Technology for Engagement Summit

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Agenda

Participants List

Welcome to the Technology for Engagement Summit at the MIT Media Lab. We are eager to join you in exploring where we are and imagine where we might go together in the field of technology and engagement. We are honored to have such an amazing group of thinkers and practitioners lending their expertise to this endeavor.

We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. The Technology for Engagement initiative continues this mission by actively exploring technology’s role in enabling greater levels of civic dialogue and collective community action.

We want to remind you that this is not a traditional conference— it is designed as an “open-space”-style workshop, where the particulars of what we address are driven by all of you, the participants. The group we have assembled represents a wide variety of perspectives and experiences, and our job is to help you offer to and get from the group as much as you can. It is our hope that you bring the specific questions, experiences and help you are able to offer. Please consider this a jumping-off point that leads into a broader discussion and action plan around the field of tech for engagement.

Thank you for joining us. We look forward to lively conversations and the exchange of ideas.


Agenda 

DAY ONE - Thursday, May 31, 2012

4:00pm

Welcome and introduction from Knight Foundation at MIT Media Lab Agenda overview and event guidelines

4:20pm Interactive Plenary

Participants will be invited to join in a fast-paced and active debate format that explores both the issues at hand and the range of perspectives and opinions extant in the room.

5:15 Agenda Hacking

Participants will work collaboratively in small group and large group formats to identify topics for discussion and suggest workshop sessions for the following day.

6:00pm Cocktail hour

Attendees get to talk to one another, with an invitation to organize ideas and topics for the following day’s sessions

7:30pm Informal dinner

 

DAY TWO - Friday, June 1, 2012

8am               

Casual breakfast

9am

Welcome & review previous afternoon/evening

Introduce format for the day -- user-led sessions, focused around the broad themes of "opportunities" and "challenges"

9:15am Working sessions 1

10:15am Reconvene, each group reports back

10:30am Short break

10:45am Working sessions 2

12:00am Reconvene, each group reports back

12:30pm Lunch

1:30pm 

Working groups on establishing measurable priorities for the field

Identify who else needs to be involved? Journalist, policymakers etc.

2:30 pm

Regroup, report back, and debrief

Group discussion about challenges, goals

Commitments on how we can work together over the coming year


Participants

Terry Amsler

Program Director, Public Engagement Program, Institute for Local Government

Amsler is the program director of the Institute for Local Government’s Public Engagement program, which promotes and supports effective and inclusive public engagement in California’s cities and counties and helps local officials involve the public in decision making. The Institute is the nonprofit research and education affiliate of the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities.

Jacob Anderson

Jacob Anderson

Innovations Analyst, Office of Innovation & Sustainability (OIS), City of Colorado Springs

Anderson is the innovations analyst for the City of Colorado Springs. He performs financial analyses and develops programs to create a more effective, efficient and responsive city government. He also administers a Recovery Act energy-efficiency grant that partially funds his city department, and actively uses social media to engage citizens on issues regarding sustainability and innovation.

Chris Barge

Chris Barge

Director, Philanthropic Services, The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County

Barge is the director for philanthropic services of The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. He leads efforts with major donors and directs the foundation’s Early Childhood Initiative, which seeks to close the area’s achievement gap between kids from low-income families and their peers. He joined the foundation in 2008 after a 10-year career in newspapers, including with the Rocky Mountain News and the Boulder Daily Camera.

Lucy Bernholtz

Lucy Bernholz

Stanford University, Visiting Scholar; Arabella Advisors, Managing Director

Bernholz is a visiting scholar at Stanford University and the award winning blogger behind philanthropy2173.com. Bernholz is the author of numerous articles and books including the Blueprint Series: Annual Industry Forecasts on Philanthropy and Social Investing, Disrupting Philanthropy and Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. In 2011 she sold Blueprint Research & Design, a philanthropy advising firm she had started in 1997. She earned a B.A. from Yale and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford.

Arthur Burris

Arthur Burris

Director of Policy and Special Initiatives, Living Cities

Burris is the director of policy and special initiatives for Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions working to improve the lives of low-income people and the cities where they live. Prior to joining Living Cities in 2010, he worked for 10 years on the staff of the Budget Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, the final six years as deputy staff director. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, and an B.A. in politics from Princeton University.

