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Spring 2016 Workshops

April 13 & 21, MIT Media Lab


By all accounts, we have entered a new phase of digital connectivity. All aspects of society have come to rely on our global communications systems. There is no shortage of promise-and-peril visions of this future, but as we teeter on the brink of impact, a key question we’re left with is, how’s it going to work?

This question is a matter of infrastructure—viewed by many as something subordinate, separate, and most of all, boring and uncool. But you can’t play in the future without understanding the Internet as infrastructure—technological, economic, regulatory, political, and social—and your role in it. Infrastructure matters. It’s a human right. And it’s cool.

The MIT Communications Futures Program is a cross-industry initiative that brings together multidisciplinary research from CSAIL, the Sloan School of Management, and the Media Lab in understanding and shaping the co-evolution of technology and society. In our Spring 2016 workshop we will explore the gaps between the visions for the next phase of digital connectivity and what is needed from our infrastructures to achieve these visions—or avoid them. We will focus on the superfast Internet; the blockchain as a distributed infrastructure for security; new infrastructures for video distribution; unexpected infrastructures, governance challenges, and the Internet as privilege vs human right.


Infrastructure Matters, Dave Clark

The Superfast Internet, Steve Bauer

A Separate Internet for Video? Part 1: Bill Lehr

A Separate Internet for Video? Part 2: Natalie Klym

How Private is Your Privacy, Karen Sollins

The Blockchain: A New Infrastructure?, Andy Lippman