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  • Hackathons don't solve problems | MIT Center for Civic Media
    storm damage is interesting for gawkers outside of the affected areas and can help convey a sense of the impact and importance of the damage to others But when the storm is bearing down on top of you you have no use for and probably no ability to watch a webcam feed Other Hurricane Hackers projects included a memorial for hurricane victims valuable to people after the fact but developed primarily after the hackathon and a couch surfing coordination tool which never launched The project that should be congratulated for having a direct and tangible impact on helping people on the ground during and after the storm is Occupy Sandy which did a remarkable job organizing relief efforts Occupy Sandy had FEMA coming to them for advice when they saw how effective their ground game was But Occupy Sandy was not the product of a hackathon and more importantly it involves a lot of boots on the ground work They have continued to provide ongoing relief and support to storm victims to this day This is unfortunately a more boring story as it doesn t involve fast easy solutions through techno utopias But it s a more important story it demonstrates the power of mutual aid community organizing hard work and political activism What are hackathons good for If I come across as strongly anti hackathon it s because of my desire to counteract the boosterism in Qualcomm s edit Hackathons can spur creativity can inspire a concerted amount of development effort on a focused project for a short period of time and can increase attention to a critical issue For people who feel disaffected and hopeless a hackathon can rekindle a sense of creativity and possibility But the tangible products of a hackathon hardware software are rarely of adequate

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/cfd/hackathons-dont-solve-problems (2016-04-29)
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  • Why InterTwinkles | MIT Center for Civic Media
    that would have kept long term costs down and we could have done all of that for less than half the cost But the consensus process that could ve allowed the house members to express their opinions was too slow and we had no process in place to make decisions between meetings Could we have had an effective consensus process that could respond to an urgent need like this 2 Anti war protests 2002 2003 In 2002 and 2003 protests against the Iraq war erupted all around the world some of the largest protests ever Over a million people turned out in Rome half a million each in London and New York and over 200 000 people in San Francisco These protests and direct actions that followed were led by small affinity groups of 10 to 20 people who organized into clusters to coordinate their actions My experience of participating in these protests demonstrated the power of small consensus oriented groups to organize motivate and mobilize people This same style of small group organizing formed the seed for Occupy Wall Street a decade later These clusters have tended to be short lived even as the issues they organized to tackle have continued to impact people Is there a way to facilitate cluster organizing that is lower cost to the participants so that the same power of coordinated autonomous groups can work even in times of peace 3 Apex organizations For the last 2 years I ve served on the board of an NASCO an organization that supports housing cooperatives across the US and Canada This professional non profit draws its board members from four time zones and with a miniscule budget runs a conference a land trust an education and training network for tens of thousands of people and a

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/cfd/why-intertwinkles (2016-04-29)
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  • Leadership in horizontal movements | MIT Center for Civic Media
    Even the Occupy movement as radically non hierarchical as it was centralized on a particular set of meeting techniques for decision making in assemblies and centralized the resources of activists in single encampments in each major city Progressive activists often avoid hierarchical structures because of their role in maintaining systems of inequality and privilege But as Morozov Cornell Freeman and many others have pointed out without any structure we fall back to the same old problematic power imbalances that we began with What we need is a more nuanced view that recognizes where and why we choose structures of different types to support our goals for equitable and democratic systems The Role of Leadership In Freedom is an Endless Meeting a history of democracy in American social movements Francesca Polletta describes the problematic relationship that many groups have had with the notion of leadership Equality has sometimes been interpreted as prohibiting any differences in skills or talents What group members have viewed as effective leadership at one point has come later to be seen as manipulation Freedom is an Endless Meeting p 4 Is leadership just another form of hierarchy and dominance Skilled charismatic leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr or Mohandas Ghandi can be of tremendous value to a movement by providing a unified vision and set of values around which people can organize However they are also a liability they concentrate the power of influence into one fallible person limit the opportunities for new ideas and can be a single point of failure which can end the organization if the leader is arrested deposed or killed But charismatic leadership is not the only way Ella Baker one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee a highly influential civil rights organization founded in 1960 argued against the leadership model expressed by the prevailing messianic style of the period in favor of a model of leadership that focused on developing capacities and skills in others Baker described this as group centered leadership Instead of expressing leadership through a strong public personality with a single dominating vision a group centric leader helps to develop the capacities of other group members as leaders Group centric leaders work with groups to develop group values and group visions by elevating each member of the group Later groups formalized this approach into a model for consensus oriented decision making and formed what has been described as leaderless organizations organizations that have no single elected representative or charismatic figurehead However this use of the term leaderless can lead one to conflate decision making power functional leadership or hierarchy with the power to share one s visions ideas and values thought leadership That mistake leads us down the path to covert leadership or group ineffectiveness If we think of leadership as a zero sum commodity where one person s expression of leadership limits others we can fall into the trap of stymying any efforts by group members to express their skill and vision Under