Sasha Costanza-Chock

Sasha Costanza-Chock

Assistant Professor of Civic Media

Costanza-Chock is a scholar and media maker who works in the interrelated areas of social movements and information and communication technologies; participatory technology design and community based participatory research; and the transnational movement for media justice and communication rights, including comunicación populár.

Dr. Costanza-Chock holds a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, where he was a postdoctoral research associate; he is also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. While living in Los Angeles, he worked on a variety of civic media projects with community-based organizations, including the award-winning VozMob.net platform. .

Susan Crawford

Susan Crawford

Visiting Stanton Professor of the First Amendment, Harvard Kennedy School; Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School

Crawford is the Visiting Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and a columnist for Bloomberg View and Wired. She served as special assistant to the president for science, technology and innovation policy during 2009 and co-led the Federal Communications Commission’s transition team between the Bush and Obama administrations. She is a member of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation.

Stacy Donohue

Stacy Donohue

Director, Investments at Omidyar Network

Donohue leads the U.S. portfolio of Omidyar Network's Government Transparency Initiative, working to encourage accountability, effectiveness and participation in government by increasing people’s access to credible information via technology. Her portfolio includes Code for America, Global Integrity, POGO, SeeClickFix and Sunlight Foundation. Donohue previously worked at Hewlett-Packard, Boston Consulting Group and JPMorgan. She earned an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School, an M.A. in art history from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from Yale University.

Mikel Ellcessor

Mikel Ellcessor

General Manager, WDET, Detroit

Ellcessor is the general manager for WDET, Detroit’s public radio station. He has spent the last 25 years developing new, diverse audiences for noncommercial media and nonprofit arts organizations. At WDET, he built the first working prototype of a model for mainstream, major market, multiethnic public service media. Previous stints have included serving as the founding manager of Radio Milwaukee, a hyperlocal media and community-engagement hybrid designed to attract a younger, diverse audience to public-service media and as a senior content director at WNYC, New York Public Radio.

Paula Ellis

Paula Ellis

V.P./Strategic Initiatives, Knight Foundation

Ellis is Knight Foundation’s vice president for strategic initiatives. As a member of the executive committee, Ellis oversees national programs and new initiatives. She is also responsible for developing and gauging the impact of the foundation's overall strategy. Previously, Ellis was vice president for operations at Knight Ridder, where she oversaw 15 newspapers and was a member of the management committee. Throughout her career as a news, corporate and civic leader, she developed deep experience in national and community issues.

Lee Fisher

Lee Fisher

Current place of work and position: CEOs for Cities – President and CEO

Fisher is president and CEO of CEOS for Cities. Previously, he served as Ohio lieutenant governor, attorney general, state senator, state representative and president and CEO of the Center for Families and Children. In his role as lieutenant governor, Fisher also served as director of the Ohio Department of Economic Development and chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. While Fisher led Ohio’s economic development efforts, Site Selection magazine awarded its top national economic development award, the Governor’s Cup,to Ohio three consecutive times.

Seth Flaxman

Seth Flaxman

Flaxman is the cofounder and executive director of TurboVote and was recently named a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur and one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30.” Before TurboVote, he worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, Institute for International Education and the Berkman Center; he earned a master's degree in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in economics at Columbia University, where he was an activist and student body president.

Janis Foster

Janis Foster

Foster is executive director of Grassroots Grantmakers, an adjunct faculty member of the Asset Based Development Institute and is certified as a coach from the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara. She has served as a trainer for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Training Institute and as a consultant to dozens of funders and change-oriented nonprofit organizations. Foster came to Grassroots Grantmakers with experience as a neighborhood leader, a director of a neighborhood technical assistance center, a community foundation executive and a consultant to funders and community building organizations.

Jeff Friedman

Jeff Friedman

Office of Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Manager of Civic Innovation & Participation

Friedman is the manager of civic innovation and participation in the office of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. He has led initiatives to make city government (and urban governance generally) more open, participatory, transparent and innovative. Previously, Friedman was the chief of staff to the chief technology officer, and deputy director of performance management/project manager for the implementation of Philly311. Friedman earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Temple University.

