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How should citizens make change in the world at a moment when they have very little trust in the powerful institutions of government and corporations?
People are finding ways to act as effective citizens at a political moment that we might think of an "Age of Mistrust," one in which activists, spurned by traditional political institutions and strategies, are turning to the Internet to effect change, either in spite of that mistrust or by harnessing it. Are we right to mistrust institutions? Can we make change by challenging and reforming these institutions, or by overthrowing them and building something new in their place?
is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and a principal research scientist at MIT's Media Lab. He is the author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection, published by W.W. Norton in June 2013. With Rebecca MacKinnon, Ethan co-founded international blogging community Global Voices. Global Voices showcases news and opinions from citizen media in over 150 nations and thirty languages. Ethan's research focuses on issues of internet freedom, civic engagement through digital tools and international connections through media. He blogs at http://ethanzuckerman.com/blog and lives in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. -