The Dewey Winburne Community Service Award honors community do-gooders who employ new media tools and strategies to make the world a better place. From 2000 to 2011, all honorees lived in the Central Texas area. Beginning in 2012, we opened the process to recognize national and international community activists.
2015 DEWEY HONOREES
MIT Media Lab
As a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, Dinakar works on cyberbullying detection algorithms using natural language processing and statistical machine learning. He is a computer scientist in the fields of machine learning, natural language processing and human-computer interaction to compute for empathy. His previous work includes seminal work in the computational detection of textual cyber-bullying and modeling bike-sharing programs of major European cities. Dinakar has twice been invited to the White House, to present his research on computational detection of bullying on social media and the use of probabilistic graphical models to scale crisis helplines in the United States. The American Mathematical Society featured him in the ninth volume of What’s Happening in the Mathematical Sciences. An alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University, he has worked for Yahoo!, Deutsche Bank and for Microsoft.
Graves committed himself to a personal goal of meeting one new person every single day. If he meets that goal, then he tries to help one new person everyday. He is a fervent inspirational speaker and through his personal blog, HESONWHEELS.com, Graves uses transparent social media to share the adventures he has on this journey of connecting with and serving others on a daily basis. Through his life motto, “life is all about what you have done for other people,” Graves tirelessly uses his unique frame – seated in a wheelchair – and energy to denounce common assumptions about those with disabilities, to motivate his friends in his communities and to forge connections with the “strangers” he just hasn’t related to yet.
Queens, New York
Jukay Hsu founded C4Q, which fosters the Queens tech ecosystem and increases economic opportunity in the world’s most diverse community. C4Q's innovative Access Code program is creating a new pipeline of technical talent that is increasing diversity in the tech industry and raising graduate income by 4x. After graduating from Harvard College, Hsu served as a U.S. Army officer where he commanded a rifle platoon in Iraq and earned the Bronze Star Medal. Hsu was honored to serve as the youngest member of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Transition Team and currently serves on the Mayor's “Jobs for New Yorkers” Task Force. He is Director of the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association and a Trustee of the Queens Public Library, chairing its technology committee.
Karen Kocher works as a media producer at the intersection of film and digital media. Currently, she is developing Living Springs, an interactive documentary about Austin’s famed Barton Springs that brings its fascinating story to the public, free-of-charge as a website and installation. In 2008, Zilker Trek, an innovative iPod-based scavenger hunt/nature journaling project, brought new media to underserved kids at the Austin Sunshine camps. Austin Past and Present, a cutting-edge interactive documentary brings history into unlikely places, like the Austin City Hall and the baggage claim at the Austin Bergstrom International airport. Ms. Kocher has been teaching interactive digital storytelling and digital post-production for the Department of Radio, Television and Film at the UT Austin since 1998.
Brittany Martin founded and is executive director of AbleThrive, a support network of crowdsourced tips and advice for people with disabilities and their families to overcome challenges and thrive. After her father was paralyzed in a car accident, Martin saw that learning from others in similar situations helped her family adapt and she envisioned using technology to replicate such support globally for all disabilities. A 2008 Harvard University graduate, Martin also volunteered with disability communities in China and Africa, giving her a sense of the common struggles for people with disabilities across geographic areas. In 2013, she left her job as a teacher and coach to devote herself to uniting and empowering a global disability community.
Library for All
New York, New York
In 2010, McDonald and her husband moved to Haiti to help rebuild after the devastating earthquake. She visited schools with fewer than 30 books between hundreds of students. After researching the space, McDonald found that current approaches to addressing the lack of access to books and resources were expensive and unsustainable. She founded Library For All in 2012, with a vision to create a digital library from the world’s collective resources that would be easily accessible to those living in poverty. Prior to Library For All, McDonald worked in the construction industry in Australia, responsible for the delivery of a $1 billion housing program. McDonald also served for eight years as an Ambassador for Opportunity International, a leader in the micro finance industry.
Libby Powell founded Radar in 2012. Prior to that, Powell worked for several years with a humanitarian organization supporting health and advocacy programs in Palestine and the refugee camps of Lebanon before retraining as a journalist, winning the Guardian International Development Journalism Award in 2010. In 2013, Powell was named in Journalism.co.uk’s top 50 female innovators in digital journalism. You can find her online @OnOurRadar.
