world.

Knight News Challenge Fellow

Lisa Williams is the founder and CEO of the largest searchable index of local weblogs, It was a winner of the Knight 21st Century News Challenge Award, a program aimed at funding innovative, open-source tech projects that promote new forms of journalism and access to civic information. In 2008, she participated in TechStars as one of only ten teams out of four hundred to be selected for seed funding and intensive mentoring as part of TechStars' annual start-up incubator program. Before Placeblogger, Williams started, a nationally recognized citizen journalism community site covering and talking about Watertown, MA, where she lives and works. She has also worked with on online community, social networking and blogging. Before that, she was director of the Enterprise Software research group at Yankee Group, a Boston area technology analyst firm. I've got experience in online community building, Drupal, online newspapers/journalism, staffing and managing tech projects. You can email me at lisa ---at-- placeblogger dawtcom. You can also reach me via Twitter, where I am @lisawilliams.

Research Assistant

Matt's a Research Assistant at the Center. He has spent his career at the intersection of technology and social change. He graduated with high honors from the University of Maryland College Park, where he wrote a thesis on the disruptive role of political blogs in journalism. He went on to join the strategy team at EchoDitto, a boutique consulting firm building cool technology for nonprofits, startups, and socially responsible businesses.

Then Matt attempted to save democracy by directing new media at Americans for Campaign Reform, a bi-partisan grassroots effort to enact voluntary public financing of federal campaigns. Right before Citizens United v. FEC hit, he joined the New Organizing Institute, where he helped to train the next generation of organizers. For most of this time, he also ran one of the most popular NetSquared groups in the world.

Matt's interested in pretty much everything, particularly the everything taking place at the Media Lab.

Visiting Scientist, MIT Center for Civic Media / Co-founder & Director, Sourcemap Foundation

Matthew is a technologist and scholar studying the intersection of community, media, and material culture. His work focuses on understanding the web, the history of logistics and modern environmental ideologies. He is the Co-creator of Sourcemap, a collaborative platform for sharing "where things come from" and Director of Sourcemap Foundation. Matthew is currently at New York University, and is a visiting scientist with the MIT Center for Civic Media.

Research Assistant, Comparative Media Studies

Molly Sauter grew up in Bucks County, PA, and has lived, variously, in Annapolis, MD, Austin, TX, and Somerville, MA. She studied Philosophy and the History and Philosophy of Science at St John’s College and the University of Pittsburgh, where she was a Brackenridge Fellow.

Before arriving at MIT, she worked as a researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and as a freelance narrative designer and game critic in the indie game scene. Molly’s research focuses on cultural and socio-political analyses of technology, particularly hacktivist and other political technologies exported across cultural lines. She also nurses interests in digital poetry, science and technology in popular culture, the HCI of information security, and remix aesthetics.

She can be found on Twitter @oddletters and occasionally blogging at

Research Assistant Media Lab

Nadav is a researcher and PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab. He is a member of the Human Dynamics research group and the MIT Center for Civic Media. His research revolves around the intersection between communication networks, social dynamics, and systems that learn. A strong emphasis is given to systems and architectures that empower the edges of the network, giving end users control and ownership over their information and supporting security and privacy features., Prior to the Media Lab, Nadav had been working at a start-up company making communication chips for fiber-to-the-home networking. His R&D roles included system engineering and algorithm development. In addition, he performed consulting for several firms in areas of system engineering, product definition, network security, and locating seed investments. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology cum laude in 2004, specializing in computer networks, machine learning, and signal processing.

Researcher at Basurama and Montera34

Pablo is visiting scientist at the Center for Civic Media. He takes part and develops his projects in several independent research groups such as: Basurama (Trash-o-rama), where he has developed, a project that, through geotagged information, researches about the landscapes that the Spanish real estate crisis has left behind; Meipi, which develops the open source software for participatory mapping;, that researches about cultural expenses in Madrid Region; Montera34, a research group that develops organization and visualization tools such as newspaper surface coverage. He is now developing PageOneX, a tool to track news in newspaper front pages.

