From Voice to Influence: Media, Learning, and Participatory Politics

June 13, 2016
04:00 pm - 05:00 pm PDT
By Educator Innovator

In recent years, a wave of new research focused upon the interplay between participatory culture, learning, and politics has emerged from the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative and in particular, from two related research networks, The Youth and Participatory Politics Network and the Connected Learning Network. This scholarship has often focused on such core concepts as “voice” or “civic agency” and a core debate around how we help ensure that young people’s voices are not simply heard but acted upon. This webinar brought together the scholars and practitioners who contributed to the forthcoming “From Voice to Influence” special issue of the Journal of Digital Media and Literacy to ask how in- and out-of-school experiences can help young people learn to use their voices to influence social change.

This hangout was produced in support of Letters to the Next President 2.0, a project engaging youth in civic participation on issues and topics that matter to them in the US Presidential Election. It was also co-streamed at

View the Conversation

During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtags #2nextprez.

Participants for this webinar included:

  • Sangita Shresthova (host), Director of the MacArthur funded Henry Jenkins’ Media, Activism & Participatory Politics (MAPP) project based at the University of Southern California. MAPP focuses on civic participation in the digital age and includes research, educator outreach, and partnerships with community groups and media organizations, and companies.  
  • Sasha Costanza-Chock, Scholar, activist, and media-maker. Sasha is currently Associate Professor of Civic Media at MIT. He is also a Principal Investigator at the MIT Center for Civic Media,  creator of the MIT Codesign Studio, and a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.
  • Eric Gordon, Associate Professor and Director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson College. Eric is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
  • Erica Hodgin, Associate Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College and the Research Director of the Educating for Participatory Politics project, which includes four teams in three different cities exploring ways to redesign civic education for the digital age.
  • Henry Jenkins, Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts, USC.
  • Kiley Larson, Postdoctoral Scholar with the Connecting Youth: Digital Learning Research Project at NYU.
  • Ashley Lee, Doctoral candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Education and researcher with The Good Participation project at Harvard Project Zero.
  • Andres Lombana-Bermudez, Researcher and designer working at the intersection of digital technology, youth, innovation, and learning. He is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and a Research Associate with the Connected Learning Research Network.
  • Paul Mihailidis, Associate Professor, Department of Marketing Communication. Paul is also the Director of the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, a program that annually gathers scholars and students from around the world to investigate media and global citizenship.
  • Janae Phillips, Engagement Designer and Chapter Director at the Harry Potter Alliance.

Resources for this webinar:

Photo/ Garry Knight

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