Christopher Csikszentmihalyi is a technologist, humanist, designer, and artist. His work is focused around designing information and communications technologies for communities to mitigate the negative aspects of globalism. He cofounded and directed the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, dedicated to developing technologies that strengthen communities. He also founded the MIT Media Lab’s Computing Culture group, which worked to create unique media technologies for sociocultural and political applications. Currently, he is the European Research Area chair at the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute.
RootIO is a project to build cheap low power FM radio stations that are small enough to fit in a bucket (literally). These stations are studio-less but rely on telephony and the internet to deliver content to broadcast points which then relay audio content over FM for reception through ordinary FM receivers. RootIO proposes the proliferation of radio stations in preference to expansion of existing radio stations. One benefit is that smaller communities have more radio space to express themselves - something that is not possible on big FM radio stations. Another benefit is that radio space is opened up to people at the grassroots who never stood the chance (subsistence farmers, community level knowlegde workers, community based small scale business entities) because radio space is now cheaper and more available. The operational and capital expenditure reduction in RootIO stations liberates radio stations from the financial bearing in the running of these stations leaving them to focus more on the issues that affect community as opposed to selling airtime to entities whose interests may not align with those of the community listening in. RootIO stations are backed by a web based telephony enable platform that makes it possible for stations to share content with each other and learn from each other - an approach that is more realistic and context aware. RootIO stations consist of a cheap Android phone connected to a 25W FM transmitter housed in a plastic bucket. http://rootio.org