FastCompany: The Next Genius Idea Is Creating Global Empathy

FastCompany: The Next Genius Idea Is Creating Global Empathy

The 92nd Street Y's annual 7 Days of Genius festival wants to dismantle the idea that "genius" comes from hubs like Silicon Valley, and show that it really happens when people work together. At the end of the long hallway that bisects New Lab—a tech and manufacturing coworking space that opened in an old industrial building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard last September—a crowd gathers outside a gold shipping container, waiting for their turn to walk inside.

The Washington Post: An American in D.C. A refugee in Iraq. And a powerful exhibit that let them talk face-to-face.

The Washington Post: An American in D.C. A refugee in Iraq. And a powerful exhibit that let them talk face-to-face.

On a blustery Friday morning, Carolyn Rapkievian wrapped herself in a coat and gauzy scarf and walked a mile from her office to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She climbed to the second floor, stepped into a 16-foot-long, gold-painted shipping container, and settled onto a short wooden stool. It was the day after her 60th birthday.

NPR Marketplace: Brooklyn and Berlin partner up to drive tech growth

NPR Marketplace: Brooklyn and Berlin partner up to drive tech growth

Whenever Brooklyn and Berlin appear in the same sentence, the word “hipster” always lurks nearby like a smug intruder. True, both places are littered with hipster bait, with store after store peddling expensive coffee and fixed-gear bikes. But there’s far more to Brooklyn and Berlin, of course. Right now the communities are working together to create something many hipsters don’t seem to care that much about: jobs. The idea is to drive growth and innovation by connecting the two emerging tech startup scenes.

CBS: A Chance To Connect With The World In The Baltimore Portal

CBS: A Chance To Connect With The World In The Baltimore Portal

It’s a unique way to connect with people around the world, and it’s now here in Baltimore. The Downtown Partnership debuts the city’s first portal as a chance to interact with someone face-to-face in real time, even if they’re in another country.

WUSA: 'Portal' brings you face-to-face with Syrian refugees

WUSA: 'Portal' brings you face-to-face with Syrian refugees

WASHINGTON, DC - Despite the horrific visuals coming out of Syria's civil war on a daily basis, it's easy to feel as if the conflict, and the associated refugee crisis, is a world away. But new technology is helping to connect Americans to Syrian refugees, in a way that puts people face-to-face, despite the distance. 

Baltimore Magazine: Baltimore Portal Aims to Connect Locals with Strangers Around the World

Baltimore Magazine: Baltimore Portal Aims to Connect Locals with Strangers Around the World

Just before lunchtime, as foot traffic outside of Lexington Market reaches its peak, regulars are raising their eyebrows—stopping to stare at a massive gold shipping container that has been positioned outside of the main entrance.

La Informacion: Myrna y Osama sí sueñan con estudiar desde el campo de refugiados

La Informacion: Myrna y Osama sí sueñan con estudiar desde el campo de refugiados

A Myrna y Osama no hay nada que les guste más que ir al colegio. Durante meses, las atrocidades de Estado Islámico y las bombas impidieron que cogiesen los libros pero ahora, poco a poco, sus vidas vuelven a la normalidad. Lo hace en medio de la nada. En uno de los 23 campo de refugiados que las organizaciones internacionales han habilitado para los desplazados de la guerra en Mosul. Están a solo 60 kilómetros de distancia, pero allí, la vida vuelve a tomar forma, lejos de las atrocidades de los bárbaros.

Mumbai Mirror: Mumbai Marathon is On Its Way!

Mumbai Mirror: Mumbai Marathon is On Its Way!

Ethiopia's Ayele Abshero, the fastest man on the start-line (2:04:23) along with Dinknesh Mekash, a two-time winner in Mumbai, will lead the elite field at the 14thedition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) on January 15. Joining the best in the world will be top Indian athletes —Olympian Kheta Ram, MD Yunusand Elam Singh as well as Jyoti Gawate, Monica Raut and Monica Athare — who will take centre stage and vie for a prize money of USD 384,000.

 

Star World: Over 42,000 runners set to cross the finish line at the 14th edition

Star World: Over 42,000 runners set to cross the finish line at the 14th edition

Mumbai will host the 14th edition of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM), an event that sparked the running revolution in India. The streets of the maximum city will be graced by some of the finest long distance athletes from across the world with strides firmly set to achieve their personal best.

AFAQS: chlorophyll Innovation Lab to host 'The Mumbai Portal'

AFAQS: chlorophyll Innovation Lab to host 'The Mumbai Portal'

Portals exist all over the world, right from New York City to refugee sites in Berlin and Iraq to a tech incubator in Gaza, Palestine. They have been used by Barrack Obama, Ban Ki Moon, Morgan Spurlock, Ewan McGreggor, John Kerry and 20,000 other individuals. It is for the first time that a portal is being set up in Mumbai, India.

Everything Experiential: Features life-size portal to 20 cities around the world

Everything Experiential: Features life-size portal to 20 cities around the world

On Sunday, 15th January 2017, Mumbai will host the 14th edition of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM), an event that sparked the running revolution in India. The streets of the maximum city will be graced by some of the finest long distance athletes from across the world with strides firmly set to achieve their personal best.

