Conference Committee

Sasha Costanza-Chock
Youth Media and Youth Movements: Organizing, Innovation, Liberation Chair

Sasha Costanza-Chock is a researcher and mediamaker who works on social movement media, the political economy of communication, collaborative design, and media justice. He is Assistant Professor of Civic Media at MIT's Comparative Media Studies (, Co-PI of the Center for Civic Media (, and a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Sasha has been a part of the Independent Media Center network, VozMob (, and the Allied Media Conference (, among other projects. For more info see Twitter: @schock

Susan Crawford
Tech for Governance: Community-Driven Innovation Chair

Susan Crawford is the (Visiting) Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, a Professor at Cardozo Law School, and a contributor to Bloomberg View and Wired. She served as Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy during 2009 and co-led the FCC transition team between the Bush and Obama administrations. She is a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation.

Ms. Crawford was formerly a professor at the University of Michigan Law School (2008-2010). As an academic, she teaches open government policy, Internet law, and communications law. In 2012, Yale University Press will publish her book, “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.” She was a member of the board of directors of ICANN from 2005-2008 and is the founder of OneWebDay, a global Earth Day for the internet that takes place each Sept. 22. One of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology (2009); IP3 Awardee (2010); one of Prospect Magazine’s Top Ten Brains of the Digital Future (2011); one of Newsweek Magazines 100 Digital Disruptors (2012). She is a member of the boards of Public Knowledge and TPRC as well as a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center.

Nigel Jacob
Tech for Governance: Community-Driven Innovation Chair

With an extensive background in collaborative, citizen-facing technology projects, Nigel Jacob co-founded the Office of New Urban Mechanics - a civic innovation incubator within Boston’s City Hall. Nigel also serves as Mayor Menino's advisor on emerging technologies. In both of these roles, Nigel works to develop new models of innovation for cities in the 21st century. Prior to joining the City of Boston in 2006, Nigel worked for and launched a series of technology start-ups in the Boston area. Nigel is also a fellow at the Center for the Advancement Public Action at Bennington College.

Nigel has received a number of awards for his ground breaking work in Boston, including being named a Public Official of the year in 2011 by Governing Magazine and the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation award for 2012.

Ellen Middaugh
Envisioning 21st Century Education Chair

Ellen Middaugh, Ph.D. is Research Director of the Mills College Civic Engagement Research Group and co-Principal Investigator, with Joseph Kahne, for Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age a district-wide high school digital civics initiative developed in partnership with the Oakland Unified School District and the National Writing Project, funded by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation. She is also an affiliated researcher with the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics.  Her research focuses on the influence of variations in social context on youth civic and political development and effective strategies for integrating new media into civic education. She recently released the white paper, Service and Activism in the Digital Age: Supporting Youth Engagement in Public Life, which outlines opportunities and challenges for leveraging new media to support best practice in service learning and youth led organizing.


Nicole Mirra
Envisioning 21st Century Education Chair

Nicole Mirra, Ph.D. is a high school English teacher at Animo Watts College Preparatory Academy in Los Angeles, CA, and the coordinator of the UCLA Council of Youth Research, a university-school partnership program that engages students and teachers from five Los Angeles public schools in research aimed at challenging educational inequalities and fostering transformative civic engagement. ( She is also a fellow with the UCLA Writing Project. Her research focuses on the intersections between literacy instruction and critical civic education in both classroom and digital contexts, and she is especially interested in youth participatory action research and teacher inquiry. She recently wrote an article with Dr. Ernest Morrell about the teacher learning that takes place in the Council of Youth Research that was published in the Journal of Teacher Education, and has another piece forthcoming in Democracy and Education about civic learning in the Council.

Nishant Shah
Whose Change Is It Anyway? Futures, Youth, Technology And Citizen Action In The Global South (And The Rest Of The World) Chair

Nishant Shah is Director-Research at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore. His doctoral work examines the emergence of a Technosocial Subject at the intersections of law and everyday cultural practices of digital technologies in India. He has been the lead researcher Hivos’ knowledge programme ‘Digital Natives with a Cause?’, exploring the relationships that young people in the Global South have with digital technologies and how they are using them to imagine their role as actors of change. Nishant’s current interest is in the areas of Digital Humanities and Technology mediated Citizen Action, with a specific focus on the Global South.

Nishant designs and teaches graduate and post-graduate courses in the areas of technology and gender, technology and social change, digital and Cybercultures, and e-governance and ICT4D in emerging information societies, across 9 campuses in Asia, Europe and USA. His academic publications have been with international peer-reviewed journals and University Presses, and he is the co-editor for the 4-volume book titled Digital AlterNatives with a Cause?  His public writing appear regularly in publications like The Indian Express,, and GQ India. He has worked as an information architect and a Cybercultures consultant with government and private companies in the field of ICTs and is invested in building multi-stakeholder ecologies for research and policy interventions.