Executive Director, Principal Investigator, Professor
Eric Gordon is a visiting professor in the Comparative Media Studies department at MIT. He is also a professor at Emerson College and the director of the Engagement Lab. His research focuses on the transformation of public life and governance in digital culture, specifically looking at the context of equitable and creative “smart cities.” For the last ten years, Professor Gordon has explored the role of play and creativity in civic life, looking at how game systems and playful processes can augment traditional modes of civic participation. He has served as an expert advisor for local and national governments, as well as NGOs around the world, designing responsive processes that help organizations transform to meet their stated values. He has created over a dozen games for public sector use and advised organizations on how to build their own inclusive and meaningful processes. He is the author of two books about media and cities (The Urban Spectator (2010) and Net Locality (2011)) and is the editor of Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice (MIT Press, 2016) and the forthcoming Ludics: Play as Humanistic Inquiry (Palgrave, 2020). His most recent monograph, Meaningful Inefficiencies: Civic Design in an Age of Digital Expediency (Oxford University Press, 2020) examines practices in government, journalism and NGOs that reimagine innovation beyond efficiency.