The Times of India: Over 42,000 to be at starting line for Mumbai Marathon

The Times of India: Over 42,000 to be at starting line for Mumbai Marathon

Mumbaikars have begin to get ready to put on their running shoes for the one of the country's biggest run, the Mumbai Marathon, on January 15. This year, with more than 6,000 full marathon runners registering, the numbers are up by almost 22% as compared to 2016.

The Hindu: Portal to connect strangers across continents

The Hindu: Portal to connect strangers across continents

On January 12, Mumbai will get the country’s first ever magic box. A golden shipping container will stand at Azad Maidan, and people who walk in can communicate with someone thousands of miles away, as if they were standing in the same room with them.

Al Jazeera: Is Interactivity the Future of Refugee Fundraising?

Al Jazeera: Is Interactivity the Future of Refugee Fundraising?

On World Refugee Day, a golden shipping container was brought on to the grounds of the United Nations General Assembly hall in New York. Inside, cutting-edge audiovisual technology allowed delegates to converse via live video chat with children inside Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp, as though they were standing in the same room.

Austin American-Statesman: Golden shipping container at St. Edward's University is a videoconferencing portal to the world

Austin American-Statesman: Golden shipping container at St. Edward's University is a videoconferencing portal to the world

My two new college-aged friends -- at least I think we're friends, we just met -- love to hang out with their friends, shop and hit the beach when it's not too crowded. One of them loves horror movies, the other is really into action films. They've both gearing up for exams coming up in their studies of English and French literature

Chicago Tribune: A portal in Daley Plaza can take you to Rwanda during Chicago Ideas Week

Chicago Tribune: A portal in Daley Plaza can take you to Rwanda during Chicago Ideas Week

Visitors can also watch curated portal experiences focusing on particular interests or activities. For example, a high school world history class will connect with teenagers in Gaza City Monday; on Wednesday, Chicago-based hip-hop artist Ric Wilson will perform for a crowd in Mexico City before artists there perform; and musicians Eddie Taylor Jr. and Harmonica Hinds will perform a blues concert for an audience in Kigali, Rwanda Saturday.

Greenwich Free Press: Rejiggered Shipping Container Offers Wormhole Travel for Greenwich Academy Girls

Along with social studies teacher Kristen Erickson, students from Greenwich Academy and Brunswick School who are in Greenwich Academy’s the “Today in the News” class prepared to enter the portal.  Credit: Sadie Smith

Along with social studies teacher Kristen Erickson, students from Greenwich Academy and Brunswick School who are in Greenwich Academy’s the “Today in the News” class prepared to enter the portal.  Credit: Sadie Smith

On a warm September afternoon, three Greenwich Academy seniors emerged with broad smilesfrom a gold painted shipping container parked outside their school.

The gold painted shipping container housing the “portal” arrived on a flat bed truck in September from Shared Studios. This particular portal was last stationed in California, though there are others in various locations around the US and the world. Inside the portal are carpeted walls and floors, with one wall serving as a screen with audio/video-chatting capabilities.

The portals allow students to meet people from near and far without stepping off-campus, and Greenwich Academy is the first school in The United States to host a portal, equipped with the capability to full-body video chat with other portals across the globe.

According to Ms. Erickson, who teaches AP Art History, European History and is the gallery director for the school, the idea for installing a portal at Greenwich Academy came from class of 2004 alumna Carrie Denning who works with an organization called Shared Studios.

The founder of Shared Studios, Amar Bakshi, along with his co-founders, Michelle Moghtader and John Farrace created the Portals Project as one of Shared Studio’s many projects geared toward creating, “wormholes throughout the world.”

“We’ve had a big STEM push at GA for years, which involved GAINS and the Engineering and Design Lab, but now that that is well established, there is a big push to look at the humanities, and think of the humanities in a new way… an interdisciplinary, global way,” Ms. Erickson said about the timing of the installation.

“They always come out of their moved, but sometimes moved to tears,” said the social studies teacher, adding that often times there are moments of “tough dialogue” during the 20-minute sessions.

“Often they’ll bond over interests like hop-hop music,” Erickson said. “Music seems to be the universal language.”

The first group of students to enter the portal were students in Greenwich Academy’s Today in the News class, which focuses on current events. The group connected with five boys in Erbil, Iraq, who had been displaced by an ISIS invasion of their home city, Mosul.

Students and teachers can arrange a discussion topic in advance, such as climate change. However, the perennial question asked by Greenwich Academy girls during a typical 20-minute portal sessions is, “What would make today a great day?”

To the boys in Erbil, the answer was short and simple: returning home.

Describing the outcome aportal portal visit, the 17-year veteran teacher said, “You end up realizing the universality of human values, despite our radically different experiences.” Erickson said the portal’s purpose is to develop global awareness, while also realizing the common humanity.

Describing the experience her European History students had in the portal, Erickson said, “They ended up dancing and singing. I note how extraordinarily different our situations are, and I think that becomes profound, but not necessarily in the dialogue, more like after the dialogue.”

During the three months the portal is stationed at Greenwich Academy, it will connect to Erbil in Iraq, Milwaukee in Wisconsin, El Progresso in Honduras, Kigali in Rwanda, Herat in Afghanistan, and Mexico City in Mexico.

The portal is open to the public until December 15 by appointment. Contact Kristen Erickson, kerickson@greenwichacademy.org, for more information.

For more information on the portal project visit the Greenwich Academy website.