For those who may not know, we at the MIT Center for Civic Media have doubled down on our events schedule. In addition to co-hosting events with other groups around MIT as we have the last few years, we now have two major event series: Civic Media Sessions and Civic Lunches.
The latter is an import from Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, courtesy of Ethan Zuckerman, our director/Berkman researcher. They’re informal and free, and full of food.
The former — the Civic Media Sessions — are remarkable evening talks. Held at the MIT Media Lab, they bring together civic media practitioners, writers, academics, technologists, and more. The irony, of course, is that “civic media” is still a field we’re defining both in terms of our leadership and internal intellectual debates. These debates are most plainly put on display during our Civic Media Sessions.
By way of example, I’d like to share a video (below) of our latest session, Civic Maps. We’re already years past initial experimentations with, say, Google Maps, to the point that civic mapping now includes high-resolution grassroots efforts, non-profit partnerships with communities, and even provocative work to visualize waste, income disparities, and correlations between incarceration rates and specific neighborhoods. It’s this last example that you’ll take away from our video below.