Final Presentation and Next Steps

I am happy that I got the chance to grapple with creating Civic Media in a studio setting. Being exposed to how civic design is tackled from an academic and codesign standpoint opened me to some new considerations:

  1. Creative projects can have structure.
  2. There is a good deal of usefulness to legal agreements. They protect the interests and define the goals of creative projects. MOU’s are definitely things that I will look more into in the future.
  3. Everyone comes in with biases. By having structured conversations- running workshops, creating timelines, using sticky notes you can reveal some biases and problems that you may have missed.

By reading papers such as the Bespoke Project, journalism as a catalyst for change, and  seeing how other people in the class designed and worked to expose their own biases when it came to their projects I was motivated to make my project better and smarter- learning from those around me.

My final presentation, a Prezi can be seen here.

The Tech Article, The Art of Advocacy at MIT, was Published this past Tuesday!  I was able to use it to introduce myself to Jonte, the new UA President when I dropped by the UA offices yesterday afternoon.

The Next Steps are putting the work that was done this semester to good use and planning for next term. I am set to meet with Kate at the end of this week and have offered HIA’s findings and documentation as something the UA can use as they move to implement online resources for Undergrads to Use to stay updated on institute events (Tech Article advice #1: Make interactions more transparent by developing online platforms that are relevant, easy, and efficient. )


Backlash, Timing, and Reporting

This week I have done some thinking about whether my work has been an exercise in codesign or not. That results of my thoughts can be found in the course booki.

Infographic Workshop & Tech Article

Next Tuesday the Tech Article that I have been working on for HIA will go out. I received comments on the first draft from the Campus Life Editor Saturday and talked with the graphics department about the graphic I am planning- inspired by the drawing created during the Infographic Workshop held last Friday!! (pictured below)

The Discussion, Politics & Advocacy @MIT Workshop (Infographic Workshop), had a low turnout but I received a lot of bounce back –

Contacted by member of MIT’s Jewish Community Concerned that I forgot to include them along with some of the religious groups I invited to the Workshop.

Asked for an update on the findings of the workshop from MIT’s Lutheran Episcopal Ministry who I have connections with through HIA/The Technology and Culture Forum (T&C), and Director Mytty.

I was able to learn and connect with one of the exec members of Active Minds, a student mental health advocacy group just launched a post-it note campaign in the infinite this week- another example of how students are reached on campus| fun – entertaining – installations.

What I learned

It was interesting to learn about how Active Minds like Relay for Life, another successful and integrated student group is part of a nationwide organization. Most of the advocacy groups that I have run into are:

1. Off the grid: started by passionate students/friends or with the support of outsiders- nationwide organizations or churches

2. Administrative: related to the institute’s administrative offices, DSL| Division of Student Life, DUE| Department of Undergraduate Education, SAO| Student Activities Office

I had planned the workshop for the group of 6 that had RSVP’d from MITOccupy, The Forum, Active Minds, and the Black Students Union:

Instead I used Charlie’s dotstorm to take some notes and had more of a conversation learning about how Active Minds has sustained itself and how the exec member pictured his student group’s connection to the Administration and  to the student body that they hope to serve.


Key takeaways from the Workshop discussion:

MIT students can be qualified as skeptics. Unless questions are asked in the right way [forum/location] they will not be answered with the  clarity and freedom of expression that is needed to generate understanding. A number of realizations, covered in the Tech article, discuss how this quality can be leveraged.

Board Activity Outcome: MIT is structured like a bubble and the administration is on the outside. The less obvious statement is that inside the bubble there are divisions that are rarely crossed and it is the result of efficiency.

One of the most interesting statements that I have encountered during my time as an organizer for HIA is “MIT is segregated.” 
The outcome of the workshop was a bit biased because there were only two of us; however, the result, a statement that we exist within student group bubbles mimicked the . Each is really dynamic.  Reaching out and engaging deeply through reflection and work is something that occurs few and far between. There is a need for engineering in discussion- the manufacturing and start up bug in advocacy.
I think there is a lot of promise in the UA initiatives that I have learned about- making MIT Undergrads more connected by creating an online presence.
Though I argued against relying on internet platforms due to the current usage of the class websites, I believe that HIA can help make online MIT community engagement more widespread by taking the findings we have generated in studying and helping groups and students involved in service and politics/advocacy this semester.
My last actions for this year will be to schedule a meeting with Kate Mytty with the Support, Research, and now Reporting that we have done this semester we have started to make plans for working to make Charter Day happen.

Synchronized Writing & Upcoming Tech Workshop

This past week was a busy one! Ajoke and I reached out to a bunch of faculty members and staged a booki-like writing sprint (using google docs so it was only booki-like) monday night from 11 PM -1 AM. You can see the results of our labor here: HIA’s Proposal for MIT- Connecting Science & Opinion @MIT. Now we are solidifying plans for the Tech Infographic Workshop scheduled for this Friday 6-7 PM room TBD.

WakeUp Videos Posted


The videos that I have from Friday the 13th’s WakeUP event are now posted! I have to get the last few videos that are out there and then pursue loading these and pictures taken during the event onto the Student’s Occupy Boston site which I hope will continue to be the place where Occupy student groups are using to organize. I’ll be able to figure this out on Wednesday.


