Daily Archive for January 6th, 2011

The Future of Civic Media

Alexa Mills of MIT’s CoLab, Andrew Whitacre of MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media and I hatched an idea to start a Q&A triangle where each of us asks questions through the lens of our program. Here’s the first in a series of two where I asked Andrew questions about C4.

Center for Future Civic MediaThe MIT Center for Future Civic Media creates and deploys technical and social tools that fill the information needs of communities. We are inventors of new technologies that support and foster civic media and political action; we are a hub for the study of these technologies; and we coordinate community-based test beds both in the United States and internationally.

KM: How does C4 identify areas that can use civic media technology and tools — and then, translate that knowledge into action?

AW: Areas can mean both geography and intellectual spaces. So we constantly evaluate our strengths, needs, and interests and seek out community partners that are a good fit in terms of the setting and the problem being addressed.

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6 MIT Ventures Among 2011 Echoing Green Semifinalists

It is always inspiring to see the transformation of nascent ideas into growing ventures, and this year’s Echoing Green Finalists are no exception. Among some of the exciting ideas – including a vehicle designed and produced in Africa called Mobius – are six ventures that began at, or have been advanced at, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Here’s a quick summary of these outstanding young initiatives:

  • Community Water Solutions. Community Water Solutions is a non-for-profit social enterprise that partners with rural communities in developing countries to establish sustainable water treatment businesses. These businesses are owned and operated by the communities that they serve, and use simple, affordable technologies to enable the treatment, distribution, and storage of clean, safe drinking water. The maintenance and operation of these water treatment businesses is funded by revenue from the sale of drinking water, while the capital necessary to establish them is generated from CWS fundraising activities. Learn more at: www.communitywatersolutions.org.