(Good) personal news

So, I got a new job. A really cool new job.

As of September, I’ll be based at the MIT Media Lab as a principal research scientist and director of the Center for Civic Media. The Center is the next generation of the “Center for Future Civic Media” founded by Henry Jenkins, Mitch Resnick and Chris Csikszentmihályi in 2007, supported by the Knight Foundation, to explore the opportunities, challenges and questions that surround communities, news and information in a digital age. The Knight Foundation announced a renewal of their support for the Center today, and we’re relaunching as the Center for Civic Media this fall. The press release announcing these changes is here, and Harvard’s Nieman Lab has an interview with me discussing about the new position.

I’m very excited about this. I’ve had the chance to be a fellow at the Center twice now, once early in the lifespan of the project, and again over the past few months, and it’s been a great opportunity to get to know people doing some amazing work at the frontiers of digital media. The Center is housed between MIT’s Media Lab and the Comparative Media Studies department, which puts an interesting challenge in front of researchers: work both to create new tools and to develop the thinking and theory behind the civic media field. I’m particularly excited by the fact that MIT’s also hired my friend Sasha Costanza-Chock, who will be co-principal investigator (along with me and Mitch Resnick) – Sasha’s done amazing work both on the theory of civic media and on projects like VozMob, a platform that lets low-income and migrant workers in LA share their stories via mobile phones.

While I’m stepping down from some of my responsibilities at the Berkman Center, I’m going to continue to be on Berkman’s Fellows Advisory Board, the group that helps put together Berkman’s incredible fellows program. And my work with Hal Roberts and the Berkman team on Media Cloud will continue as a collaboration between Berkman and Center for Civic Media.

For me, the fun really starts in the fall – for the summer, I’m holed up in western Massachusetts, working on my book. Looking forward to seeing friends at the Civic Media conference this week, and many more once I’m at the Center in the fall. Many thanks to the folks at MIT and at Knight for making this possible.

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33 Responses to (Good) personal news

  1. Nancy White says:

    Congrats- sounds like a win for all. May your imagination, intelligence and passion continue to shine. The rest of us benefit. Thanks.

  2. Ethan, congrats on this great news. I am sure you will continue to make a great impact on the world in this new position!

  3. Current MIT undergrad speaking here; delighted to see you coming to join us! Keep us posted, and congratulations!

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  5. Dan Misener says:

    Ethan, this sounds wonderful. Congratulations!

  6. hash says:

    Congrats Ethan. Can’t wait to see what you do at MIT!

  7. Juliana says:

    Congratulations Ethan! This is fantastic!

  8. lilalia says:

    Congratulations. Well deserved! What an exciting change for you and your family. Can’t wait to hear stories about your work and your colleagues insights.

  9. Ethan. You taught me what civic media really means. Congratulations.

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  11. John Palfrey says:

    Man will we miss you at the Berkman Center — but major congrats and it will be great to collaborate between 02138 and 02139 even more.

  12. Gina Dario says:

    Congratulations Ethan! It sounds like an exciting opportunity – and I’m sure you’ll be a smashing success! Hope to see you this summer in the Berkshires as we are travelling home from Indonesia for most of August. Best.

  13. Congratulations. It’s a big loss for the Berkman Center but a terrific addition to the MIT Media Lab.

  14. Dawn Danby says:

    So happy to hear this news, Ethan. Here’s to your brilliance being given a new awesome space to thrive. Warm thoughts from way out west.

  15. Chris Heuer says:

    Fantastic news Ethan. So glad for you… and the future of civic media. Please let me know how we can help. Anytime.

  16. Those are certainly great news!

    Thanks for always wharing your good work here :)


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  19. Fantastic news! Just heard about it. Congrats. What a great match.

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  21. Sam says:

    A victory for the Center!

  22. Sherry Turkle says:

    Ethan: This is the best news! I am thrilled.

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  24. Allegra says:

    Congratulations – that’s great news!

  25. Carla Coupe says:

    Wonderful news! Congratulations, Ethan. They couldn’t have chosen better.

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  28. Josh says:

    Congrats! In catching up on posts I see there’s new work all around, so mazel tov to you both.

  29. Brett McDowell says:

    I’m pretty slow on the uptake having only stumbled upon this news today, but *Congratulations* nonetheless. Will this mean a relocation East, or just more of the same commute ? We really should connect in transit sometime.

  30. Ethan says:

    More of the same, Brett. I’m looking for a small apartment somewhere in 617 so I can stay in Boston 2-3 nights a week, but home will remain in 413. And yes, very much looking forward to connecting in transit.

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