New_Public Explores How Online Spaces Could Bring Us Together in Innovative Project
“After this historically divisive election, it’s imperative that we design digital spaces that help us come together - as communities and as a nation. Thriving societies require flourishing public spaces, and the design of our online spaces greatly shapes our public conversations and sense of national identity,” said Eli Pariser, co-founder and co-director of Civic Signals. “Our current, privately-owned digital spaces are not optimised for these public purposes, and this poses a grave danger to our ability to collectively identify and solve social problems. Through New_Public, we hope to change this current trajectory by bringing together the builders of new spaces and pushing forward conversations around how we can redesign online public spaces that are equitable, and allow people to encounter, discover and negotiate differences. This work is too important to be left to platform companies alone. We aim to amplify the growing chorus demanding a public role in designing and maintaining the online spaces that have become the new public squares.”
“As the global pandemic continues to keep societies physically distanced, social interactions have increasingly moved online. Now more than ever, we need online public spaces that are safe and welcoming to everyone, and that connect people in ways that foster belonging and cohesion,” said Talia Stroud, co-founder and co-director of Civic Signals. “Rather than continuing to perpetuate the isolation of opinions, digital spaces should be well-designed to allow contention to exist, while still ensuring those conflicts are productive by helping people understand each other, and supporting people’s ability to act together.
Crafted by Civic Signals and Lucky Post, 'We Are New_Public: The Light.' reflects what it means to have democratic public digital spaces to share information and ideas with people of all backgrounds. Lucky Post was honoured to collaborate on this important launch video using a variety of animation and design techniques to reflect diversity, connection, support and innovation.
As part of its efforts to build and promote more responsible digital spaces, New_Public is launching a newsletter and magazine, led by new editor in chief, Marina Garcia-Vasquez, previously with Artsy, Vice Media and the Wall Street Journal. The New_Public newsletter will be published weekly, with the purpose of convening and curating important conversations happening in the public spirited tech space and to shine a light on the people leading the way. Additionally, New_Public will be launching pop-up community spaces and a Discord channel for the New_Public community to meet, connect and engage with each other.
“Successful online public spaces require ongoing collaboration, not just from designers and technologists, but also from social scientists, the communities they serve, and those who will care for them,” said Marina. “With New_Public we will look to bring disparate groups together over salient themes to effectuate conversations about what these redesigned digital spaces could look like.”
To advance this effort, New_Public has convened an editorial board comprised of 11 leaders in the civic tech conversation, who will help shape the conversation around how we can rebuild online public spaces: Doug Rushkoff, media theorist, author and documentarian; Astra Taylor, documentary filmmaker, writer, political organiser and co-founder of the Debt Collective; Malkia Devich-Cyril, activist, writer, public speaker and senior fellow at MediaJustice; Dipayan Ghosh, pozen fellow and co-director of the Platform Accountability Project at the Shorenstein Centre on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School; Caroline Sinders, machine-learning-design researcher and artist; Sara Hendren, artist, design researcher, writer and associate professor at Olin College of Engineering; Aleks Krotoski, broadcast journalist, author and academic; Kamal Sinclair, executive director of the Guild of Future Architects; Vanessa Mason, research director at the Institute for the Future; Margarita Noriega, news editor, social media expert and VP of engagement for CalMatters; and Meredith Clark, journalist and assistant professor in Media Studies at the University of Virginia.
Client: Civic Signals
Co-Director: Eli Pariser & Talia Stroud
Chief of Staff: Neelam Sakaria
Creative Director: Romy Nehme
Executive Producer: Erin Germain
Post Production: Lucky Post
Creative Director, Writer, Director, Editor: Sai Selvarajan
Animation: Seth Olson, Jake Odgers
Audio: Scottie Richardson
Executive Producer: Jessica Berry
Category: Awareness , Corporate, Social and PSAs