PlusMinus

Technology is not neutral. We're inside of what we make, and it's inside of us. We're living in a world of connections—and it matters which ones get made and unmade. - Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto (1985)

the issue

The Media Lab community is redoubling its efforts to thoughtfully explore the tradeoffs of the technologies and design processes we create, and to reimagine our role in preventing some technology's disproportionately negative impact on marginalized communities. PlusMinus is part of that effort.

a community of practice

PlusMinus is radically recasting the design culture at the Media Lab and beyond so that the benefits of our technologies are more fairly distributed - by design - before deployment. Spanning research groups, perspectives and methodologies, the PlusMinus community is creating, refining, practicing, and sharing inclusive design approaches that strike a balance between consequentialism and social justice, rigorous academic expertise and lived experience, and hubris and humility. 

how we work

PlusMinus’ work looks both inwards and outwards. Internally, we’re weaving PlusMinus themes a… View full description

Technology is not neutral. We're inside of what we make, and it's inside of us. We're living in a world of connections—and it matters which ones get made and unmade. - Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto (1985)

the issue

The Media Lab community is redoubling its efforts to thoughtfully explore the tradeoffs of the technologies and design processes we create, and to reimagine our role in preventing some technology's disproportionately negative impact on marginalized communities. PlusMinus is part of that effort.

a community of practice

PlusMinus is radically recasting the design culture at the Media Lab and beyond so that the benefits of our technologies are more fairly distributed - by design - before deployment. Spanning research groups, perspectives and methodologies, the PlusMinus community is creating, refining, practicing, and sharing inclusive design approaches that strike a balance between consequentialism and social justice, rigorous academic expertise and lived experience, and hubris and humility. 

how we work

PlusMinus’ work looks both inwards and outwards. Internally, we’re weaving PlusMinus themes and inclusive co-design principles into the process of introspection, conversation, and reform being led by Media Lab students, staff, and faculty. We host events and seminars, provide fellowships and other financial support for projects that center diverse voices and identify ways to mitigate disparate harm to vulnerable populations before deployment, and/or as the technologies scale.

how to get involved

Email plusminus@media.mit.edu to find out more.

the people

PlusMinus is led by Hildreth England. Advice and support are provided by Kevin Esvelt (Sculpting Evolution), Danielle Wood (Space Enabled), Ethan Zuckerman (Civic Media), Andy Lippman (Viral Communications), with support from the Media Arts and Sciences Academic Program.