Successful upload

Song Interview      ||    Adwoa Interview

My SD card reader gave me problems earlier this week because my Mac did not recognize it. Fortunately, I was finally able to transfer the video files and temporarily get my card reader to work with my Mac after I had a friend in SIPB find the reader via the terminal of the Dell Athena computer. Unfortunately, after unplugging and replugging the device into my Mac my computer has stopped recognizing it.

I played more with my phone’s Bluetooth too and was able to pair my phone and computer; however, the two computers that I tried reported that my data service must not allow the needed connection- hmmm.

Uploading Media from After Phone Reporting

In last Friday’s class we talked about Jenny’s plans for her work with IBA. This led to us all doing some quick phone reporting.

I had some problems loading video off of my phone. I tried loading using email which could not take such a large file, the microSD reader I own, and bluetooth. However, I was able to load the image that I took of Song.

TOPIC: Codesign || What is it and why are we learning about it?



HIA Class Focus Reflection and Infographic Workshop Update

Last week’s review of my project gave me a lot to think about. After noticing that I was up to be reviewed, the night before the review (my bad), I had a couple of watershed realizations.

1. Things do not have to take so long!

The research itself can be an action- Journalism and Media Production.

Media is pretty much Amazing. I’ve been saying HIA’s purpose is to support, connect, and bring visibility to MIT Undergrads engaged in service and advocacy. As Sasha told me at least 3 weeks ago- the easiest and really most impactful way to build visibility is to make media| take pictures, record video, post it where people can see.  BUT I felt uncomfortable just asking people to make media. I had been advised to make some prototypes and then get the ball rolling BUT I still felt weird just asking. After some mulling around and dabbling in other pursuits (the Infographic) it made sense to me. 

Action. I and some awesome volunteers Becky Hurwitz and Pablo Rey will be taking pictures at the WakeUp MIT event #wakeupMIT and posting them to the HIA site and hopefully the OccupyMIT site.  I am also going to make an effort to take video of the individuals that I invite to the Infographic Workshop- my next ToDo item.

2. We are initializing a structure

As usual some ‘amazingness’ came out of the idea of discussion that strengthened my understanding of how HIA’s campaign fits into the larger theory of campaigning and advocacy. I have now adopted efficiency as a facet of organizing that I am considering- NOT just in quickly creating media but in thinking about what MIT really needs. Something that is beautiful about MIT is that ppl are trail-blazers. But that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t gain something from coming together instead of purely existing in the pockets that we choose to inhabit. 

Action. Include the discussion of efficiency in the Infographic Workshop.

UPDATE: I dropped by to the Tech office Sunday night. The editors and production team were really interested by the Infographic + Article! I got the chance to do some brainstorming with the Tech Team- going through my idea for the Workshop and getting some feedback about whether or not it was affective. The Workshop Google Doc is now shared with one of the Tech’s Prod Team members and I am set to send in a rough draft of the article tomorrow – some of the information in that article spawned from the advice that I received during class thanks rojelio .



Developments and Progress

This past week I publicized the infographic workshop at the HIA-PSC Service Leaders Dinner and reached out to the Tech for a second time. I am planning on running the Infographic workshop the week of May 1st after big events such as Occupy MIT’s Wake Up meeting in Killian Court and Campus Preview Weekend.

I am wondering if timing would make it more beneficial to hold the workshop before CPW, the big pre-freshman preview weekend, so that incoming freshman can get a feel for the real structure of MIT and whether they are up for the challenge of working in MIT’s Undergrad environment-scheduling – but I think it is most realistic to set the meeting for the week of the 1st. Furthermore, holding the event after the Wake Up MIT event will enable me to get bigger and more involved turnout.

After having discussions with the members of HIA and evaluating our momentum I will be focusing on the Infographic and will not be implementing the headshot campaign. This focus has led me to create a document which details some of the key findings and contradictions that come out of the all Undergraduates 2011 Survey data.

I have reached out and worked quite extensively with the Occupy MIT group. I need to re-establish links with TGBSM and the Forum along with reaching out to the Debate team and MUN in the coming week to be on task.


HIA Website Updated:

The meeting minutes page, my major focus over break includes history about the trajectory of HIA as an organization.

Hope in Action Hard Fail Reflection

I tend to be critical of my own actions so hearing the concerns and failure points brought up by members of the class was very helpful for me in making my worries concrete and therefore, manageable.

The most insightful hard fails were those that warned of the administration simply taking over the effort and using it for their sole benefit. I had never really considered that concern before so it was eye opening.

My work with admins at MIT involved in service and valuation has revealed admins to be kind hearted even if discerning. Noting that the goals of Hope in Action could be construed as a publicity stunt makes me even more dedicated to having the implementation of our mission: to increase the visibility and support for MIT students engaged in Service, Social Justice, and the local Community.


RealTime CoDesign @ OccupyHackathon2

After receiving the occupy dataset (xls), available here in more forms, three people set to work parsing through the data. Because the data was coded using SPSS, not easily human readable, everyone did a bit of preprocessing. At first this led to repeated work: using the codebook to translate individuals responses into words. After a new person arrived and those working on parsing through the data explained what they were working on it was brought to everyones attention that they were repeating some of the same work.

Now a new human readable form of the dataset has been generated.

Procedural Take Away: Multiple People working in Parallel can lead to repeated work. More sharing of process needs to occur so that things are done efficiently.