He holds a Master in Architecture by the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid. He has also studied in the Technische Universität Dresden in Germany.


Research Assistant

Poseidon Ho has become a Mixed Reality developer and Tangible Interface designer after 15 hackathons, and he is currently a research assistant at MIT Media Lab, solving large-scale city problems with social change in Civic Media Group and Changing Places Group. His professional work experience includes being the Chief Designer of the leading Artificial Intelligence Robot company in China, Turing Robot, and the Consultant, Research & Development of the largest zoological membership association in the world, San Diego Zoo Global.

Rekha is an independent radio and podcasting strategist with 20 years of experience in public radio, podcasting, and other digital media. Rekha is an alum of Comparative Media Studies, where she spent many hours on the streets of Cambridge, MA exploring how people use physical, public spaces to communicate.

Visiting Scientist MIT Media Lab

Rick Borovoy is a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Media Lab, where he develops tools to facilitate face-to-face interaction. After receiving his Ph.D. from the Media Lab, he co-founded nTAG Interactive, which provides data solutions for networking at conferences, sales meetings, and similar events. Building on that experience, at the Center Rick is developing projects that help neighbors engage face-to-face with their neighborhood.

Alum, MIT Comparative Media Studies

Rodrigo is a civic technologist and researcher who designs, builds and analyzes tools to help communities and governments collaborate for social good. He leads the product team at Neighborly, a new platform for individuals and households to invest in their community through municipal bonds.

Rodrigo co-founded Build Up, an award-winning social enterprise working on technology-supported methods for resolving conflict and developing communities, and published the first large-scale study of civic crowdfunding while a masters student at MIT and a Research Assistant at the Center. He is currently on leave from a PhD at Stanford University, and has previously served as an adviser and product manager to the Mayoral offices of San Francisco and Boston, the United Nations Development Program and the UK-based crowdfunding platform Spacehive.

Research Assistant, Comparative Media Studies

Twitter: @Tochtli_exe

As a scholar in the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Rogelio has conducted research regarding the use of new media among Latina/o activists in Los Angeles. Emphasizing a "from-the-ground-up" approach to scholarship and civic engagement, Rogelio has been involved with integrating media and technology into social justice geared movements. His work looks into lessening educational and health related disparities among historically underrepresented and underserved communities. Past examples of such fusion between media and public service include his involvement with the Fast for Our Future, a human rights focused hunger strike that utilized a new media campaign, and the South Central Farmers Health and Education Fund, which aims to provide low income communities with affordable organic produce and essential dietary education with the assistance of new media.

Rogelio will work closely with the Center for Civic Media to further develop the use of technology and media as a means of addressing societal disparities, with an emphasis on ensuring access to emerging technology, media, and digital information among communities that often fall victim to the "digital divide."

Sara Wylie is part-time faculty for RISD's Digital+Media Department, as well as a co-founder of Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS). She is Public Lab's director of Toxics and Health Research. For the Center for Civic Media, she co-founded and co-directed the ExtrAct Project with Chris Csikszentmihályi. She is currently finishing up her Ph.D. in MIT's History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society Program.

Research Assistant, Comparative Media Studies

Sun Huan is a graduate student at Comparative Media Studies and research assistant at Center for Civic Media of MIT. She received a B.A. in Journalism from Tsinghua University, Beijing. Her research interest lies in the rise of digital media and its socio-political implications on China. She is closely involved with NGO2.0 Project, which aims to build up Chinese grassroots NGOs' digital literacy. Her undergraduate thesis quantitatively examines Chinese college students' use of social media and their political participation.

Wang Yu spent his years empowering Chinese grass root NGOs with technology. As a member of NGO 2.0 China project, He participated in building the Philanthropy Map, which is designed to help Chinese NGOs and corporations find each other's needs. He also attended Web 2.0 workshops for Chinese NGOs as an instructor, to train them how to utilize social media to achieve their goal. As a graduate student at University of Science and Technology of China, Wang is interested in software developing and engineering, science communication, online education, data analysis, mining and visualization. He believes that the well-being of society resides in collaborative solving social issues and sharing delight about knowledge, life and the world.