Whizz ICT Centre
Cape Town, South Africa
Tembinkosi Qondela co-founded Whizz ICT Centre, an organization that seeks to facilitate the use of information communication technology (ICT) tools for development efforts of the community in Khayelitsha which is one of the largest and poorest areas of Cape Town, South Africa. He observed that marginalization of poor people in the use of ICT and the lack of access to information perpetuates the inequalities and poverty that face most young South Africans. Whizz ICT runs a centre which gives young people access to computer training, other ICT related services and training in a range of income generating skills. To date Whizz ICT has provided training to over 1000 youth.
Dr. Catalina Rojas
Peace and Collaborative Development Network
Dr. Rojas serves as Director of Innovation at the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, one of the world’s largest online communities connecting social change makers to multiply their collective impact. As director of Global Partnerships at Women Thrive Worldwide, she created a worldwide network and led training and consultation to increase the advocacy capacity of women’s NGOs and CBOs in Central America and West Africa. Dr. Rojas consulted on gender, conflict and development issues with many international organizations including the IIS, OAS, USAID, UNIFEM and earned her Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, she has over two decades of experience working with civil society organizations in the Global South, including the peace movement in her home country.
Dr. Abdullah Saleh
A General Surgery resident at the University of Alberta, Dr. Saleh also founded and is Chief Executive Director of ICChange. ICChange crowdsources talent and unleashes innovation in creating new models, technologies and social enterprises, improving the quality of life and security of vulnerable populations. Born in Iraq, he obtained a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary and his M.D. from the University of Alberta. He co-founded the Kenya Ceramic Project in 2007 and developed programs for vocational training for Burmese refugees in Thailand. Dr. Saleh launched the Kibera Medical Records Initiative and the Kenya Trauma and Injury Program. His interests include system thinking and architecture, human rights and improving access to medical services and surgery in remote settings.
2014 DEWEY HONOREES
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Floyd is an internationally recognized expert in mobile technology for development. Specializing in solutions design at the intersection of social systems & technology, Gwen leverages her commitment to creating more equitable models of international trade to manage partnerships and international growth at Soko. Taking these passions, Gwen co-founded Soko, Africa's first mobile marketplace, an e-commerce platform that connects mobile-enabled artisans from developing countries directly to web-based consumers. Soko, a women-owned and operated social enterprise, has developed the first online marketplace that enables artisans to post and sell their products online, even if they lack access to a computer or a bank account.
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tsao is the founder / CEO of the startup Travel Angel, an online platform that uses the crowd sourcing of airline mileage points to empower social entrepreneurs to travel abroad to launch and scale their social-good initiatives. Previous to this role, Tsao worked in the non-profit industry for 6 years, serving as the CEO and founder of the a 501(c)(3) non-profit Design for a Better Future, which uses social entrepreneurship to tackle sustainability issues in the developing world. Aside from startups, Tsao is very passionate about mobile app development, technology policy, and education. She currently serves the Executive Director of the Congressional App Challenge, a program of US Congress focused on democratizing Computer Science and STEM Education. In her spare time, Tsao enjoys contributing to the Impact and Technology Sections of the Huffington Post and traveling to exotic places around the world.
Duffy is an award winning journalist, mental health activist and blogger from Ireland. She is editor of SpunOut.ie, an independent, youth led Irish charity working to empower young people between the ages of 16 and 25 to create personal and social change. SpunOut.ie give young people relevant, reliable, and non-judgmental information to assist them in making informed decisions. They work with young people and decision makers to ensure a true value is placed on young people’s participation in society. Duffy is a passionate mental health activist and has spoken at numerous conferences alongside people like the Dalai Lama, and former UN commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson. She has been nominated for numerous awards including Irish Charity Hero of the Year, Irish Volunteer of the Year, and Young Leader of the Year.
