In the Harsham Internally-Displaced Persons & Refugee Camp, a converted pumping station serves as a Portal to the rest of the world.
As part of one of our largest community activations, Shared_Studios curated connections from Times Square, New York, for a month at the end of 2017. Those connections opened a window from the Square to sites around the world, creating encounters between New Yorkers and Afghanis, Swedes, Mexicans and more.
In partnership with Narrative 4, Shared_Studios has launched Portals in schools in Floyd County, Kentucky; Tampico, Mexico; and in the Bronx, New York. Narrative 4 uses story exchange to build empathy, shatter stereotypes, and break down barriers between young people. These Portals connect regularly with one another to expose students to young people from diverse backgrounds, and to help those students build confidence in their public speaking, communication ability, and in themselves.
Andover Public Schools brings the Inflatable_Portal to different schools within the district, allowing for students of all ages to connect to Portal sites around the world. Students develop familiarity and understanding of communities from Erbil, Iraq to Kigali, Rwanda, and engage directly with people they would never otherwise encounter.
After the earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico, in February 2018, students at Marymount School worked with engineers and students in Mexico City to design earthquake resistant structures out of popsicle sticks. Students were able to collaborate across distance and culture and see the real-world impact of their STEM classes.
Portals connected students from Harvard Divinity School to aid workers and residents of refugee and displaced communities around the world. Participants spoke about the role and impact of distance education and how new startups led by former refugees are being used to tackle problems created by new humanitarian crises.
Portals regularly connect students and dancers at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs to performers in Kigali, Rwanda to collaborate, and explore the intersection between dance, addiction, and mental health. Alongside performance, participants discussed their own experience with dance and mental health, and probed the concept of performance as a means of therapy.
A Portal outside the European Parliament connected elected officials to refugee and migrant communities to highlight Europe’s refugee crisis. Portals provided a direct feedback mechanism for MPs who were able to speak with those on-the-ground to better understand the impact of the policy decisions and legislation currently under review.
In 2017 Shared_Studios placed a Portal at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for connections between museum-goers and displaced communities in Erbil, Iraq; Amman, Jordan; and Berlin, Germany. The exhibit connected the atrocities of the past and the refugee crises of the present, while humanizing complex geopolitical events that many attendees knew little about.
Zoom used Portals to show how its teleconferencing platform can connect diverse communities around the world. The company placed Portals at their annual event allowing employees and partners to see how their teleconferencing platform can operate in distinct environments to facilitate meaningful global conversations.
Portals facilitated powerful dialogues around family health at the Global Family Planning Summit co-sponsored by the UN Population Fund and the Gates Institute, connecting family health practitioners around the world, these conversations enabled vital exchange between the leaders who forge global health policy and the populations those policies impact.