This Autumn and Spring semester, we will explore the role of digital tools in civic society — ranging from social media to digital fabrication and emergent production and collaboration modes, such as Do It Yourself, Do It with Others, hacker cultures and peer production. We look in particular at how these can be integrated in supporting and increasing entrepreneurial spirit, social cohesion, cross cultural collaboration, sharing, and learning, in two completely different contexts: Helsinki and Beirut 🙂
Why Beirut? Well, it is a long story! First, one of our MA students, Nina Martin, had the opportunity to visit Beirut last year and take part in some design work there. She enjoyed the experience tremendously and wanted to get something going between Aalto University and Beirut. She and her study friend, Anna Asikainen from Aalto BIZ, started to contact people at Aalto and in Beirut, and got the ball rolling. Now, Joanna, who is one of the instructors of the New Media for the Third Sector is half Lebanese. Putting all that together with some basic funding from Aalto Media Factory. the puzzle pieces started to fall into place and this why the NMTS study project for 2013-2014 has a multi-cultural twist to it.
Aalto Media Factory will provide funding for 8 students to go on a 10 day field trip to Beirut (air travel and accommodation). For this part of the course students will work full-time on the project with the Lebanese partners (February/March). They will form smaller teams with the local group and choose focus areas for intervention. The aim is to co-create concepts for social innovations that will benefit the Lebanese society and prototype some of the ideas in situ to the extent possible. A collective decision-making process will be undertaken during the course to decide who will travel.
The study project is open for all master level students at Aalto. Registration happens via WebOodi (course #25414). Hurry up if you want to be involved! There are only 20 places available (10 for Aalto ARTS students, 5 for BIZ, and 5 for the rest!)
Please note that because of the ever changing political situation in the Middle East, the trip to Lebanon might be cancelled or moved to another date. We will be in contact with the Finnish embassy and consulate in Beirut when making the decision.