US Launch of *impossible*
with special guests Lily Cole, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Rosemary Leith, Jonathan Zittrain, Judith Donath, and Urs Gasser
March 5, 2014 at 6:30pm ET
Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East B
Free and Open to the Public
Since September, the public has been experimenting with an app that
relies on the goodness of humankind. Called *impossible*, it leverages
the idea of a gift economy through social media to grant wishes. Users
interact by posting wishes—such as a desire to learn Spanish or to find a
jogging buddy—and other *impossible* users who can grant those wishes
based on skills and proximity connect to grant the wish.
On March 5, the Berkman Center will celebrate the US launch of *impossible*. Joining us will be Lily Cole, founder of *impossible* and fashion model, actress, and social entrepreneur, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Founder and CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, Rosemary Leith, Berkman Center Fellow, Judith Donath, Berkman Center Fellow, Jonathan Zittrain, Director at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Professor at Harvard Law School, and moderator Urs Gasser, Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
In an interactive discussion, the group will discuss the feasibility of a social media platform that relies on themes related to human cooperation, reciprocity, and kindness. Read more about *impossible* and its origins in The Telegraph and Wired UK and of course, download it in the iTunes app store.
About the Participants
Lily Cole is a fashion model, actress and social
entrepreneur. An advocate for socio-political and environmental issues,
she has employed technology, writing, filmmaking and public speaking as
means to build awareness and encourage dialogue. Two years ago, she began developing impossible.com, a social network
that encourages users to exchange skills and services for free in the
hope of encouraging a peer-to-peer gift economy.
Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide
Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information
sharing. He is the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of
Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science at the Laboratory for Computer Science
and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group
(DIG). He is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched in 2009 to
coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit
Rosemary Leith is a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, where she works
with Berkman’s Internet Robustness team, and acts as a Director of
Herdict. She is one of the Founding Directors of the World Wide Web Foundation, a
non profit founded with Tim Berners-Lee to bridge the digital divide by
maximizing the impact of the Web on health, education and democracy
working with underserved countries and communities to make them full
members of online society.
Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the
Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at
the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and co-founder
of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His research
interests include battles for control of digital property and content,
cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within
Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive
deployment of technology in education.
Judith Donath synthesizes knowledge from fields such as urban design, evolutionary biology and cognitive science to build innovative interfaces for on-line communities and virtual identities. A Harvard Berkman Faculty Fellow and formerly director of the Sociable Media Group at MIT Media Lab, she created several of the earliest social applications for the web and her work with the Sociable Media Group has been shown in museums and galleries worldwide. She is the author of The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online (MIT Press) and is known internationally for her writing on identity, interface design, and social communication. She is working on a book about how the economics of honesty shape our world.