John Werner Heads to MIT Media Lab

John Werner (LF 2009) has made a significant move to the MIT Media Lab from his perch at Citizen Schools. He wrote in to share his reflections on his legacy and what he’s looking forward to as well as his memory book slideshow. 

"I am so proud to have been a mobilizer and connector for Citizen Schools for close to 19 years. Now, with excitement and nostalgia, I'm moving to a new role at the MIT Media Lab.  

"When I first rolled up my sleeves to help launch Citizen Schools in Boston close to half my lifetime ago, the U.S. population was 50 million less than today, the world wide web was a few months old, and "Babe" and "Braveheart" were up for Oscars. Now, Citizen Schools is an American institution that is changing the vector of education and community. I am so proud of where Citizen Schools has come from and where it is going, and I'm grateful to all who have joined the movement to bring citizens into schools.

"I'm also proud of where I'll be going next.  My work at the MIT Media Lab will tap into my passion for technology, innovation, photography and the future.  I'll be the Project Innovator and Research Scientist for Professor Ramesh Raskar, director of the Camera Culture Group.  I will be creating new imaging platforms (from capturing a trillion frames per second imagining to creating glasses-free 3D Displays), developing hardware and software technologies for augmenting (super human) human vision.  I'll be bringing young people from around the world together to use rapid prototyping to solve real-world problems, working on large scale online learning, and building a community to disseminate technology for human vision and visual computing.  I'll be spreading technology to prevent blindness, enable the visually challenged, and bring eye care to developing countries.  I'll be fostering entrepreneurship to take ideas into the real world for impact, connecting industry with the untapped knowledge of the geniuses of the Media Lab.  And I will continue to lead Ideas in Action through TEDxBeaconStreet and its program Adventures--as well as support and advise Citizen Schools.

"I thought it would be fitting to use my love of photography to tell the story of my journey with Citizen Schools.  I've spent just about a thousand weeks here, so I've stitched together a picture for each week. Please enjoy the video 1000 Weeks of Citizen Schools.” 

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