Archon Fung

Archon Fung

Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship, Harvard Kennedy School

Fung is the Ford Foundation professor of democracy and citizenship at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. His research examines the impacts of civic participation, public deliberation and transparency upon governance. His books include Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (with Mary Graham and David Weil) and Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy. His current projects examine democratic reform initiatives in regulation, public accountability, urban planning and public services. He has written five books and over 50 journal articles.

Urs Gasser

Urs Gasser

Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, Executive Director

Gasser is the executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He teaches at Harvard Law, the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and Fudan University (China). He is a visiting professor at KEIO University (Japan), has written Born Digital and Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems (both with John Palfrey) and published many journal articles.

Chris Gates

Chris Gates

Executive Director, PACE-Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement

Gates is executive director of PACE -Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement. PACE is an affinity group of the Council on Foundations and serves as a learning collaborative for funders doing work in civic engagement, service and democratic practice. He previously served for 11 years as president of the National Civic League. Gates is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and has a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he studied the interaction of the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Scott Geller

Scott Geller

CTO / President, Points of Light Digital

Geller is CTO and president of Points of Light Digital, where he employs technology to help inspire, equip and mobilize people to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Geller is a social and technology entrepreneur with over 25 years’ experience. He cofounded TechBridge, a nonprofit technology services social venture in its 13th year of operation. He has also been CEO of four technology companies focusing on enterprise software, mobile music app development and more.

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

Director of Engagement Game Lab, Emerson College

Gordon is the director of the Engagement Game Lab at Emerson College, where he studies location-based media, civic engagement and serious games. He is the designer of several “engagement games,” including Participatory Chinatown (2010) and Community PlanIt (2011-12). He is also the author of Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World (with Adriana de Souza e Silva, 2011) and The Urban Spectator: American Concept Cities From Kodak to Google (2010). He is currently working on a book about games and civic engagement.

Nick Grossman

Nick Grossman

Visiting Scholar, MIT Media Lab, Center for Civic Media

Grossman, a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab, is a technologist and entrepreneur focused on the intersection of the Web and urban, social and civic systems. In 2010, he cofounded Civic Commons, an initiative that helps governments adopt open-technology strategies. Previously, Grossman was director of Civic Works at OpenPlans, building open tools for engagement in civic issues. He is an adviser to Code for America and a graduate of Stanford University.

Allen Gunn

Allen Gunn

Executive Director, Aspiration

Gunn is executive director of Aspiration in San Francisco, where he works to help NGOs, activists, foundations and software developers to make more effective use of technology for social change.

Michael Gurstein

Michael Gurstein

Executive Director, Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development and Training

Gurstein is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Community Informatics and foundation chair of the Community Informatics Research Network. Gurstein has consulted with a number of governments, companies and foundations. He is a member of the High Level Panel of Advisors of the (UN) Global Alliance for ICT for Development. His most recent book is What is Community Informatics (and Why Does it Matter)?

Kip Harkness

Kip Harkness

Assistant to the City Manager, City of San Jose

Harkness is assistant to the city manager of the City of San José. For 20 years, Harkness’ professional work has been driven by the proposition that people should be involved in the decisions that affect their lives. This mission has led him to try milling corn in the mountains of North Carolina, advising tomato farmers on the edge of the Sahara, training Peace Corps volunteers in Morocco and leading the innovative Strong Neighborhoods Initiative in San Jose. In the process, he has facilitated countless public meetings and listened to the perspective and concerns of hundreds of community leaders.

Marci Harris

Marci Harris

CEO, POPVOX

Harris is CEO at POPVOX, which verifies, aggregates and simplifies communication with Congress on an open, trusted and nonpartisan common ground.

Mark Headd

Mark Headd

Director of Government Relations at Code for America

Headd, a writer and speaker on communication technologies and open government, is director of government relations at Code for America. A civic hacking veteran, he has worked as both a technologist and a government official. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and is a former adjunct instructor at the University of Delaware where he taught a course in electronic government.

