MAS.720, 15.234 (6 Units)
Meets Thursdays 6:30-8PM via zoom. Project help sessions will be scheduled individually.
Here is the Canvas site for more information.
From massive upheavals great ideas emerge. Let's use class to surface the issues and approaches.
Congrats to all for the great energy and originality in each project. The projects were prototypes that can go further. And some will. Stay tuned!
A functioning democracy requires the knowledgeable participation of its citizens. In the US, this is of paramount importance in a presidential election year. In 2020, we face the unprecedented situation where a pandemic will obviate many of the normal ways by which candidates persuade and mobilize voters. For Fall, 2020, Scalable Civic Action will concentrate on projects that people to vote.
In past years, some of the project work in this course has been involved local, grassroots community organizations and tools to help them function more efficiently. Due to COVID-19, this year will be different: Instead of wearing out sneakers, we will have to wear out keyboards; face-to-face will mean screen time as much as physical canvassing; and the combination of local and national elections may redefine what we consider a community and its issues. The goal is to learn how to effectively organize groups for dedicated action of all sorts using the presidential election as a testbed.
The class is comprised of weekly meetings at which we will discuss issues and techniques. This will be via presentations from faculty and invited guests. We will also set up project teams that will develop and test mobilization techniques. Resources include available social media and purpose-built software. The target audience is graduate students and advanced undergraduates.
Target audience: graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The project teams will be hands-on and cross-functional using tools developed at the Media Lab.
-30 percent class participation, including all kinds of contributions to the discussion and interaction with guests
-70 percent group project, including points for presentations, professional interactions with faculty and Media Lab mentors, and final materials. Also important: documenting exactly what you have done and, if appropriate, making these materials available more broadly.
Auditors will be permitted, however to earn credit for this class, you must join a team and see a project through to completion.
All presentations will be moderated by a main host, either Simon or Andy. A secondary host (either Simon or Andy) will follow the chat carefully.
|3 Sept||via Zoom||Introduction: Action, Invention, Campaigns, News, what ties it together.||1-7|
|10 Sept||via Zoom||Structure of projects; The engine of organization; the power in locality|
|17 Sept||via Zoom||Donald Green, mobilization techniques and assessment||8,9|
|24 Sept||via Zoom||Marshall Ganz, activism||10|
|1 Oct||via Zoom||Project Progress meeting|
|8 Oct||via Zoom||Daniel Hopkins, scope of issues||11|
|15 Oct||via Zoom||Levi Boxell, polarization||12,13,16|
|22 Oct||via Zoom||Kade Crockford||14,15|
|29 Oct||via Zoom||Aliya Bhatia||17|
|5 Nov||via Zoom||Post-election review||Your Choice|
|12 Nov||via Zoom||Paul Cheng||TBD|
|19 Nov||via Zoom||Daniel Curtis||18,19|
|3 Dec||via Zoom||Final Presentations, class time extended to suit||None|
Additional readings of interest:
Please arrange to have either Simon or Andy as mentors for your project and schedule a weekly meeting with the mentor to track progress.
|10 September||Initial Proposal||Form your team and fill out the google doc form here|
|8 Oct||Design Presentation||Present Design sketches and testing plan|
|29 Oct||Progress Report||Present progress in class meeting|
|5 Nov||Review in the context of the election||Preliminary results|
|12 Nov||Present suggestions for next steps|
|19 Nov||Tabulated results||Analysis of success or failure|
|3 Dec||E62-450||Project poster and demo dinner|
Andrew Lippman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Johnson, email@example.com
Michelle Fiorenza, firstname.lastname@example.org