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Redesigning Museums for Good

THE CONVERSION POINT

A museum is more than a collection of interesting objects.

A memorial is more than a heap or marble or stone.

Each of these types of institutions exist to serve a greater purpose. Whether it’s the British Museum or a local historical society, these organizations create an experience that is meant to inspire some action on the part of those who visit them.

For many years, museums did not take direct responsibility for the conversion point between experience and action — what visitors did after they left the gift shop was their business. But today, some institutions are thinking differently about this key component of their missions, asking tough questions about how the conversion happens and seeking new tools to make sure that it does.

THE INZOVU CURVE

Earlier this year, we went to work on behalf of an institution with an undoubtable moral mandate for action: the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda, final resting place for more than 250,000 people killed in the 1994 genocide. Aegis Trust, the organization that built and operates the memorial, wanted to make sure that visitors were offered not just a strong emotional experience at the memorial site and museum, but opportunities to help stop genocide today and in the future. So we sent a team of user experience designers to Rwanda to figure it out.

With the help of the Rwandan people, they did it. In their work the team made use of an array of resources, from experts on museum design to their own personal observations at the memorial site. But they were most inspired by the young people who visited and worked at the Kigali site. In workshops and curricula, portable posters and personal stories, the next generation of Rwandans are figuring out how to convert the story of one of history’s worst genocides into hopeful action in their own lives.

Carefully observing these young people, the designers developed a model the Kigali museum — and all museums — can use to convert profound emotional experiences into action. They nicknamed it “the Inzovu Curve” after the Kinyarwanda word for “elephant,” because the arc users travel resembles an elephant’s trunk. Visitors to a memorial or museum first descend into a state of (often painful) empathy with the victims of violence whose stories they encounter.

Many institutions simply abandon them there; the Inzovu Curve instead advises them to provide additional experiences that lift visitors into a state of compassionate action. The model also identifies specific moments of reflection and transformation that will help equip all visitors to make a difference in the world.

Eventbrite: Redesigning Museums for Good

Music Credits: “Rasputin” by HEPNOVA

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Democracy Design Foossa PURPOSE Technology

Imagine the future of organised civil society and help design the future of online debate

On 23rd June, Euclid Network and Purpose will be launching the first online discussion on the future of civil society, and we would like you to take part. The subject for this initial debate will be:

“How could civil society organisations attract more people to work and volunteer with them?”

At this stage, all we ask you to do is to click here to let us know you want to take part in the debate, and we will then contact you on Monday 23rd with a link to your debate.

The aim behind these debates is not only to gather a wide range of views on organised civil society, but to also test how new online deliberation technologies can support more robust debates and discussions than traditional platforms. In particular you will be involved in the testing of DebateHub, an innovative online debating tool developed by the Open University, which uses the Internet to harness collective intelligence.

As the tool is still in the testing stage we will be splitting participants into different testing groups, and we will present different groups with different user interfaces for online discussion. For this reason you may know someone else who is participating, but you might not be involved in the same debate group, and may not use the same debate tool.

Regardless of which test group you are in, all contributions to the debates will contribute to a unique collective picture and will be synthesized and incorporated into a report on “Imagining the Future of Civil Society”, to be published by Euclid, Purpose and the Open University. All contributors to the debates will be recognised as co-authors of the report.

In summary as a participant:

  • you will be contributing to the debate of important Civil Society issues,
  • you will help the research and development of innovative technologies for public deliberation,
  • you will be listed as co-author of a publicly available report on “Imagining the Future of Civil Society”.

We look forward to hearing from you, and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Thanks and kind regards,

Stephen J Barnett, Euclid Network
Lee-Sean Huang, Purpose
Anna De Liddo, The Open University

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Activism Art Audio China Culture Democracy HEPNOVA Human Rights

Hepnova dedicates Green Island Serenade to Ai Weiwei

HEPNOVA is dedicating our cover version of Green Island Serenade (綠島小夜曲) to jailed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. As a song that was popular in Taiwan, China, and across the Sinosphere, we think it is a poignant symbol of cross-strait solidarity. On the surface, the lyrics are a pop song about a man admiring a silent woman from afar, but it has also been interpreted by many to be a veiled protest against government censorship and oppression.

We hope you enjoy the song, learn it’s meaning, and pass it on.

You can also sign a petition by Change.org or Avaaz.org calling for Ai Weiwei’s release.

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Democracy PURPOSE Technology

Purpose @ SXSW 2011

Goodbye Oil: Accelerating the Electric Car Movement

Join leaders of the electric car movement to debate how online organizing, culture jamming, and social influence can turn electric cars into cultural icons. The only way to break our addiction to oil is to stop driving cars that use it. In 2011, mass- market electric cars will, for the first time, become a real option for everyday drivers. But common misperceptions, old habits, and powerful interests could prevent electric cars from breaking through to the mainstream.

Host: Purpose.com
Panelists: Jeremy Heimans, Nate Pinsley (Purpose.com / HelloElectric) + 2
Location: Main Festival Location at SXSW, Austin Convention Center, 6AB (340 seats)
Date: Monday March 14, 9:30 AM CST

Inspired Action: New Approaches to Saving the Planet

To make sure our grandchildren’s grandchildren have a planet to enjoy, it’s time we move past the belief that awareness is the answer. It’s time for action and solutions to come from all of us – not just environmentalists. That’s why we’re asking a few innovative minds to offer their specific solutions for how individuals, small groups and global corporations drive the change needed. It’s not another panel of usual suspects talking about the past. This session will match up experts from different backgrounds to throw their big ideas on the table and work together to mash them into workable solutions.

Hosts: FastCompany, CauseShift, PepsiCo
Panelists: James Slezak (Purpose.com), Robert Murray (National Geographic) / moderated by Scott Henderson and Ann Mai Bertelsen (CauseShift)
Location: PepsiCo Plugged-In Stage at SXSW (Austin Convention Center, Meeting Room 2) // also via webcast from FastCompany and PepsiCo
Date: Sunday March 13, 4:30 PM CST
Detail: http://plancast.com/p/48wd

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Culture Democracy Education HEPNOVA Human Rights News

Freedom Vs Security: The Struggle for Balance

Freedom Vs Security: The Struggle for Balance, the debate textbook I authored and edited with Nicholas DiBiase of Hepnova, is now available on Amazon. Special thanks to Jon Rodis and Kristopher Hartley provided additional research and editing support.

Freedom_vs_Security_The_Struggle_For_Balance