200 people convened for lively discussion. The converence asked “How can we dissolve the structures of power that produce today’s inequalities?” The goal was to identify common themes and to suggest possibilities for driving systemic change; with a focus on bottom-up approaches that can circumvent or transform today’s political dysfunction and economic inequalities to move us towards a more inclusive social and economic future.

This summit featured 10-minute ignite sessions (talk/discussion) on central topics of our time:  climate change; civic media; black lives matter; gender inequality; society and economy from anthropological and humanist perspectives; community activism and co-design; affordable DIY health solutions; and more. The final hour was an open discussion and opportunity for networking, including art and light food.  Cambridge-based Toscanini’s owner Gus Rancatore unveiled a new ice cream flavor called “This is what democracy tastes like.”

The speakers list included: Jose Gomez-Marquez (MIT, Little Devices), affordable, DIY medical technology; Christine Walley (MIT, Anthropology), Exit Zero filmmaker, US deindustrialization; Tomiko Yoda (Harvard, EALC), gender inequality in media; Alex Zahlten (Harvard, EALC), inequality and media theory; Stefan Helmreich (MIT, Anthropology), wave culture, technology, inequality; Fossil Free MIT, climate change activism; Ed Bertschinger (MIT), Institute Community Equity Officer, diversity in higher ed; Sasha Costanza-Chock (MIT, Center for Civic Media), co-design and activism; Chelsea Barabas (MIT), tech jobs and diversity; Ian Condry (MIT), launch of Billionaire Action Lab Network @ MIT (baln.mit.edu).

The event was organized by the Creative Communities Initiative (ccimit.mit.edu), a lab Ian Condry co-directs with Prof. T.L. Taylor.  The event is produced in collaboration with the MIT Solve Conference (solve.mit.edu) and HUBweek (hubweek.org), a celebration of technology, art, and innovation in the Cambridge / Boston area.  We also acknowledge the generous support of MIT Global Studies and Languages and the department of Comparative Media Studies / Writing.

Article in The Tech