Josie Heath

Josie Heath

President, The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County

Heath is president of The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. The foundation has distributed nearly $50 million dollars to nonprofits in 21 years. Heath was Boulder County Commissioner for eight years, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a member of the White House Office of National Service, She served on the Colorado Rockies stadium board and was a local government consultant in Central and Eastern Europe.

Frank Hebbert

Frank Hebbert

Director of Civic Works, OpenPlans

Hebbert is director of civic works at OpenPlans, where he explores how technology, planning, citizens and government come together. He thinks we can make better places and beat climate change with the winning combo of planning, technology and public participation. Hebbert has a master’s degree in city planning from MIT. He blogs intermittently on open-source planning, tweets slightly more and is one half of the team Holobiont (half architect, half urban planner). He coorganizes Planning Corps, a network of volunteer planners providing assistance to nonprofits.

Ira Heffan

Ira Heffan

General Counsel, TopCoder

Heffan is general counsel of TopCoder, where he has worked since 2001. Heffan brings to TopCoder over 10 years of experience in working with technology companies on their legal matters, particularly in the areas of intellectual property and community-based models.

Christopher Hoene

Christopher Hoene

Director of the Center for Research and Innovation, National League of Cities

Hoene is the director of the Center for Research and Innovation at the National League of Cities. He oversees the center’s efforts to identify, research and share innovative local practices and trends on subjects including public finance, economic development, housing, sustainability, infrastructure and governance. He is coauthor of the center’s annual reports on City Fiscal Conditions and City Economic Conditions, tracking the fiscal and economic health of the municipal sector.

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes

TopCoder, Inc. President and COO

Hughes is president and COO of TopCoder. Before joining TopCoder, Hughes served as the COO of the Internet professional services firm Tallán Inc.

Joichi Ito

Joichi Ito

Trustee, Knight Foundation

Ito is director of the MIT Media Lab and a Knight Foundation trustee. An entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Ito has been named by Business Week as one of the 25 most influential people on the Web. He has worked with government and academia to promote the Internet and innovation.

Nigel Jacon

Nigel Jacob

Co-Chair, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston

Jacob cofounded the Office of New Urban Mechanics, a civic innovation incubator within Boston’s City Hall. Jacob also serves as Mayor Thomas Menino's adviser on emerging technologies. In these roles, he works to develop new models of civic innovation. Before joining the city of Boston, Jacob worked for and launched a series of technology start-ups. He is also a fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College.

Clay Johnson

Johnson is the CEO of Localize.io. He is best known as the cofounder of Blue State Digital, the firm that built and managed Barack Obama’s online campaign for the presidency in 2008. After leaving Blue State, Johnson was the director of Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation, where he built an army of 2,000 developers and designers to build open-source tools to give people greater access to government data. He was named the Google/O’Reilly Open Source Organizer of the year in 2009, was one of Federal Computing Week’s Fed 100 in 2010 and won the CampaignTech Innovator award in 2011.

Keenan

Vincent Keenan

Executive Director, Publius.org

Keenan is a lifelong Detroiter, engaged citizen, and the director of Publius.org, a non-partisan organization founded in 1996 to promote civic participation and voter education. He holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan and is network engineer by training. He was the Senior Computer Systems Specialist for the University of Michigan Department of Human Genetics at the dawn of bioinformatics and the completion of the mapping of the human genome.

Judith Kleinberg

Silicon Valley Program Director, Knight Foundation

Kleinberg is San Jose/Silicon Valley program director for Knight Foundation. An attorney and former Palo Alto mayor, Kleinberg has led both a tech start-up and award-winning nonprofits.

Beth Kolko

Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington

President & CEO, Shift Labs

Kolko is a professor of human-centered design and engineering at the University of Washington and cofounder of shiftLabs, an engineering and manufacturing start-up designing low cost health technologies. Her current project is the university’s Design for Digital Inclusion Lab, which works on technology development for “the other 5 billion,” and the Hackademia, inspired by six plus years in hacker culture, which brings the habits of mind of hackers/makers into the university. Shift Labs combines technology design, hacker engineering and a desire to change the world.

