Grassroots social activism

Johnson, Lippman, Gensler

Credits:
3 participant
6 project submission

Description

Democracy thrives when the public is actively knowledgeable about and active in civic and political activities.  Past trends show less participation; only 40% of eligible voters turn out for the typical mid-term election.  This course will explore the current environment via guest speakers and students will create applications designed to get out the vote.  In particular, we will explore independent, viral activities that can be done by individuals and non-affiliated groups.  Students will form teams, develop a scheme and test is in the November elections.

Suggested speakers:
Zynep Tupeki
Someone from the Cortez campaign
Detroit Digital Justice Coalition
Sasha from Civic (Via Britney)
Daniel Hopkins (The Increasingly United States)
Boxel (Talk Radio paper)
Don Green (Mid-term advisor)
Marshal Ganz (Assessment)

Sample projects in preparation:

Poltico-Mosaic
Goal/means: Provide a visualization that encourages political organization and action.  Akin to the  Reddit 24 hour mosaic, we automatically fill in squares in a visualization based on activities such as canvassing, dropping literature, selfies in action, etc.

Test: Can be as an adjunct to other projects or stand-alone.  Comparative test.

Software: Photomosaics, location-based canvass app, back end, badges?

Have: ???

Category: Organizational, gamelike


Flashvote
Goal/means: “Friends don’t let friends vote alone.”  A meet-up app to organize people to vote in groups and get others to join.

Test: Compare with past turnout; demographic analysis

Software: Social Network interface, messaging

Have: Messaging app skeleton, check access to contacts

Category: Viral, decentralized

FoodNet
Goal/means Geo-based distribution of food (or other).  Encourage community participation.  People indicate available items, others come and get them.

Test: Depends on context

Software: Decentralized messaging work in progress

Category: Viral


MedRec for orgs
Goal/means: Tool for organizations to organize and unify approach to people and rewards for their actions.  Feedback to members and merit badges for work in any participating org.

Test: None

S/W: Medrec adapted to political orgs; politicoin implementation

Have: Medrec; coin under development

Category: Game for users, utility for orgs

Boycott/Aggravate
Goal/Means: Suite of ideas for punishing businesses that support activities the user doesn’t like.  Could color your receipt for affiliation of the products.  Not a protest, a boycott.

Test: None

S/W: Product data?  Rating data?  Create app

Category: ?