Case Study: Practical Principles to Encourage a Civic Youth Pipeline

July 24, 2014


Kids in Sayada, Tunisia working on a plan for their Community Wireless Network - Photo Credit: Ryan Gerety

When determining if a project or process was successful, frequently we look at what the outcomes were, detailed statistics about what happened, as well as thinking about if the experiment or intervention can be sustained or scaled?  More often than not though it’s the impact of the process itself that matters.

Process is a huge part of everyday life in communities. Whether you are organizing a neighborhood block party or attending a public meeting, you are engaging with the governance processes and community structures that comprise our lives. These engagement opportunities can be few and far between, and frequently lacking sufficient pathways to engage with young people. Framing each of these engagements as opportunities to enter into civic process, there is an opportunity to expand the civic pipeline for youth. This can be as simple as experimenting with including youth in the civic processes that impact their communities.

The 2014 Allied Media Conference MagicNet: Third Time’s the Charm

July 21, 2014
Pair of network installers

OTI works with Digital Stewards to construct this year’s conference-wide network.

At the 2014 Allied Media Conference, the Open Technology Institute partnered with the Detroit Digital Stewards to construct the conference-wide mesh network, MagicNet. This network provides a basic wireless connection to the Internet, as well as a platform for local applications and services for conference attendees. In previous years, OTI has led the MagicNet planning and construction as a training exercise for Digital Stewards from both Detroit and Red Hook, Brooklyn. This year, the newest round of Detroit Stewards led the process with minimal assistance from Open Technology Institute staff.

House Vote Threatens Local Broadband Initiatives

July 18, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a lot on its plate right now.

How Data Caps Are Bad For Cybersecurity

July 10, 2014

A number of high-profile tech policy issues are dominating the summer headlines, including the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable and Congressional debates about cybersecurity. But what may not be immediately apparent is how these two are related.

National Insecurity Agency: How the NSA Undermines Internet Security

July 9, 2014

On the heels of the latest NSA disclosures from The Washington Post, the Open Technology Institute hosted an event on Monday about how the agency’s programs undermine the basic security of the Internet

Build With, Not For: A #CivicTech Manifesto

July 3, 2014

Crafting high-quality civic technology — projects and tools designed withsocial impact in mind — requires thought, creativity, and intentionality — the strength to ask:

“Will this project actually have social impact? Is it being designed for the social/cultural/political context in which it will be implemented? And if not, what steps do we need to take and what people do we need to substantially involve to get there?”

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