Micki Krimmel

Founder, NeighborGoods.net

Krimmel , founder of NeighborGoods.net, has been building online communities for a decade. In addition to working for multiple start-ups, she created Participant Media’s first online community and led the social media efforts for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time.

Patricia Lange

Patricia G. Lange

Assistant Professor of Critical Studies, California College of the Arts

Lange, assistant professor of critical studies at California College of the Arts, is an anthropologist studying technical identities, YouTube and reticulated models of civic engagement. She coauthored the book, Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. The book analyzed findings from the Digital Youth and Informal Learning study, which was sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation. She is currently writing a book tentatively entitled, Kids on YouTube: Technical Identities and Digital Literacies.

J.D. Lasica

JD Lasica

Founder & Chief Strategist, Socialbrite.org

Lasica is a strategist and social media consultant considered one of the world's leading experts in social media. He is founder of two consultancies, Socialbrite for nonprofits and Socialmedia.biz for businesses. Lasica was cofounder of Ourmedia.org, the first free video hosting and sharing site, and has been named one of Silicon Valley's top 40 influencers, one of the top 100 influencers in social media and one of CNET's Top 100 Media Bloggers.

Daniel Latorre

Daniel Latorre

V.P., Digital Placemaking, Project for Public Spaces

Latorre is vice president of Digital Placemaking, a program for bottom-up, human-centered media he started at Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people build stronger communities. Latorre has rich online experience from years with leading firms such as CKS Group, Razorfish, Funny Garbage, McCann-Erikson, Scholastic and others. In recent years his focus has shifted toward using effective design methods and today’s powerful social technology tools for the civic realm in the movements around open commons, open government and open urban planning.

Jenny Lee

Jenny Lee

Co-director, Allied Media Projects

Lee is a co-director of Allied Media Projects in Detroit, where she cultivates media strategies for a more just and creative world. She believes community media production is a process of speaking and listening that allows us to investigate the problems that shape our realities, imagine other realities and then organize our communities to make them real.

Matt Leighninger

Matt Leighninger

Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium

Leighninger is the executive director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, an alliance of the major organizations and leading scholars working in the field of democracy and citizenship. Leighninger has worked with public engagement efforts in over 100 communities in 40 states. His first book, The Next Form of Democracy, traces the recent shifts in the relationship between citizens and government, and examines how these trends are reshaping our democracy.

Jeremy Liu

Jeremy Liu

Oakland CDC

Liu is a community development innovation practitioner partnering with communities to build healthy, vibrant and just neighborhoods. He is the principal of Creative Ecology, a hybrid project and consulting practice that utilizes people-centered art and design strategies for community development, planning, placemaking, and engagement. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning National Bitter Melon Council, and has served as the executive director of the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation in Oakland, CA and the Asian Community Development Corporation in Boston, Mass. He serves on the boards of The Center for Neighborhood Technology, The Interaction Institute for Social Change, and The New England Foundation for the Arts. He is a Barr Foundation Senior Fellow.

Lily Liu

Lily Liu

CEO and Founder, PublicStuff

Lily Liu is the CEO and Founder of the leading national innovative CRM software system, PublicStuff. She has been working around public policy issues at the local and national level for over 10 years and has a deep understanding of government needs and abilities. Her professional experience includes working with Mayor Bloomberg’s Special Projects and Analytics Unit in the Department of Education, a $20 Billion organization. Prior to that, she worked in the City of Long Beach, CA and the Transportation Security Administration in Washington, D.C.

Nancy Lublin

Nancy Lublin

CEO and Chief Old Person, DoSomething.org

Nancy must have done something great in a past life to warrant the blessings of this one.

Colin Maclay

Colin M. Maclay

Managing Director, Berkman Center for Internet and Society

Maclay is the managing director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, where he works in diverse capacities with its faculty, staff, fellows and extended community to realize its ambitious goals. His broad aim is to effectively and appropriately integrate information and communication technologies with social and economic development, focusing on the changes Internet technologies foster in society, policy and institutions.

