Creating more trusted, effective paths for communication across divides requires technologists and humanists working together to research, design, build and test new solutions.
Organized as two connected sub-groups – a lab to conduct exploratory research and a workshop to build and support advanced prototypes – the Center works with external collaborators to pilot these systems in the field (see below for more detail).
Additionally, an important aspect of the new Center is its commitment to reach beyond academia to work closely with experienced, locally based organizations and trusted influencers across the country. These collaborations will be critical for launching pilot programs to evaluate which tools offer the greatest potential to create more trusted communication within our deeply fragmented society.
Ceasar McDowell hosts an in-person conversation for Real Talk for Change.
Faculty, Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows & Research Scientists
Trusted Influencers, Community Organizations, NGOs & Non-profits
A special CCC field collaborator is Cortico , a non-profit social technology company with the mission of bringing underheard voices to the center of a healthier public dialogue.
Founded in 2016 by Prof. Deb Roy, Russell Stevens, and Eugene Yi, Cortico maintains a unique cooperation agreement with MIT that enables collaboration on IP, prototyping, and field pilots. Prof. Roy currently serves as Cortico’s CEO and board co-chair, and Stevens as treasurer.
Cortico operates the Local Voices Network (LVN) , a speech platform designed to enable bringing communities together for listening, understanding, and sharing. The LVN platform has been at the heart of CCC/Cortico projects in Madison, in Boston, and at MIT – and will continue to be a focus of collaborative research (e.g., conversation analytics), prototyping, and pilots moving forward.
A tech-assisted coaching system, Learning Loops, for supporting kids’ narrative development that has been successfully piloted with hundreds of participants in collaboration with community organizations.
The Electome project, which helped US national newsrooms analyze and report on the public conversation about 2016 election issues as revealed in social media, and helped moderators prepare for the Presidential debates. Post-election analysis of fragmented political networks and isolation of journalists led to one of VICE News’ most-viewed stories of the year.
Beat the Virus, a coalition created in response to COVID-19, to deliver science-grounded public health guidance via social media influencers. LSM social media analytics guided the generation of over 625 million media impressions and 5.5 million engagements with no paid media.
The primary aim of the Center’s work is to create social benefit, as expressed through our Approach, Lab Projects and Field Projects. The Center also works with commercial collaborators to explore “dual use” applications of research that may be relevant to commercial interests. We only accept funding for work that is aligned with our research and project aims, with a preference for long-term funder relationships.
Founding support for the Center’s launch includes multi-year commitments from Reid Hoffman (general operating support), McKinsey & Company (for developing tools for modeling stories and audience networks), the Media Lab consortium. As it grows, the Center will continue to add funding from value-aligned philanthropic, government, and corporate organizations.