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Examples of resources from the MIT Center for Future Civic Media
Here are some of civic-media resources MIT will bring to Detroit:
- Hero Reports, in the form of a website, is a security campaign that reports civic courage. It asks citizens to report moments when others make a difference. Acknowledge those stand up, not in fear, but in hope. These can be small acts of kindness. Giving up a seat for a pregnant woman, holding the door for another. Or actions at times of crisis. The hero who picks up a fallen child, the bystander who assists in a car accident. This is the civic courage that also keeps us safe.
- Helping street vendors leverage the social networks they have built
- Amplifying the community-building role that street vendors play in their neighborhoods
- Providing a means for street vendors to receive additional job skills training
extrACT (Landman Report Card)
- ExtrAct, a set of Internet-based, databasing, mapping and communications technologies for communities impacted by natural gas development, is a novel platform for community education and civic action. (This may not be directly relevant to Detroit communities, but is an excellent case-study in community action. See: http://www.landmanreportcard.com/
Department of Play
- The Department of Play initiative aims to develop easy-to-use, open-source digital toolkits with corresponding curricula and pedagogical guidance to support youth-led active exploration, participatory learning, and civic engagement among children and adolescents in their neighborhoods. http://departmentofplay.org/
- Red Ink is web based personal finance software that enables individuals to apply collective knowledge to their own consumption behavior. How might communities use it? The website (in development) provides constituencies with tools to collectively measure the effect of their economic power as it relates to specific industries and businesses, while maintaining privacy for individual users. Up until now, accounting of this nature has been vague or unavailable. More accurate spending data will be a valuable lever for organizations involved in collective action, collective bargaining, and fundraising.
- Low-cost tools made from readily available materials like trash bags and inexpensive cameras can be used to create maps of local communities. Best of all, community members can learn to do the mapping themselves and provide more detail than the satellite maps available on Google maps.
MIT Center for Future Civic Media
20 Ames Street E15-320M
Cambridge MA 02139