#Recap — The 2016 Boston Civic Media Consortium

| Cathy Wissink

How can we design media and technology to make a difference?

Last Friday, the Boston Civic Media Consortium held their 2nd annual conference—this year, focused on Technology, Design and Social Impact—to examine that question. Held at NERD and sponsored by Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Engagement team, the conference brought together 200 Boston-based attendees from academia, community organizations, government and other stakeholders.

The energy was high as attendees participated in a diverse agenda, including four different tracks examining the role of civic media: civic art, inclusion and engagement, media literacy, and systems and advocacy. Much of the day was hands-on, with workshops in areas as diverse as accessibility tools, the Boston Data Portal and civics in the classroom. Lightning talks across the civic media space provided opportunities for the audience to hear in a bite-size fashion from diverse stakeholders working in media, city and state government, universities and advocacy roles. And because it wouldn’t be a conference without a panel or two, the day included those as well, on designing for inclusivity and service learning centers.


The end of the day celebrated the release of the newly-published bookCivic Media: Technology, Design, Practice”, with presentations from a number of the authors and essayists, including Eric Gordon, Paul Mihailidis, Ethan Zuckerman, Sarah Williams and Catherine D’Ignazio.


Microsoft New England is honored to play a role in convening, sharing and celebrating the depth and the interconnectedness of the Boston civic space, and look forward to next year’s event!

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Visit the Boston Civic Media Hackpad for live notes from the consortium here.

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Cathy Wissink

Cathy embraces what others may tend to avoid. Kale? Loves it. Bugs? Enthralled by them. A cross country bike ride? No problem for Cathy. Solving some of society’s most critical issues by working with everyone from tech leaders to politicians to community leaders? Bring it on.