allisonfine.jpgAllison Fine has been a successful nonprofit entrepreneur at local and national levels for more than 15 years successfully starting new organizations, raising funds, building organizational collaborations and helping to lead a sea of change in the way that nonprofit organizations organize themselves and successfully engage their communities in social change efforts. She has consistently worked towards her strong belief in the need for reducing barriers to participation in community life. Attempting to unravel the mysteries of how, when and why citizens are involved and engaged in community and governmental affairs continues to be the focus of her work. In 1992 Allison started a national nonprofit, Innovation Network, Inc. (InnoNet), dedicated to teaching and expanding the use of participatory methods for ongoing learning and improvement by activist organizations. If you are interested in planning and evaluation tools, information and connecting with others wrestling with these issues, go to In 2004, Allison became the C.E.O. of the E-Volve Foundation. E-Volve provides seed grants for online democracy and activism efforts. More recently she has focused on writing and public speaking focused on increasing civic participation by harnessing the power of digital technology.

Eszter Hargittai is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Faculty Associate of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwester University where she heads the Web Use Project. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University where she was a Wilson Scholar. Her research focuses on differences in people’s digital media uses, skills and participation with particular interest in how IT may contribute to o alleviate social inequality. She is regularly quoted in the media including, among others, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today and most recently the September 2008 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. In 2006-07, she was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. This year, she is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Howard RheingoldHoward Rheingold is the author of:
Tools for Thought
The Virtual Community
Smart Mobs
► Editor of Whole Earth Review
► Editor of The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog
► Founding Executive Editor of Hotwired
► Founder of Electric Minds
► Non-resident Fellow, Annenberg Center for Communication, USC, 2007

Participatory Media and Collective Action (UC Berkeley, SIMS, Fall 2005, 2006, 2007 ). More information here.
Virtual Community/Social Media (Stanford, Fall 2007, UC Berkeley, Spring 2008)
► Toward a Literacy of Cooperation (Stanford, Winter, 2005)
Digital Journalism (Stanford University Winter, 2005, 2006, 2007 )

► Visiting Professor, De Montfort University, UK

The Cooperation Project
Participatory Media Literacy
HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation grantee

what it is is up to us

Joseph Kahne is currently the Abbie Valley Professor of Education and Dean of the School of Education at Mills College. He studies the democratic purposes of education and urban school reform. He is currently conducting a statewide study of the civic/democratic commitments, capacities, and activities of high school students in California and of the distribution and impact of school-based opportunities that aim to develop citizens for democratic citizenship. He is also conducting a longitudinal study of the civic implications of young people’s use of the internet and other forms of digital media. He is just completing (co-directed with John Easton of the Consortium on Chicago School Reform) a three year study of Chicago’s high schools and the small school reform effort in particular. Recent publications include: “Democracy for Some: The Civic Opportunity Gap,” co-written with Ellen Middaugh and “What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy” in the American Education Research Journal and co-written with Joel Westheimer. For pdf’s of his papers and other information, see

Peter Levine Peter Levine is Director of CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. CIRCLE is part of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, but will move to Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service in 2008. Levine graduated from Yale in 1989 with a degree in philosophy. He studied philosophy at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving his doctorate in 1992. From 1991 until 1993, he was a research associate at Common Cause. In the late 1990s, he was Deputy Director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal, chaired by Senator Sam Nunn and William Bennett. He is a member of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium’s steering committee (, a co-founder of the National Alliance for Civic Education (, and former chair of the Executive Committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools ( Levine is the author of The Future of Democracy: Developing the Next Generation of American Citizens (University Press of New England, June 2007), three other scholarly books on philosophy and politics, and a novel. He also co-edited The Deliberative Democracy Handbook (2006) with John Gastil and co-organized the writing of The Civic Mission of Schools, a report released by Carnegie Corporation of New York and CIRCLE in 2003 (

tonystreit.jpgTony Streit, Director of the YouthLearnInitiative at Education Development Center, is a leader in the fields of youth development, media and technology. Prior to joining EDC, he was Co-Founder and Co-Director of Street-Level Youth Media in Chicago, an organization that he helped build into a nationally recognized youth development model integrating information technology access and the media arts. Tony is an experienced filmmaker, media artist and instructor who has designed and led project-based learning activities with youth for over thirteen years. As Special Projects Coordinator for five years at Community TV Network, also in Chicago, Tony facilitated the production of more than 100 episodes of the youth produced “Hardcover” television series and oversaw numerous award-winning productions, including the Emmy nominated documentary “Youth on Racism”. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelors degree in Communications and Economics, Tony also conducted graduate work in Documentary Film at Columbia College Chicago. For the last nine years, Tony has been an active member of Community Technology Centers Network (CTCNet), and is currently the Board Treasurer. He also helped found the first regional chapter of CTCNet in Chicago where he served as Co-Chair of the Local Board. Current projects include consultation and technical assistance to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Time Warner Foundation, serving as a Co-PI on the EDC based ITEST Learning Resource Center funded by the National Science Foundation, and designing professional development efforts with EDCâ•˙s dot-EDU Initiative for the USAID where he recently traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tony is a frequent speaker on youth development, community technology and media and has most recently presented at Foundation Inc. Beyond The Classroomˇ National Afterschool Conference.


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