Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Losing Trust, Taking Action

02 Mar
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Tuesday, 03/02/2021 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Virtual via Zoom
Special Event
Speaker: Ethan Zuckerman

This event is part one of the two-part series presented by Ethan Zuckerman, How to Fix Social Media ... and Civic Life, and Everything Else, co-sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Information and Computer Sciences.

Abstract: Many advanced democracies are suffering from a crisis in trust: most citizens don't trust their governments to do the right thing. This is not just a crisis of confidence in government--citizens mistrust major institutions from the media to the health care system. This creates a series of challenges, from resistance to public health orders to a broad feeling of helplessness and inability to influence politics and the direction of society. Fortunately, there are strategies for social change that work even when trust in institutions is very low, which include using less-familiar levers of social change. This talk explores people making change from within and outside of institutions using strategies that change public opinion and technical architectures as well as laws. 

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Bio: Ethan Zuckerman is associate professor of public policy, information, and communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and director of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure. His research focuses on the use of media as a tool for social change, the use of new media technologies by activists, and alternative business and governance models for the internet. He is the author of Mistrust: How Losing Trust in Institutions Provides Tools to Transform Them (2020) and Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection (2013). With Rebecca MacKinnon, Zuckerman co-founded the international blogging community Global Voices. It showcases news and opinions from citizen media in more than 150 nations and 30 languages, publishing editions in 20 languages. Previously, Zuckerman directed the Center for Civic Media at MIT and taught at the MIT Media Lab. In 2000, Zuckerman founded Geekcorps, a technology volunteer organization that sends IT specialists to work on projects in developing nations, with a focus on West Africa. Previously, he helped found Tripod.com, one of the web's first "personal publishing" sites. He and his family live in Berkshire County in western Massachusetts.