Prof. Christopher Csíkszentmihályi
ERA Chair, Scientific Director, Professor

Expertise Areas:
Civic Media, Sociotechnical Systems, Robotics, Media Activism
Teaching Activities:

Cofounded and directed the MIT Center for Future Civic Media;

Founded MIT Media Lab's Computing Culture Group.;

Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art & Design Research at Parsons New School of Design;

Professor of Media Design Matters at the Art Center College of Design;

Assistant Professor of Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Research Projects:

RootIO project, a longitudinal project for scaffolding low-power FM radio in rural communites.

Grassroots Wavelengths, a Collective Awareness Platform H2020 project (PI and coordinator) on community information platforms.

Civic Media and Citizen Science, a Macronesia INTERREG project (PI) in Cabo Verde for island resilience.

Probots, robots for protesting safely.

Social Tech Ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa, a commissioned study on tech development for social good.

Christopher Csíkszentmihályi is a scholar and technologist whose work draws from the humanities, design, and art.  His sociotechnical systems are synthesized to drive political change, and to assist communities in mitigating the negative aspects of globalism.  He is currently Scientific Head of the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, where he is also a professor and head of the Critical Technical Practice Lab.  Prior to that, he cofounded and directed the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, dedicated to developing technologies that strengthen communities; he also founded the MIT Media Lab's Computing Culture group, which worked to create unique media technologies for sociocultural and personal political applications. This work imbricated millions of people and led directly to many still thriving non- and for-profit enterprises. He is on the steering committee of the Digital Civics centre at Newcastle, and DATACTIVE at U. Amsterdam. Csíkszentmihályi also directs the RootIO project, a radio-as-a-service platform with a growing network of highly networked community FM radio stations, which is expanding to around 20 stations in rural areas of Uganda and Cabo Verde by the end of 2018.


Selected coverage of work:


•“Low Cost, Hyperlocal Radio Stations” Urban TV Uganda, September 11, 2017

“Algorithmic Pollution: Artists Working with Dataveillance and Societies of Control.” Fall 2017. NMC Media-N.

“Os investigadores do M-ITI acabam de obter financiamento competitivo do Horizonte 2020 para um projecto que visa a promoção de Informação Cívica Crítica na Europa” Diario de Noticias, September, 2017

“Robôs dissidentes? Rádio livre no Uganda? Esta tecnologia social veio da Madeira.” Publico.pt July 22, 2016

“Meet RootIO: A Community Radio Innovation That Uses a Cellphone to Broadcast.” PC Tech Magazine. Accessed May 28, 2015.

Mwesigwa, Daniel. “An Entire Radio Station on Phone: The Inspiring Story behind RootIO Community Radio in Uganda.” Dignited. Accessed June 23, 2015.

“What Mobile Money Did to USSD, RootIO Will Do to Radio | InnovationAfrica.” Accessed December 15, 2014.

“Smartphone + Solar Panel + Old Bucket = Radio Station” Spark, CBC Accessed June 20, 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/popup/audio/player.html?autoPlay=true&clipIds=26....

“New Ugandan Radio Stations Run on Sun, Smartphones and Buckets.” New Scientist. Accessed May 28, 2015.

“RAN Launches Community Radio That Uses Cell Phone to Broadcast.” Accessed May 28, 2015

“A DIY Radio Station That Only Needs A Smartphone And A Small Transmitter.” Fast Company Co.Exist. 01.13

“RootIO Wants to Take Radio Back to the Local Level in Uganda.” Nieman Journalism Lab. 01.13

“Winners of the Knight News Challenge: Media Focus on Education, Human Rights.” Future Tense.  01.13

“A Dispute over ‘Land’.” Philly.com.  01.13

“Fracker Ad Clashes on Screen With Damon’s ‘Promised Land’.” Bloomberg.   01.13

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Authors?” New York Times Sunday Book Review 11.11

"MIT Web Tools Help Small Landowners Navigate Gas Leasing Frenzy," Reuters 05.11

"A new plan for job growth in Haiti," The World, NPR (student project from a special class I organized with Dale Juachim in response the earthquake) (with Aaron Zinman and Greg Elliot)  01.11

"Lanzan en sitio de Internet crónicas de héroes juarenses," El Diario, Mexico D.F. (with Alyssa Wright, Yesica Guerra) 12.10

"Ciudad Juárez también tiene héroes," Tlahuac, Mexico D.F. (with Alyssa Wright, Yesica Guerra)  12.10

"Juarenses crean movimiento de héroes ciudadanos," El Universal, Mexico D.F (with Alyssa Wright, Yesica Guerra)  12.10

