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Greta Byrum

Greta Byrum reimagines the way we design, build, control, and distribute communications systems. She designs and tests community technology projects intended to build digital justice, support local communications preparedness, and train people from different backgrounds to become designers, not just consumers of technology and media. Greta's collaborative projects in New York, Detroit, and the Silicon Valley Region demonstrate the potential of community-led technologies -- from ham radio to low-power FM to neighborhood WiFi networks --  to shape intentional social change and build resilience. As Director of Resilient Communities for the policy institute New America, Greta oversees Community Wireless Networks for RISE : NYC, an initiative providing training, tools, and equipment for storm-hardened local WiFi to residents of six Sandy-impacted neighborhoods. Across all of her projects, Greta works with community leaders along with collaborators across design, planning, preparedness, tech, policy, media, organizing, and other fields to document findings, develop shared principles and tools, and ultimately to build collaborative, flexible, resilient infrastructure that supports and grows the health of communities in an uncertain future. She has shared her work at SXSW Interactive, the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard’s Kennedy School, Columbia’s School of Architecture, the Personal Democracy Forum, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, as well as a keynote at the American Planning Association’s national conference. Her writing on resilience and community technology has been featured in The Atlantic, Slate, and Real Clear Policy. Next year Greta will be a Loeb Fellow at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.

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