Our goal is to make it easier for everyday people to take local action on the causes they care about. These causes fall into four categories:
Why Forward "Labs"?
Rather than a product or a consultancy, we like to think of ourselves as a lab that is dedicated to the continual improvement of local democratic engagement. The idea for Forward initially emerged from Libby Falck's graduate research at MIT on digital organizing practices in her home state of Wisconsin. Moving forward, we aim to maintain a research-based, human-centered, and iterative approach to the development of products and services in partnership with community-based organizations.
Mentors and Collaborators
Thanks to the following people and organizations for their support
- The gAlpha Social Impact program from gener8tor and the TechConnect program from Green Bay Startup Hub for incredible support with business and pitch development.
- The MIT Comparative Media Studies program for supporting Libby Falck's graduate research on civic engagement practices in central Wisconsin. Special thanks to Sasha Costanza-Chock and Scot Osterweil for serving as thesis advisors. Thanks also to the following for their mentorship and support: Eric Gordon, Ceasar McDowell, Jim Paradis, Eric Klopfer, Ethan Zuckerman, Peter Levine, Lisa Parks, Meredith Thompason, Justin Reich, and Shannon Larkin.
- Alison Hynd and the MIT PKG Center for Public Service for prototype funding and mentorship.
- Karen Harkness from the City of Appleton, Adriana McClear from the Appleton Public Library, George Penn and Jim Crist from WIUTA, and the representatives of dozens of other community-based organizations for their mentorship and collaboration on research.
- Teachers and students from Neenah High School and students in the following MIT classes for testing early versions of Forward: Playful Social Interactive Design Explorations (Spring 2018 and Spring 2019), Networked Social Movements (Fall 2018), and Games for Social Change (Spring 2019).
- Contributors from the MIT Hacking Arts team members who helped test an early Forward prototype: Justin Warren, Aparna Krishnakumar, Efua Akonor, Tiffany Shen, Tommy Mintz, Stephanie MacConnell, Krishna Gadia, and Tess.
- The MIT Open Documentary Lab staff, fellows and community for their ongoing feedback.