Submitted by Michelle Ferrier on Sat, 05/29/2010 – 7:31am
Session Reporter: Michelle Ferrier
Conversationalist 1: Michelle Ferrier
Conversationalist 2: Ingebord Endter
Working for the Center for Future Civic Media at MIT Media Lab
We’re working on a number of projects that we will be talking about at the conference, but I’m interested in talking about Detroit and the project is Hero Reports. The Center is about technology and our intent is to create tools that people in the community can use that strengthen the community, help to strengthen the sense of citizenship and participation in the community.
The things that we do have a very wide range. We have projects that have to do with mapping, tools for allowing groups to do their own mapping with cameras and balloons and a technology for stitching the images together and overlaying them on maps. And then there are people who are working on financial things and so to get back to Hero Reports, started a few years ago by a grad student. She was looking for something to balance the “See Something, Say Something” campaign started after 9/11 in New York. She felt there is already a lot of fear and suspicion toward neighbors and strangers in the city. She was looking for something to raise their attention to positive things.
People can submit stories about acts of kindness or civic courage or positive things that people do so that you can remember the positive aspects of the city. It was quite successful in NY. She graduated and moved on. We’re trying to expand it to different cities in Suarez, Mexico that needs positive news. Every city has its own set of issues. We felt that Detroit would be a great city to promote a site like this.
Goal: To enroll someone in picking up the project for the Detroit area. It requires participation and ownership from community groups and use it for things that are important for the community. Looking for champions…people who would be users and those who are champions that would help publicize it and what it can do for their communities.
Ingeborg’s Background: Lifelong learner. I had a career in academia, in business and decided to go back to school to get a master’s degree in technology. I became a student at the Media Lab back in 1997, I was specializing in online communities – physical communities that use online communication to facilitate the communication in those communities. Silver Stringers projects that are publishing a monthly journal …a group of senior citizens.
Worked for several years with the Computer Clubhouse Network. Worked with youth and the tools to help them to become creative and self expression to help them learn. Not so much a computer program, but a youth development program and now I’m back at the media lab working at the Center for Future Civic Media.
Expectations: I’m interested in the intersection of local communities and technology. Will there be people there from the community in Detroit and how will the journalistic community work with them? This project Hero Reports echoes a lot of that scene.