erhardt | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by erhardt

The Civic Me: Civic Identity Expression in Online Spaces panel at DML 2013

Liveblog of The Civic Me panel at DML 2013

Panel Description
Click to read on DML 2013 site.

The Civic Me panelists


  • Margaret Rundle (chair), Emily Weinstein - Harvard University
  • Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Liana Gamber Thompson - USC
  • Chris Evans - Mills College
  • Brittany Spralls - Mikva Challenge

Introduction (Margaret Rundle)
It really should be "The Civic and Political Me" as a title but that's just too long.

Youth, Pop Culture, and Participatory Politics Panel at DML 2013

Liveblog of Youth, Pop Culture, and Participatory Politics panel at DML 2013.

Panel Description
This panel will look at how young people's engagement with pop culture is a gateway to finding their voice and place in the sphere of participatory politics. Drawing from a variety of pop culture formations including hip hop, fan cultures, etc. the panelist will consider some of the creative ways young people engage in participatory politics. (

Henry Jenkins (chair) - @henryjenkins
Mark Anthony Neal - @newblackman
Andrew Slack - @andrewslack


Ethan Zuckerman's DML Keynote: Beyond “The Crisis in Civics”

Liveblogging Ethan Zuckerman’s Keynote at the Digital Media Learning conference in Chicago

Ethan Zuckerman is Director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT Media Lab. He has been a member of MacArthur’s Youth and Participatory Politics network. Before that, he was a Fellow at the Berkman Center, and has a long history of thinking about technology’s role in civic and political engagement.

Location! The Importance of Geo-Data at SXSW

Liveblog of Location! The Importance of Geo-Data panel at SXSW

Description from the SXSW website: The proliferation of location-aware devices and geo-tagged data raises important questions: what will happen as more and more of the content we create online is automatically tagged with locational data? What can we learn from this profusion of geographic information? With this data we can find restaurants, friends and sex partners (a la, visualize inequalities in media attention, develop epidemiological models to predict the spread of diseases, find dissident safe houses in times of political upheaval and coordinate crisis response. But who is contributing data and who is not on the map? How are our social relationships being transformed? What about privacy? What about civic participation? Serious questions are mounting -- this panel aims to raise several of them, and explore the transformative power this shift may bring.

Location Panel at SXSW

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.