Photo Credit: Flickr user TEDxHonolulu
Knight Foundation is convening its first summit today on the theme of Technology for Engagement, bringing together leaders and innovators to “think together” about lessons learned and what’s next.
Co-hosted by MIT Media Lab and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the “unconference” is designed to give thought leaders in the field a rare platform to compare experiences, speak openly about successes and failures and identify areas for collaboration. Participants will collectively set the agenda and goals and define topics for discussion for the 24-hour event.
The summit marks a new milestone for Knight’s Technology for Engagement Initiative, launched in 2010 to fund better ways to harness the power of technology for community engagement. The initiative asks: Beyond clicks and comments, how can people use the Internet, online social networks, apps, and mobile devices to take “real life” action and improve their communities?
Over the last two years, Knight Foundation has funded more than a dozen organizations to experiment with possible answers. Initial grantees included Code for America, a “Peace Corps for Geeks” and Community PlanIt, a platform that uses gaming to involve citizens in community planning efforts.
Many of the fund’s grantees are attending this week’s summit, including Jennifer Pahlka of Code for America, Eric Gordon of Community PlanIt, Lee Fisher of CEOs for Cities, and Nancy Lublin of DoSomething.org.
Joining them in the unconference are Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, Ethan Zuckerman, director of MIT’s Center for Civic Media, Urs Gasser, executive director of the Berkman Center, Benjamin Stokes, co-founder of Games for Change, and others.
While the discussion topics have yet to be decided, they are likely to address key themes emerging in the field: