2012 Fletcher Summer Institute

From June 24th to June 30th, ICNC in partnership with the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, hosted the 7th annual Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict. As usual, myself, my ICNC colleagues, along with Fletcher faculty and staff worked tirelessly for months to bring 42 participants from all over the world to participate in this intensive week-long institute. Check out this blog posting I wrote for the Fletcher Features blog to get an overview of some of the highlights from the week. Personally, one of my highlights was meeting many of the amazing participants who attended this year.  However, I did not get to know them as well as I would have liked due to the various aspects of the week for which I responsible.

There were 4 main things I was managing throughout the week – all digital or social media related.

The first task was to work with our team of videographers, Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson from RyanisHungry.com, to film all the presentations. We had done this in the three previous years, but what made this year particularly challenging was my goal to get the recorded presentation up online within 24 hours of them taking place.

This was done in large part to make my second task possible. At the end of each day, I would create an email blast that included a short summary of what happened during the previous day, along with links to the video recordings of the presentations that had taken place.  The email would go out to all the people who had applied to attend FSI, but were not accepted or were unable to attend. It also went out to all FSI alumni,  all of ICNC’s academic advisors, and a handful of other people who we felt would appreciate getting a daily email throughout the week keeping them informed and tuned into what was happening and being shared at the institute.

The message from the first email blast read:

As you can see, I mentioned one the “top tweets” from the day. I encouraged participants to be active twitterers throughout the week, tweeting key take-aways and resources from the sessions. This then gave me the ability to accomplish task 3, which was compiling all those participant tweets into bundles.  I was, in a sense, curating comments and insights from a virtual, communal note-taking process via Twitter. All of these bundled tweets were then posted online as well to accompany the video.

Lastly, all these tasks relied on my building the FSI2012 webapge in real time as the week progressed. I felt this was important this year because in previous years it had taken several months to get all the recorded content up on our website, and I think that limited our ability to reach people since by the time it was accessible the event was so far in the past.

In the final session of the institute, I likened all the work I had been doing throughout the week to one of the first jobs I had after graduating college. I used to work for a music recording company that would record live concerts and then immediately, on site, create CDs of the recordings so that as concert goers left the venue they could purchase a recording of the concert they just saw.

I realized at FSI this year, and with all the digital and social media tasks for which I was responsible, that I was essentially doing the same thing but instead of music I was recording it was presentations and knowledge about civil resistance. And instead of concert goers who were the intended market for these recordings it was participants in the program and others interested in civil resistance studies.  And instead of these live recordings seeking to advance and promote the careers and music of “lesser known” artists, I was creating and sharing these recording to promote and advance the “lesser know” yet emerging field of civil resistance. Watch the video below (starting at 00:43:1) to see the analogy unfold 🙂

In summary, this was a tiring FSI, but one which I was able to utilize a lot of the different skills and bring to life some of the ways I visualize collaborative learning, online education, and integration of technology in the learning environment.  So, please, check out the FSI2012 Webpage

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