What was the path that brought you to CMAP?
I worked in journalism and local government before coming to CMAP to learn more about true, quality engagement methods and practices. I saw a lot of room for growth in civic engagement, and I felt drawn to learning about the innovative ways municipalities can help residents affect and lead government processes.
I saw a lot of room for growth in civic engagement, I felt drawn to learning about the innovative ways municipalities can help residents affect and lead government processes.
What does civic media mean to you?
I see civic media as the variety of different communication and technology methods used to engage with public stakeholders.
What is one change you would like to see in the world?
I’d love to see a reversal of the widening partisanship gap, and I think civic media can help achieve that goal.
What would you want the civic media community to know about you?
That bureaucrats like me care about innovation and using creative ways to communicate with publics! I think government staff sometimes have a reputation for being rigid, but there is a lot of potential to incorporate new technology and media into the engagement process and I try to champion that as often as I can.
Are there any specific projects that you’ve done in the past that intersect with your studies now?
I worked previously as a local government intern/analyst in several Illinois communities. These roles required a lot of engagement with different stakeholders groups as we worked to incorporate visioning from these groups into strategic planning, economic development and equity initiatives.
How do you define engagement? What does being engaged mean to you?
Being engaged is caring enough about something to be involved in the process for making it successful.
What are some of your favorite pieces of media?
The New Yorker is my favorite media outlet, but I had to let my subscription lapse because it doesn’t fit into my financial and time budget right now. I’m looking forward to renewing when I graduate in August 2018!
What’s one fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I won the “Best Dressed Student” award for my Civic Leadership Academy in 2017.
About the Author
Lauren Stott is a local government management professional who is passionate about the role of new media in community engagement. Lauren worked in journalism and local government throughout the suburbs of Chicagoland before coming to Boston to study Civic Media at Emerson.
Learn more about Civic Media, Art & Practice.