The last ten years have been marked by change and crisis that is both exacerbated and celebrated through technology. People across the globe are increasingly called into the media production process, through the ascendance social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to affordable video cameras and smart phones. These new technologies have transformed social relations and the economy, while also having an important impact on movements for social change from Cairo to Kansas. Paradoxically however, while people have increased access to these tools, we are also living in an era of increasing social, political, and economic inequality. This is epitomized by a broad and transforming digital divide--a digital divide in which large segments of the population that have been socially and economically disenfranchised, do not have consistent and quality access to the Internet. Alongside the problem of information access, are the new and developing ways that corporations and governments are using the Internet as a tool of surveillance, censorship, and tracking. These paradoxes, at the heart of the information age, demand new strategies for research, policy, and action that prioritize technology access and adoption, community organizing, and critical technology literacy.
This panel will provide a forum for researchers, community organizers and policy-makers to come together to discuss these issues as they impact Philadelphia and beyond.
Ashley Del Bianco Program Manager, City of Philadelphia Office of Information Technology
Seeta Gangadharan, Senior Research Fellow, New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute
Melissa Gilbert, Professor and Interim Department Chair, Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University
Charles Kaylor, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University
Rebecca MacKinnon Senior Research Fellow, New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute
Bryan Mercer Media Rights and Access Organizer, Media Mobilizing Project
Moderator: Todd Wolfson Assistant Professor, Rutgers University; Co-founder of Media Mobilizing Project