Derek Neighbors

Derek Neighbors

Gangplank, Co-Founder

Neighbors is a serial entrepreneur who helps people bring ideas to reality. Neighbors cofounded Gangplank, a collaborative workspace in Phoenix in 2008, to help encourage local creatives to explore innovative ideas and create what they are passionate about. He is a partner at Integrum Technologies, a consulting services firm that helps companies build high performing teams to compete in the new economy.

Rick Nixon

Rick Nixon

Program Manager, eGovernment and Technology Initiatives for the City of Portland

Nixon serves as program manager of eGovernment and technology initiatives for the City of Portland, Ore. Nixon is responsible for supplying process and technology to the city’s open data, open standards and open software solutions. After having launched the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional open data offering, CivicApps.org, Nixon continues this work with PDXCitySync.org, a new open platform for government, residents and businesses to collaborate in sharing important information and services.

Max Novendstern

Max Novendstern

CEO / Co-Founder, CommonPlace

Novendstern is CEO at CommonPlace, a tech and organizing start-up that's building social networks for neighborhoods across the country. Before that, Novendstern was an undergrad at Harvard, where he was the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Political Review and a student of American intellectual history. Prior to Harvard, he organized an artisans' cooperative in the highlands of Peru and traversed trails throughout the mountains of New York.

Chris Osgood

Chris Osgood

Co-Chair, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston

Osgood co-founded and co-chairs the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, bringing to the office over 10 years of experience in city government. During that time, Osgood has focused on designing operations and policies that help cities engage and respond to constituents. Before joining the city of Boston, Osgood earned his MBA from Harvard and served for five years in the New York City Parks and Recreation Department.

Jerry Paffendorf

Co-Founder & Executive Creative Director, LOVELAND Technologies

Paffendorf lives and works in Detroit, where he pours his love into LOVELAND Technologies' efforts to put cities online in new ways that combine interactive maps, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding (makeloveland.com). Since 2009, LOVELAND, which Paffendorf cofounded, has released a series of independent and partner projects with the connected goals of making Detroit more inviting, understandable, investable, user-friendly and creative. He writes sometimes at greatamericanpixel.tumblr.com.

Jennifer Pahlka

Jennifer Pahlka

Founder & Executive Director at Code for America

Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, which works with talented Web professionals and cities around the country to promote public service and reboot government. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 Summit and Gov 2.0 Summit events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media. Pahlka’s early career was spent in the non-profit sector. She lives in Oakland, Calif. with her daughter and eight chickens. Jennifer’s early career was spent in the non-profit sector.

Joseph Porcelli

Joseph Porcelli

Director of Engagement Services for GovDelivery, Inc. and GovLoop.com; Founder and Chief Executive Neighbor of NeighborsForNeighbors.org

Porcelli, director of engagement services for GovDelivery.com and GovLoop.com, believes we are happiest when we are connected and in service to each other. To increase happiness, Porcelli creates, learns and evangelizes online and offline experiences that overcome the barriers of fear, time, place and bureaucracy. His career highlights include serving as the first community engagement strategist for the U.S Department of Homeland Security, leading online operations and partnerships for the ServiceNation legislation campaign, founding NeighborsForNeighbors.org, developing new online and offline organizing models for the Boston Police Department and wearing a nametag every day in 2007.

Bahia Ramos Synnott

Bahia Ramos Synnott

Director/Community Foundation, Knight Foundation

Ramos Synnott is director of community foundations for Knight Foundation, where she directs donor-advised grants to community foundations around the country. Previously, Ramos Synott lived for two years in London, where she consulted with Man Group, the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund, in the corporate responsibility department.

Jason Rzepka

Jason Rzepka

Vice President of Public Affairs at MTV Networks

Max Schorr

Max Schorr

Co-Founder and Chief Community Officer, GOOD

Schorr is co-founder and chief community officer of GOOD, a collaboration of people and organizations pushing our world forward. Recognized as a Next Generation Leader by the American Cancer Society, a member of the Japan Society's Innovators Network and a First Mover Fellow at the Aspen Institute, Schorr has appeared on CNN, MSNBC and NPR and has spoken on social innovation at The Commonwealth Club, Social Media Week and PSFK.

