Dissolve Unconference: A Summit on Inequality

Thursday, October 8, 2015
At the Solve Pavilion, MIT
near Stata Center, Building 32 | map
Free and open to the public (capacity 250 people)

How can we dissolve the structures of power that produce today’s inequalities?
Join a creative discussion on inequality featuring faculty and students from MIT and Harvard.     

This summit will feature 10-minute ignite sessions (talk/discussion) on central topics of our time:  climate change; civic media; black lives matter; gender inequality; society and economy from anthropological and humanist perspectives; community activism and co-design; affordable DIY health solutions; and more.

The final hour will focus on open discussion and networking, including art and light food.  Cambridge-based Toscanini’s owner Gus Rancatore will also unveil a new ice cream flavor called “This is what democracy tastes like.”

The goal is to identify common themes and to suggest possibilities for driving systemic change.  We will focus on bottom-up approaches that can circumvent or transform today’s political dysfunction and economic inequalities to move us towards a more inclusive social and economic future.

In the evening, the Dissolve participants will join with local art collective Illuminus for an immersive light and sound event, including DJ Wayne&Wax (Prof. Wayne Marshall, ethnomusicologist at Berklee College of Music) and MIT’s DJ IanC.

Speakers include anthropologists, media theorists, scholars, and activists, including:

Jose Gomez-Marquez (MIT, Little Devices), affordable, DIY medical technology

Christine Walley (MIT, Anthropology), Exit Zero filmmaker, US deindustrialization

Tomiko Yoda (Harvard, EALC), gender inequality in media

Alex Zahlten (Harvard, EALC), inequality and media theory

Stefan Helmreich (MIT, Anthropology), wave culture, technology, inequality

Fossil Free MIT, climate change activism

Ed Bertschinger (MIT), Institute Community Equity Officer, diversity in higher ed

Sasha Costanza-Chock (MIT, Center for Civic Media), co-design and activism

Chelsea Barabas (MIT), tech jobs and diversity

Ian Condry (MIT), launch of Billionaire Action Lab Network @ MIT (

and few more participatnts to be named

The event is organized by MIT anthropologist Ian Condry ( and the Creative Communities Initiative (, a lab he co-directs with Prof. T.L. Taylor. The event is produced in collaboration with the MIT Solve Conference and HUBweek, a celebration of technology, art, and innovation in the Cambridge/Boston area. We are also grateful for generous support from two MIT-SHASS academic sections: Global Studies and Languages, and Comparative Media Studies/Writing.

The Dissolve team is seeking groups who would like to have designated tables for sharing information.  There is no fee for use of a table, but please pre-register (

For more information, or to get involved, contact:

Ian Condry
Professor of Japanese Culture and Media Studies
Global Studies and Languages
Room 14N-323
MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA