Recently, Jessica Clark — our executive director — brought Dot Connector’s Impact Pack to the University of Southern California at the invitation of DJ Johnson, an associate professor of practice in the Division of Media Arts and Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts, and Alison Trope, a clinical professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

critical media project

One focus of the visit was to facilitate a strategy session on the Critical Media Project, a free media literacy resource  that Johnson and Trope have been running for 10 years. The site provides parents, teachers, and youth with curated media clips, playlists, and prompts for creating media that help users build capacity to advocate for change around questions of identity.

“We wanted to think about its future,” said Johnson. “So who better to have than a futurist with expertise in media futures to come talk to us about our work?” Jessica helped to frame thinking around how this project might evolve given our rapidly changing media, social and political landscapes.

She also helped USC students in Johnson’s and Trope’s classes think through strategy and possible futures for media projects focused around themes of identity and social change.

“Using the Impact Pack helps students to not only understand what they were articulating in the project that they proposed, but to also think about expansions of the project, different engagement models, different kind of media, components, different audiences, even,” said Johnson. “I love it as a tool for thinking about what I can build,  where I can go, and how I can put these various elements together.”

Johnson’s work has also recently taken him to the School of Cinematic Arts in the College of Architecture and Design at Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he gave master classes about social impact storytelling. Saudi Arabia’s government recently went through a futuring process, as the country navigates tensions between traditionalist and global, cosmopolitan values—and students had a lot of opinions about that struggle.

Johnson used the Impact Pack to help the students “think about how to position themselves as artistic activists, which is something many of them had never really thought of themselves as.” Using the Impact Pack, the students and Johnson designed a media campaign promoting the beauty of Saudi people and culture to advance understanding of and interest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia abroad to support the burgeoning tourism sector.

We’re so happy to see the Impact Pack take flight around the world and grateful for collaborations with such wonderful partners! Want to learn more about the Impact Pack and how you can use it in your own work? Learn more here.