Trabian Shorters

Trabian Shorters

Shorters is vice president of communities for Knight Foundation, leading the foundation’s work in 26 communities across the United States. Shorters has a long history of creating and running different types of networks for social innovation.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith

SVP Social Innovation, The Case Foundation

Smith leads the Case Foundation’s Social Innovation team, which oversees social investments, programs and partnerships. He works with senior leadership to set the programmatic direction of the foundation and manages an investment portfolio designed to spark civic participation and promote innovation in the social sector. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Marymount University, is a frequent contributor to industry publications and gatherings and serves on the boards of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), Idealist.org and Public Allies.

Shannon Spanhake

Shannon Spanhake

Deputy Innovation Officer, City and County of San Francisco

Shannon Spanhake is building an OpenGov program for the City and County of San Francisco, which is focused on innovation to enable job creation, citizen engagement, and urban revitalization. Prior to this role, Spanhake worked at a startup founded with her patent-pending technology, which she developed while holding a dual-appointment as a post doctoral candidate at CalIT2 and a senior researcher at the Centre for Development Finance.

Benjamin Stokes

Benjamin Stokes

USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. R&D/PhD Student.

Stokes investigates real-world games and participatory mapping as a Ph.D. student at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He is a cofounder of Games for Change, the nonprofit behind the movement to use games for social impact. Previously, Stokes was a program officer in MacArthur Foundation’s portfolio on Digital Media and Learning. Stokes has also led design teams at MercyCorps/NetAid, and ProQuest/Bigchalk.

Damian Thorman

Damian Thorman

National Program Director, Knight Foundation

Thorman joined Knight Foundation in 2007 as director of its National Program, which supports innovative ideas and leadership with the potential to drive transformative change nationally and in Knight’s resident communities. He helps develop new grant opportunities at a national level that target systemic change within the framework of informed and engaged communities.

charles tsai

Charles Tsai

Consultant to Knight Foundation

Tsai is a journalist, writer, speaker and consultant for social entrepreneurs. A former reporter and producer for CNN, Tsai ventured into the social sector to help youth design and implement their own solutions for global change. He has educated and mentored hundreds of young changemakers through Ashoka, the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs. In 2009, he helped Ashoka launch its first global campaigns to support youth-led social ventures around the world. Tsai writes about social innovation at SocialCreatives.org and Huffington Post and is the author of Endeavor: The Rise of Social Creatives.

Conor White-Sullivan

Conor White-Sullivan

Director, Huffpost Labs, Huffington Post Media Group

White-Sullivan is the director of HuffPost Labs, a product group within Huffington Post dedicated to building tools that advance journalism and democracy in the 21st century. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Localocracy, an online town common, which was sold to AOL in September 2011. He has been named a champion of change by the Obama administration and placed on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Media in 2011.

Todd Wolfson

Todd Wolfson

Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies, Rutgers University; co-founder and member of executive committee, Media Mobilizing Project

Wolfson is an assistant professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University. An anthropologist by training, Wolfson has conducted research with support of the Social Science Research Council and the National Telecommunications and Information Association. He is finishing a manuscript focused on the intersection of new media and social movements. Wolfson is also a co-founder of Media Mobilizing Project, which uses media to build the power of poor and working-class communities.

Youngjin Yoo

Youngjin Yoo

Professor of MIS and Strategy, Fox School of Business; Director, Center for Design+Innovation; PI, Urban Apps & Maps Studio, Temple University

Yoo is professor of management information systems and strategy at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Yoo also directs the school’s Design + Innovation lab and leads the Urban Apps and Maps studio, which uses social networks and mapping software to improve the community.

Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman

Director, Center for Civic Media, MIT

Zuckerman is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and a principal research scientist at MIT’s Media Lab. With Rebecca MacKinnon, he cofounded international blogging community Global Voices. Global Voices showcases news and opinions from citizen media in over 150 nations and 30 languages. His research focuses on issues of internet freedom, civic media in the developing world, and cosmopolitanism in the digital age. He blogs at ethanzuckerman.com/blog and lives in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.

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