erhardt | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by erhardt

An Open Letter to Patriotic Microphilanthropists

by Sam Novey and Erhardt Graeff

We applaud Bill Moyers and Arnold Hiatt's "Open Letter to Patriotic Philanthropists" in the Winter 2013 Issue of Democracy. It's an eloquent and timely call to action for "well heeled and well connected" donors to support work that is critical to the future of our nation and our world.

Political reform funding does suffer from an imbalance in resources between lobbyists and activists, caused in part by nearsightedness favoring quantifiable deliverables and risk aversion to innovative projects. However, we feel that we are only looking at one part of the reform movement. Many of the values we care about are as much cultural issues as they are explicitly political or legal issues. We should also be funding efforts to deliver cultural change, and doing so in a way that pushes cultural change itself.

Introducing myself to Civic Media

I just joined the Center for Civic Media and the Media Lab as a research assistant and graduate student. This fall I'm taking Sasha's Intro to Civic Media course to acquaint myself with the work of the Center and the philosophies and literature that underpin it. I hope by the end of the semester I will have a better understanding of the history of media activism, the key texts that inform the Center for Civic Media's directors, and how I might be able to contribute to the emerging field of Civic Media.