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/cfd/leadership-in-horizontal-movements (2016-04-29)
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  • cfd | MIT Center for Civic Media
    the floor of the US Senate cfd s blog Occupy Streams Map Submitted by cfd on November 16 2011 3 42pm With the growth of the 99 Percent movement and occupations all over the world a large number of citizen journalists and activists have turned to real time video casting services such as livestream ustream and justin tv Live streaming offers a compelling way to experience a protest on the ground as it s happening and it has even trickled up to more traditional media services Time com published the live feed from The Other 99 on its front page last night during a 2000 person strong general assembly in Liberty Plaza NY And CBS published a live stream of Bloomberg s morning address in which he explained the city s motivations for evicting protesters Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about Occupy Streams Map cfd s blog Between the Bars New site design Submitted by cfd on October 3 2011 4 12pm Between the Bars has been busy in the last six months We now have over 300 writers and are regularly receiving 100 letters per week We ve published over 1500 blog posts and profiles We now have a paid part time staff person thanks to the Center for Civic Media s support to help us with operations We ve accrued a wait list of over 500 additional writers in prison who want to blog and we re working on growing our capacity to publish them as well This is still a far cry from the 2 3 million people in prison right now So clearly we have our work cut out for us So it is with this in mind that we re delighted to announce some major changes to the Between the Bars website View them here http betweenthebars org Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about Between the Bars New site design cfd s blog The Importance of Stakeholders as Designers Submitted by cfd on June 23 2011 3 03pm Something that has been echoed by many of the speakers at today s Knight Civic Media Conference is the importance of considering who participates in the design of a technology Sasha Constanza Chock spoke about the importance of using open technologies and open data when developing tools for communities Chris Csikszentmihalyi spoke about how those with power producing technology tend to make technologies that reinforce their power The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science one of this year s grant winners emphasized the importance of community participation and ownership in the collection of scientific data But why is this important Don t closed systems like Twitter or Facebook have the potential for great social good Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about The Importance of Stakeholders as Designers cfd s blog Between the Bars back online Submitted by cfd on April 4 2011 10 02am The moment we ve been working towards for over 3

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/users/cfd?page=1 (2016-04-29)
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  • cfd | MIT Center for Civic Media
    a number of existing bike map providers many of which have grown through community provided crowd sourced data One could argue that these projects have struggled to garner sufficient participation to really take off http www bikely com http www nycbikemaps com maps nyc bike map http opentripplanner org http www opencyclemap org Now all at once Google is offering bike maps in 150 cities with relatively comprehensive routes As

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/users/cfd?page=2 (2016-04-29)
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  • What is Video for Change -- and Its Forms? | MIT Center for Civic Media
    the researchers have come up with the broadest possible definition any initiative that emphasises the use of video for creating change whether that change is at a personal or individual level is focused on a group or a specific issue or is at a broader social level They also walked the readers through the process of coming up with this definition through the scanning through a range of resources for the literature review At the end of this entry they asked the readers to define how they would define video for change Cicilia Maharani from Kampung Halaman an organisation based in Indonesia had an interesting response that talked about how video can affect change at the community level based on Kampung Halaman s experience Succinctly she says We don t work with video we work with peolpe Video helps us to facilitate the issues and further spread the message to other communities Seelan Palay from EngageMedia posted video examples that define video for change He says that the videos gave an overview of what is happening in Southeast Asia The next two posts Video for Change Approaches Part 1 and 2 define how video for change has been done over the years From Guerilla Video in the 1960 s to modern Citizen Journalism the entries go through other social and technological developments that have impacted on how we use video for social change activism and advocacy At the end of the second entry the researchers question the current taxonomy of video for change approaches and how the research that defines what video for change is can be useful to a broader audience What we have learnt by thinking about the values and foci of these different approaches is that there are many different ways to support change efforts through the

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/cheekay5/what-is-video-for-change-and-its-forms (2016-04-29)
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  • cheekay5's blog | MIT Center for Civic Media
    the preliminary literature review In a series of three blog entries they have explored the definition of using video to impact and influence social change and how organisations individuals and social movements have done it In the first entry Video for Change What is It and Who Does It the researchers have come up with the broadest possible definition any initiative that emphasises the use of video for creating change whether that change is at a personal or individual level is focused on a group or a specific issue or is at a broader social level Google Plus One Tweet Widget Facebook Like Read more about What is Video for Change and Its Forms Exploring Video Advocacy Impact and Social Change Submitted by cheekay5 on April 4 2013 9 06pm Cross posted from v4c org Over the past few months the video4change network has been busy starting the video4change Impact Research Through this research we are looking to come up with a preliminary set of impact indicators by conducting a literature review and interviewing video4change network members on how they assess the impact of their work At the end of this of this prelimary research we expect to have the

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/cheekay5 (2016-04-29)
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  • Exploring Video Advocacy, Impact and Social Change | MIT Center for Civic Media
    Over the past few months the video4change network has been busy starting the video4change Impact Research Through this research we are looking to come up with a preliminary set of impact indicators by conducting a literature review and interviewing video4change network members on how they assess the impact of their work At the end of this of this prelimary research we expect to have the following results and output a literature review that focuses on different ways video has been used for advocacy and social change initiatives a greater understanding of what impact assessment and evaluation methodologies are appropriate for video4change initiatives case studies on the work of the video4change members and donors who fund video advocacy an initial set of video4change impact indicators ideas and directions on how to expand the research beyond the current video4change members towards coming up with impact assessment methodologies for video activism Ultimately we see this current research as an initial step towards understanding and measuring the impact of video4change In the next few weeks and througout the rest of the research process the researchers will be blogging about their initial findings and their reflections on what they are learning video4change research video Google

    Original URL path: https://civic.mit.edu/blog/cheekay5/exploring-video-advocacy-impact-and-social-change (2016-04-29)
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