Kirabo is a 30-year old Ugandan woman who is passionate about transforming the lives of school dropouts by offering alternative education. Kirabo has been involved in addressing issues such as gender-based violence, child abuse, children’s rights awareness and sensitization, fostering and adoption as well as planning and coordinating children’s leadership development camps and seminars. Kirabo is now director and executive director at Kyusa. Kyusa is committed to providing quality alternative education for school dropout’s ages 18- 25 years through the use of free online resources. Kyusa believes that free online education is a means of ensuring that every young person finds a path to their educational goals, in a way that recognizes their strengths and values. The project seeks to provide the best available options to enable each school dropout succeed and be proactive.
Cleveland, OH, USA
Downs is an entrepreneur turned social activist. In 1999, she founded MarKomm, a marketing firm that would be the first of four businesses she developed. The success of her agency enabled her to step away from the day-to-day operations to put her knowledge to “good” use. In 2009, Downs co-founded FiXiT – a non-profit focused on using creative solutions to bring an end to pet overpopulation, and in 2012 she founded Voolla, an online marketplace that turns volunteered skills into money for charities.
Mexico City, Mexico
Maza is Founder and Director of OPI : Open Intelligence, a people centred social enterprise with a mission to revolutionize the way governments and citizens interact. Over the past three years, OPI's team has developed ways to motivate the politically disengaged and the marginalized, and establish permanent “knowledge communities” with retention rates close to 70%. It has successfully attracted tens of thousands of participants in some of Mexico’s most conflictive areas, including Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Acapulco, Morelos and Mexico City.
Austin, TX, USA
Luc is Co-Founder and CEO of GivePulse, a civic marketplace that matches people to causes and enables nonprofits, festivals, runs, companies and groups to manage volunteers & donors, list opportunities, and track engagement along with service hours in one central community. As of this writing, since launching in the summer of 2013, GivePulse has mobilized over 15K volunteers in Austin to contribute 150K verified service hours. Luc is a TEDxAustin speaker, a WhiteHouse Champion for Change, and a firm believer that everyone has the potential to contribute to any community issue and problem. For him, civic hacking is one form of contributing. To deliver social good at a massive scale, let's all HACK ON!
New York, NY, USA
In 2008, Mark Horvath, now known to many as @hardlynormal, set out to film the stories of America’s homeless and share them with as many people as possible on InvisiblePeople.tv. Since then, he has become an internationally recognized activist and ambassador for the millions of individuals and families who reside in shelters, motels, tents along the streets and under highway bridges across the country.
Chicago, IL, USA
Hampshire is an advocate for increasing higher education access and affordability. He channels this passion as the co-founder and CEO of SponsorChange, a social enterprise that provides college students and graduates the ability to secure funding to pay down their student loan debt in exchange for skill-based service at non-profits. SponsorChange has been profiled on numerous media outlets such as the CBS Sunday Morning Show, CNN, and BusinessWeek Magazine. Hampshire is an alumnus of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and received his Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
Cape Town, South Africa
Carr is a South African educational technologist based in the Centre for Educational Technology at University of Cape Town. Carr applied the core principles that govern the design of the net to build e/merge Africa. This peer network is made of African educational technologists in African higher education institutions that are interested in applying educational technology in their work in Africa. In 2012, the e/merge online conferences brand was extended with the formation of the ongoing e/merge Africa network for educational technology practitioners and researchers across African higher education sector. e/merge Africa was launched in May 2013, at the eLearning Africa conference and has recently started offering online seminars.
2013 DEWEY HONOREES
Bhat co-founded Health for America, a fellowship targeted at transforming the health of communities across the US through innovation and design. A visionary leader, she has worked with multi-sectoral organizations to maximize the impact of their investments. An alumnus of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, Bhat received the Power 30 under 30 award and in recognition of her leadership, was selected for the Stars Symposium for Leaders of the Next Generation, the Atlantik-Brucke Young Leaders Program and the Sandbox Network of young leaders.
New York, NY
Ducao leads OpenIR (Open Infrared), a software project mapping the ecological features and risks revealed by infrared satellite data. An Ida Green Fellow in the MIT Media Lab's Information Ecology group, Ducao is also a co-founder and principal of The DuKode Studio in Brooklyn. A Filipino-American, Ducao seeks ways to improve environmental services in South and Southeast Asia.
