🏖️ Beach Reads and Survey Reflections
It seems that we have inadvertently started a new tradition. For the past two years, we have sent our newsletter readers a survey in July. So, keeping this tradition, it’s time to share this year’s survey!
Also, we’ve gathered our version of a summer beach reading list and asked each of our three interns what excites them about healthy digital spaces.
The 2022 Survey
The 2022 SurveyOur New_ Public extended community continues to enlighten and inspire us, we highly value your input on how we can best share ideas through this newsletter to serve the broader community. So, please, if you have a few minutes, go through our brief (10 minutes or less) survey.
😎The future looks bright
Welcome to our interns!
We continue to be impressed by young people who envision a career in building healthy digital spaces. So, we’ve asked our new interns to share what drew their interest to work in this emerging field. Their answers? So inspiring! Please give ‘em a warm welcome.
“The inescapable truth is that we are growing into an increasingly digital world. Technology has become a central essence of how we live and has a role in almost everything we do. Many mixed emotions arise as these new forms of tech and media are created — a colorful combination of newness, excitement, possibility, and uncertainty.
As an avid advocate of equity, inclusivity, and authenticity, I am elated to leverage my experiences and knowledge of community building and organizing to help design the online environments we each truly deserve. Ones that consist of compassion and collaboration. Entering the world of building new digital realms with New_ Public is such an exciting opportunity to explore methods of creating healthy, sustainable, and community-centered spaces that extend beyond the screens and into our humanity. Now more than ever, it is time for us to reclaim our place in digital architectures and help pave the way for future generations to feel a sense of security and empowerment as technology evolves”.
"Something Deepti said last week stands out to me, which is that New_ Public hopes to act as a “lighthouse” to show what is possible in this broader, emerging space. There are many aspects of New_ Public’s work that resonated with me, but I think this commitment to not only have a vision of digital public spaces but also to building community around it is especially exciting. Witnessing the energy the team brings to that commitment and getting to be a part of it has been inspiring these first couple of weeks!
There’s also the sense that this is a pivotal time to reimagine digital spaces – we see new examples every day of how our digital sphere interacts with our politics and culture. The need for new frameworks that are oriented around democracy is readily apparent. Simultaneously, I think an interdisciplinary approach is critical to the way we conceptualize these problems and possible alternatives, and I’m excited that New_ Public is dedicated to both learning from and convening different voices”.
”Technology is here to stay, but so are the human ways of living developed over centuries of interactions and urbanization. So it is becoming clearer to me that we should be engaging in more conversations that connect the parallels between designing for physical public spaces and designing for a genuinely inclusive web that we’d like to see!
I am excited to work with New_ Public and healthy digital spaces because of this work's multidisciplinary and community-focused nature. Building these types of mindful spaces involves nuanced inputs from nearly all disciplines, from urban studies and sociology to computer science and user experience design. It requires co-creation to make these spaces accessible to all. Evidently, it is invigorating”.
6 Beach Read Links + a Bonus Summer Playlist
Wherever you may be this summer – whether you are working full-time, studying for the semester, or taking some much-needed time off – our list of summer reads will guarantee you a sweet little getaway.
This curated list of links shines a light on creating healthy digital spaces, uplifting community, and celebrating the season!
Think of it as your multimedia vacay to celebrate the sunrays.
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow | Nonfiction novel
Throw out your assumptions about society for this deeply researched book on the nightstands of a few folks on the New_ Public team. This summer’s zeitgeist is clearly focused on reflecting and reimagining how we view community and exist within society. Graeber and Wengrow venture back in time to explore the origins of civilization and human livelihood while illustrating the many possibilities for the future of society. (Enjoy indulging in this book and others listed by borrowing the eBook from your local library via the Libby app.)
Entangled Life | Merlin Sheldrake | Nonfiction novel
If summer is your time to reconnect with the earth, like really dig your feet into the soil, this one's for you. The book jacket description intrigued us immediately, “Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster”. Sheldrake poetically weaves a fascinating tale of the nature of fungi and its prevalence in connecting plants to one another, creating what he describes as the “Wood Wide Web.” Who knew that fungi grew to become so foundational?
