Shared Studios worked with Coca-Cola and its juice brand, Del Valle, to connect consumers in Mexico City directly with citrus grove farmers in Veracruz. Inside the portal, consumers learned about growing and harvesting the oranges, and heard first-hand from farmers about the effort and care that goes into every step of the process.
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. These conversations created an opportunity for those impacted to share stories and dispel stereotypes, and a venue for dialogue between two groups who would otherwise never meet. As the Washington Post reported: “Roughly 1,600 visitors have used the portal since it arrived in December..., and many of those tourists and schoolchildren have filled the exhibit’s guest book with heartfelt reflections. It shows ‘what we wanted to achieve,’ said [Cameron Hudson, director of the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide], ‘which is the humanization of these conflicts, and for people to walk away with the idea that these aren’t just numbers, that these are individuals, and each individual has a story of survival.’”
Yale University has leveraged Portals for a majorresearch initiative designed to understand community perspectives on policing in the U.S. portals were placed in cities with high rates of incarceration and police-community interaction. The researcher was eliminated from the conversation, and individuals or small groups in different locations around the country were encouraged to step inside the portal and answer a simple prompt: “What do you think of the the police?” These conversations were recorded and anonymized and are being used for a range of research applications, including a forthcoming book. Read more on their research at [www.portalspolicingproject.com](http://www.portalspolicingproject.com).
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.
Abbott wanted to move beyond traditional DEI training and have a focus on allyship for women in the workplace. The Women Leaders of Abbott wanted to bring experts to speak with their global teams in 4 continents to cultivate a better understanding of the social and relational contexts that influence how we engage with women in the workplace. We created a 4-part virtual conversation series where we leveraged our conversational storytelling methodology as a platform to understand how to develop genuine allyship at Abbott. We sourced global experts and brought in human experiences as a tool for learning. This program was marked as one of the “most impactful programs” organized by the Women Leaders of Abbott.
Our Portal at The McMullen Museum at Boston College is part of an exhibit, _Landscape of Memory_, which presents installations created from 1998 to 2011 by artists Adel Abidin, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Marwa Arsanios, Mona Hatoum, Lamia Joreige, Maha Maamoun, and Basim Magdy. Drawn from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the exhibition’s works probe questions of causes and effects of war, personal and national identity, exile and belonging, and memory and commemoration in films, paintings, sculptures, photographs, and multimedia displays. Our Portal, located in the Museum’s third floor Monan Gallery, connects to international Portals to provide meaningful conversations between individuals across the world. Dialogues touch on Landscape of Memory’s themes of identity, exile, and memory in addition to curated connections that fit faculty curricula and student group interests. Learn more here and come visit if you are in the Boston area!"
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. This innovative feature activated an already iconic location by turning Times Square into a departure point for the world. In visiting Times Square, visitors found themselves in dialogue with distant and different communities.
For one year, a Portal at Oakland International High School connected it to the globe. The school was founded to provide a quality alternative education for recently arrived immigrant students, with a focus on English language acquisition and in preparation for college. Weekly connections with Milwaukee, Honduras, Erbil, and Andover explored family, trust, political corruption, and a comparison of dance moves.
In partnership with UNFA and the Gates Foundation, Shared Studios activated a Portal Screen at County Hall in London to connect global health leaders – including Melinda Gates and Priti Patel – to UNFPA field healthcare workers in Herat and Nairobi. Melinda Gates visited the Portal. High profile world health leaders connected with health care workers in Herat and Nairobi about access to contraceptives and maternal healths. Melinda spoke to women's healthcare leaders in Herat, Afghanistan. The Health Minister of Uganda and Priti Patel also participants.
In the Harsham Internally-Displaced Persons & Refugee Camp, a converted pumping station serves as a portal to the rest of the world. Harsham Camp is on the outskirts of the city of Erbil in northern Iraq. The camp hosts 1,500 internally displaced Iraqi families who fled ISIS from Mosul and surrounding villages in mid-2014. Erbil is the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan Region, which hosts around 1.5 million internally displaced Iraqis and almost 230,000 Syrian refugees. Through the portal, a young entrepreneur spoke with President Barack Obama and another with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The portal is made possible by UNICEF Iraq and Terre de Hommes.