"Los periódicos son los medios cívicos por excelencia, " El Pais 10.10

"Silt Mesa resident continues her campaign against gas industry," Post Independent, Garfield County Colorado  10.10    

"Future of news innovation in the US is coming from outside of journalism, " Journalism.co.uk 06.10

Cities Under Siege:  The new Military Urbanism, Verso  03.10

"Talking Text," full episode roundtable discussion, Dan Rather Reports  01.10

Live Interview on New Media Response to Haiti Quake, BBC World Service  01.10

“New Tech Tools Help Haiti Quake Relief.” New York Times 01.10

“Google Centralizes Haiti People Finder; News Sites Share Data.”  Poynter Online  01.10

“Information on Haiti Is Getting Siloed" Pogue's Posts Blog 01.10

"MIT developing clothes for abused women:  Sensor-studded garments would store attack data," (wIth Adam Whiton) Boston Globe  12.09

"See Where Stuff Comes From with SourceMap" (with Matthew Hockenberry) Treehugger  10.09

“Facebook Activism: Lots of Clicks, but Little Sticks,” Washington Post 07.09

“Ohio laws governing gas drilling among most lenient in nation, experts say,” Cleveland Plain Dealer  07.09

“The Media Project”, Independent Film Channel  02.09

“Bringing the power of information to the people,” MIT Tech  12.08

“Does your vote count?  It depends on who’s counting your votes,” MIT Tech  10.08

"Embracing Fuller Spectrum of Human Experiences and Needs in Technology," NCKU  08.08

“City Subpoenas Creator of Text Messaging Code” (with Tad Hirsch), New York Times 03.08

“Wearable Technology Detects Abuse,” Discovery Channel  11.07

Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists, MIT Press  09.07

“Revenge by Gadget,” Wall Street Journal  08.07

“MIT Group Sees 'Yellow' Over Secret Service Involvement In Tracking Printed Documents,” InformationWeek 07.07

“Seeing yellow over color printer tracking devices,” Linux Journal  07.07

“MIT Project aims human buffer overflow at Secret Service,” ArsTechnica 07.07

“Knight Foundation Hands Out Awards for Creative News Ideas,” Miami Herald  05.07

“MIT Scores a $5-Million Grant for a Digital News Project,” Chronicle of Higher Education  05.07

“Cherry Blossoms” (with Alyssa Wright) WeMakeMoneyNotArt 03.07

“Feedback” (with Noah Vawter), New Scientist     03.07

“The Ambient Walkman” (with Noah Vawter), New York Times  12.06

“Freaky Machines” (with Kelly Dobson), Dallas Morning News  03.06

“Zone of Silence” (with Limor Fried), IEEE Spectrum   05.05

“The New York Model: Indymedia and the Text Message Jihad” (with Tad Hirsh), Democracy Now   10.04

“Text Messages Connect Protesters” (with Tad Hirsch), CBS News  09.04

“Protests Powered by Cellphones”  (with Tad Hirsch), New York Times    09.04

“Making the World %125 Better,” Res Magazine        08.04

“Digital Art,” Vision Magazine Beijing   07.04

“The Science of Subversion:  MIT’s Computing Culture Group,” Weekly Dig  11.03

“Citizens strike back in intelligence war,” New Scientist    10.03

“Government Prying, the Good Kind,” Wired News   07.03

Live Interview, Drudge Report   07.03

Live Interview (with Ryan McKinley), Fox & Friends     07.03

Live Interview (with Ryan McKinley), CNN   07.03

“Site lets citizens monitor “Big Brother,” Washington Post  07.03

“The Wagers of War”  (with Ryan McKinley and Tad Hirsch), Village Voice   02.03

“Robo DJ,” Tech TV   10.02

“Robo DJ,” ABC Affiliates    10.02

“Rolling Robot Reporters Into War,” Los Angeles Times, Technology Section   04.02

Live Interview, CNN Prime Time   03.02

“On the Media,” National NPR    03.02

“Robo-reporter goes to war,” BBC World Service    03.02

“The Rockin’ Robot,” BBC World Service    03.02

“Afghan Explorer,” Koran Tempo  03.02

“DJ Robot Turns the Tables,” Wired News   05.01

“Roving reporter on battlefields could be a robot,” USA Today  03.02

“Do androids dream of First Amendment rights?,” Salon  03.02

“A War Game (Sort of), but You Can’t Control the Action,” New York Times, Arts Online  11.01

“Do It Yourself” Transmediale Catalog   08.01

“Arts Online ” New York Times    09.97

“Report from ISEA,” Art Journal    Sp96