Getting To The Root of It: Connection in a Digital World with Annika Hansteen-Izora | Podcast
Living in a digital world as a person of color often feels exclusionary since most of our most commonly used platforms and systems are not built to suit their needs, nor the diversity and wholeness of our identities. In this episode of Getting to the Root of It, host Niki Franco (also known as Venus Roots) has a vivid discussion with Annika Hansteen-Izora (Head of Design at Somewhere Good) about the importance of Afro-Futurism, and prioritizing safety, inclusivity, and care while existing alongside and within the algorithms.
Abolition X: X Tech Dr. Safiya Noble & Brotha C, Incarcerated Coder | Podcast
This podcast is an immersive listening experience for everyone curious about tech ethics and how to use digital tools to uplift others. Have you ever wondered about the effects of technology on systems of oppression and the security of our communities? Have you ever learned about the experiences of an incarcerated coder? This podcast unveils information to answer all of the questions about digital wellbeing that you may not have even considered yet!
Citizen Jane: The Battle for the City | Altimeter Films | Documentary
Yes, yes, The Death and Life of the American City is on the syllabus of every urban studies major, but this documentary is the quintessential David and Goliath story about saving our cities – and, frankly, has been on our list for a while. It has all the drama, emotion, and humanity as it delves into issues that resonate as profoundly analogous with building healthy digital spaces. Plus, Jane Jacobs is fierce.
Oprah’s Masterclass Series: Dr. Maya Angelou | YouTube Playlist
Dr. Maya Angelou drops some gorgeous gems of inspiration and guidance (as she always does) in these powerful clips from Oprah’s Masterclass. Her wisdom reminds us that our humanity and compassion, for ourselves and others, is a crucial element for building any community that creates space for people to thrive – especially in the digital age.
Summer Jams | Jasmine Lewis | Spotify Playlist|
Music is one of our most powerful resources for joy, comfort, and collective empowerment. Here is a playlist curated by New_ Public intern Jasmine Lewis to use as the soundtrack for all of your community gatherings (from digital get-togethers to Saturday afternoon barbeques), road trips, and solo dance parties during the months when the sun beams the brightest.
What’s on your list for the summer? Drop your finds in the comments. We’ll continue to gather for future book clubs and link lists.
Community Cork Board
Tuesday Open Thread: Join us on Tuesday at 12 PM ET as we go slow: What do you think we can learn from the slow food movement and slowing down for summer that we can build into healthier digital spaces?
Unfinished Virtual Salon on Wednesday, July 13, from 2-3 pm ET, New_ Public's Deepti Doshi will join Claudia Peña, Executive Director of For Freedoms, Prakash Janakiraman, Co-Founder and Chief Architect of Nextdoor, and Pia Mancini Co-Founder and CEO of Open Collective to explore: How can we reimagine digital tech to build a thriving multiracial democracy? Click here to sign up.
And stay tuned for a special Unfinished Live discount for New_ Public newsletter subscribers in the upcoming issue.
Virtual Career Open House: On July 22, 1-2 pm EDT, New_Public’s Deepti Doshi will host a recruiting open house for technical talent. This is your chance to learn more about our mission and the opportunities for you to be a vital part of building new healthy digital public spaces. RSVP to get the zoom link.
Jobs: We have several excellent job postings open, including for a Head of Editorial. Do you have a deep-seated journalistic curiosity and an instinctual need to cross-pollinate multidisciplinary stories in weird and wonderful ways? Join us!
Contributing writers: If you are interested in being a contributing writer for one of our upcoming issues, please let us know.
Catching a summer breeze, we’ll be back on July 24!
- Guest Editors Deb and Jasmine
Illustration by Josh Kramer, Photo by Angelica Quicksey
New_ Public is a partnership between the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas, Austin, and the National Conference on Citizenship, and was incubated by New America.
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