Feed your brain with science and media policy schools

Are you a student or professional planning your next infusion of knowledge? Well, I have two opportunities that I would like to highly recommend.

Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute

Oxford university gate
The diverse global group of practitioners, governmental and research colleagues really altered my perspective on the internet(s) and media. As someone who is building a career in digital response and humanitarian technology it is so important to be as open as possible to the viewpoints. It truly gave me a new lens and some policy frameworks to consider as I build programmes. (Class of 2012)

The Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute, held annually since 2004, brings together young scholars and regulators from around the world to discuss important recent trends in technology and its influence on information policy.

The objective of the program is to help prepare, motivate, encourage and support students and practitioners who aspire to pursue a career in a media-related field, may it be in academia, business or in policy-related fields. Applications are welcomed from students and practitioners working in communications, media, law, policy, regulation, and technology.

Registration for Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Institute is due by April 4, 2016.

Earth Observation Summer School

Space and Science. This August I have the honour of teaching about citizen-engaged programmes and crowdsourcing for science at the biannual Earth Observation Summer School. There are 60 spots open. Applications are due by April 6, 2016.

Boy and the world image

The two-week course, held in ESA/ESRIN (near Rome, Italy) during August (typically every two years) aims to provide students with an integrated end-to-end perspective going from measurement techniques to end-user applications. Courses include lectures covering issues related to Remote Sensing, Earth System Modelling and Data Assimilation as well as hands-on computing exercises on the processing of EO data. Students have the opportunity to present their work during a poster session. The three best posters will receive an award from the European Meteorological Society (EMS). Keynote lectures on global change issues are also given to discuss the current state of the science of global change and its relationship to society in order to help students appreciate how their specific field fits into a broader scientific and political context.

Register for Earth Observation Summer School by April 6, 2016

(Photos of Oxford and San Francisco statue taken by Heather Leson)


Apply: Annenberg – Oxford Media Policy Institute

 Watching Aung San Suu Kyi

Lined up along High Street, we stood in anticipation: the ANOX students with BBC camera crews and other well wishers. Aung San Suu Kyi was at University of Oxford to receive an honorary civil law doctorate. The moment strike me as indicative of why the Annenberg – Oxford Media Policy Institute program was one of the most important programs of my career thus far. Attendees were from around the world with diverse backgrounds in media policy, human rights, internet governance, academia, activism and more. We had spent hours in classrooms and pubs talking about media policy and rights. But, collectively on our lunch break we watched as Aung San Suu Kyi walked by after the ceremony. The afternoon was spent learning about Burma from a Burmese student as well as discussing the context of media policy in China.

The Annenberg – Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute is seeking applicants for its 15th year. I highly recommend that you apply. The program is very competitive with only 30 spots and over 1000 applicants in 2012.

Why I think you should apply:

  • Learn about Media Policy from television to cable to radio to publishing to Internet
  • Meet and share with brilliant, radically diverse global minds in an interdisciplinary setting
  • Be introduced to a mix of media policy theory and on the ground implementation
  • Get Challenged about countries, media law policy and the complexities of local and global spheres

Click here to apply and learn more:

Related posts:
What kind of Internet do you Want

Studying at Oxford


What kind of Internet do you want?

The Internet is our community garden, our public space and our workshop. Every day I work with people around the world who create maps and technology for good. A free and open Internet invites this collaboration beyond borders, religion, politics and societal barriers.

Crisismappers, particularly, conflict mappers do some of the bravest and scariest acts of Open Internet Activism. They take my breath away giving voice to the dispossessed, documenting atrocity and informing the world. Two such mapper groups are Syria Tracker and Women Under Siege Syria. Reports of a full communications shutdown in Syria takes away their voice. They should have the right to voice. We should protect their right to voice. What will the impact of this outage be on their important work?

Lauren Wolfe, Director of Women Under Siege, was interviewed a few months ago by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s The Current (audio) about this project and their verification process.

Women Under Siege

The Syrian Internet shutdown was reported as I was writing this post about why the ITU and WCIT need to open their doors and not make decisions on behalf of the globe. More about this from the Mozilla andGoogle’s Take Action sites.


What kind of Internet do you want?


At Mozilla Festival, we remixed video with Mozilla Popcorn. You can Make your own ITU activism video. There is something magical about being able to remix our web and amplify our voices. Webmaking is the kind of Internet that #freeandopen encourages and supports. It is the type of community space that allows for more voices to be heard and to interact. Creating the web is supporting it to exist.

Security and the Internet

Today the CBC posted an article: “Should the UN Govern the Internet“. They interviewed Citizen Lab’s Ron Deibert about his thoughts:
“the recurring push at the ITU to wield more control over the web is part of a bigger trend “towards greater state control of cyberspace and an older internationally governed system of telecommunications.””

I’ve been much inspired by the work of Citizen Lab over the past year. They fight the good fight with data and analysis about security. And, they’ve provided Ushahidi and myself some valuable help as I work to guide people through various security questions with technology. We need to be very mindful about What kind of Internet we are accepting and what kind of Internet exists. Ron’s TEDxToronto talk should be mandatory for any activist and Internet user.

Voices of Access, Infrastructure

Internet access is a growing human right. Attending Annenberg-Oxford’s Media Policy Summer Institute gave me an opportunity to meet citizens from around the world who study, work or are activists for media policy. Learning first hand about walled gardens and the advocacy of this type of “Internet” provided much framing for what kind of Internet other people might want. It was a rich discussion which could use a deeper study. Why do people support a closed internet? Who are they?

Working and volunteering in a space of Internet and mobile activism for technology and maps for social good, I’ve collected a number of maps that range from sentiment and demand for access, infrastructure reports, power outages and even how SMS campaigns are being used for ICT4D. Each is a unique project, but they collectively show how we could potentially map voices/stories and use this data to analyze with layers of hard data. We need to find new ways to use our technical might to show where access is and provide the qualitative feedback for “why”.

Launching an global map for stories about access and benefits of a free and open Internet would be a mighty task needing more than a few strong people. Perhaps not this time without a little help from friends. With Random Hacks of Kindness this weekend, it might even be feasible to consider? The question is: How can a map unite our common cause for the Internet we want or, even, open a dialogue about the different versions of an Internet?

Example Maps about Access, Voice and Infrastructure

Bring SuperFast Broadband to Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire (UK)
Reporting Mobile Coverage in Sweden
3G Fail in Brazil
SMS in action (Global)
Wimax Monitoring in Italy
Infrastructure issues after Hurricane Sandy (USA)
Powercuts (India)


(At Ushahidi, I write frequently about our community of deployers who give voice around the world during times of crisis, for elections, and for civil society topics varied from corruption to environmental movements to human rights to violence against women. )


Studying at Oxford

Everywhere I turn there is storied history and a sense of inspired education. For the next two weeks, I am a student at University of Oxford as part of the Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute.

The Institute has 30 participants from around the globe, many journalists, academics and a few civil society/NGOs. I’m completely inspired by their work already. We are each one of 1000 selected to share in this experience.


It did not really strike me that I was 1. studying at Oxford and 2. at Oxford until I walked by the Bodelian. I’ve been so engrossed with work (Election Hackathon and Open Internet of Things Assembly) that the shock set in walking down Turl Street. Then after reading the brochure, I realized that Harry Potter and Lawrence of Arabia have deep roots on these grounds. I imagine I will be able to explore at some point.

For now, back to braining!

© Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved