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[liberationtech] From Social Network to Social Movement

Yosem Companys companys at
Fri Mar 27 13:15:08 PDT 2009

>From Social Network to Social Movement

April 1, 2009
John Chipman Gray
2nd Floor, Pound Hall
Harvard Law School
*Public invited, RSVP required

Digitally-connected social networks are fast becoming a key ingredient of
today's social movements. But scholarship about networks - social,
professional, and otherwise - has only just begun to penetrate political
science and legal literatures. This workshop seeks to propel that
integration. Key questions will include: given recent research insights
about social movements, and new technology enabling transnational social
networks, what are the points of synergy between successful social movements
and robust social networks? What do today's digitally-connected social
movements teach us about the relationship between networks and movements?
Are online social networks merely a laboratory for testing empirical claims
about social movements, or do they exhibit unique network properties? Do
they perhaps offer new political opportunities?

This conference will include three separate workshop panels:

Workshop #1, 10:00am-12:00pm: Structures and Properties of "Network Power"

Using the idea that network position affects network power as a frame for
the discussion - what are the properties of social network power? -- network
experts will present their findings and set the stage for the day's
discussion about how networked action can create political opportunities.
Panelists include:

    * David Lazer (moderator), Associate Professor of Public Policy and
Director of the Program on Networked Governance, Kennedy School of
Government, Harvard University

    * Wendy Wong, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of

    * David Grewal, Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows at Harvard University;

    * Damon Centola, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Policy Sciences,
MIT Sloan School of Management

Workshop #2, 12:15pm-2:15pm: Narrative and the Network

Narratives are a key component of successful social movements - both for
attracting new members, and sustaining the identities of current members.
Are social networks similarly constituted by shared narratives? Can we
identify universal components of social-change narratives? Panelists

    * Marshall Ganz (moderator), Lecturer in Public Policy, Kennedy School
of Government, Harvard University

    * Amy Kapczynski, Assistant Professor, Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley Law

    * Thomas Hegghammer, Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and
International Affairs, Harvard University

    * Tammy Smith, Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University (SUNY)

Workshop #3, 2:30pm-4:30pm: Networked Activism - Explicitly Networked

The final workshop will examine current social movements that rely
explicitly on social networking tools, asking what challenges they face and
under what conditions they are most likely to succeed. Panelists include:

    * Ethan Zuckerman (moderator), Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet
and Society, Harvard Universit

    * Joe Green, Director of Facebook Causes

    * Patrick Meier, PHD Candidate at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy
at Tufts University

    * Ben Wikler, Campaign Director for

    * Chris Csikszentmihályi, Director of the Computing Culture Group, MIT
Media Lab

This conference is open to the public, although an RSVP is required to
attend.  Lunch will be provided for all individuals who RSVP.  To RSVP,
please email Amar Ashar at ashar at by Tuesday, March 31,
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