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Laura Forlano – Activist Infrastructures: Alternative Models for Building Municipal and Community Wireless Networks

Thursday, October 29, 2009
12:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States + Google Map

Food at 12:30 pm. Discussion begins at 12:45 pm. Everyone invited.

Cities and community groups have been pursuing alternative models for the building of public wireless infrastructure for nearly ten years. However, the majority of our communities, cities and public spaces still lack the means, models and metrics necessary to implement their own networks. In the United States, nearly 1/3 of states have passed legislation that prevents their own cities from building affordable and accessible broadband infrastructure. Based on over five years of work with and research on community wireless groups around the world and a year-long collaborative project with the New America Foundation, this presentation will overview the findings of a forthcoming report on best practices for municipal and community wireless networks.


Laura Forlano is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Human Computer Interaction Lab at Cornell University. In 2008-2009, she was Kauffman Fellow in Law at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Forlano received her Ph.D. in Communications from Columbia University in 2008. Her dissertation, “When Code Meets Place: Collaboration and Innovation at WiFi Hotspots,” explores the intersection between organizations, technology (in particular, mobile and wireless technology) and the role of place in communication, collaboration and innovation. Forlano is an Adjunct Faculty member in the Design and Management department at Parsons and the Graduate Programs in International Affairs and Media Studies at The New School where she teaches courses on Innovation, New Media and Global Affairs, Technology and the City, Technology Policy, Sustainable Design and Business Ethics. She serves as a board member of NYC wireless and the New York City Computer Human Interaction Association. Forlano received a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University, a Diploma in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s in Asian Studies from Skidmore College.