San Francisco, CA
An entrepreneur, innovator and fervent advocate for educational equity, Faustino launched One Degree in 2011 to ensure that all families have access to services they need to overcome poverty. He is an Echoing Green Fellow and Education Pioneers Fellow; was a site director at BUILD, a college access nonprofit organization; and received his B.S. in Business Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California.
New York, NY
Gurkoff is the founder of Charity Miles, a free iPhone/Android app that enables people to earn money for charity by walking, running or biking. He also helped found Team Fox, the grassroots fundraising arm of The Michael J. Fox Foundation which has raised over $20 million for Parkinson's research. Gurkoff has personally run more than 35 marathons and six Ironman triathlons to raise money and awareness for Parkinson's research in honor of his grandfather who has the disease.
Lagoudi is a digital engagement worker for museums. She earned hardcore museum experience working for London's National Gallery and Tate developing outreach projects for diverse communities. Since the crisis hit Greece, she returned to experience Armageddon at ground zero. Can social technology activism, grassroots innovation and linked open heritage help soften the blow? While still trying to figure this out in Athens, she works three jobs and is falling in love with the inspired use of technology everywhere.
Oriko has a passion for using digital technology to respond to real world challenges and opportunities, and to effect positive social change. This view has led him to his current position as the Founder and Executive Director of the Kuyu Project, a digital literacy initiative aimed at teaching African youth how to fully utilize social media and other digital tools to effect social change in their communities. Simeon is also a Fellow of the Code4Kenya pilot program, in which he will work with a host organization in assessing their technological capacity to create a suitably sustainable application or service.
A blogger, interfaith activist and technology professional, Quraishi works full time managing the web presence for Mobile Loaves & Fishes in Austin. This non-profit organization lifts the chronically homeless off the streets providing them with affordable housing and micro-enterprise opportunities. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Texas Impact, an organization that lobbies the Texas State Legislature on behalf of faith communities, and on the Advisory Board for the Muslim Youth of North America Austin Chapter. Last year, Amanda launched a smartphone app called 365muslim to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding of America's Muslim community.
Sawyer is a community leader in the use of videogames beyond entertainment. In 2002, after producing one of the first major foundation funded games (Virtual U) he teamed up with Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to co-found The Serious Games Initiative. The Initiative was a critical grassroots organizing force helping give birth to the Serious Games Summit conferences, Games for Change, and The Games for Health Project, which Sawyer operates today after its founding in 2004.
A Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, and CTO of Accessibility for IBM software, Schwerdtfeger leads overall accessibility strategy and architecture for the company's Software Group. At IBM, he provided the leadership that created an unprecedented IT industry effort to develop solutions in an open source, non-proprietary collaboration that is facilitating equal information access for millions of people with disabilities around the world.
2012 DEWEY HONOREES
As Director of the Web Accessibility Initiative at the World Wide Web Consortium, and a Principle Research Scientist at MIT, Brewer coordinates with industry, disability communities, researchers, and governments on the development of consensus-based solutions to make the web accessible for people with disabilities. WAI standards and guidelines are used by governments and organizations around the world to help ensure equal access to the Information Society.
Laura Deutch is a Philadelphia-based media artist and educator who uses participatory processes to engage communities in expanded documentary production. She is the creator of Messages in Motion, a mobile media studio that provides tools for participants to share personal and social stories about their neighborhood and life experiences. She holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University.
New York, NY
Elliot founded Friendfactor in 2009, which works to accelerate change for LGBT rights by engaging more straight supporters through online education and advocacy campaigns. Friendfactor developed a groundbreaking click-to-call technology as part of its campaign for New York marriage equality, which mobilized thousands of people to take action on behalf of their gay friends’ rights. Elliot received his MBA from Harvard Business School, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and BA from Stanford University.
New York, NY
Izzy Johnston has over eight years of instructional experience in software and languages and over 13 years of programming experience. Much of her work focuses on education and the creation of tools that allow people to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them. Johnston is a professor of Information Science at Pratt Institute, teaches with Girl Develop It and is involved with Developers for Good.
New York, NY
Jones is the Executive Director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), a 30-year-old media arts organization that funds, distributes and produces public interest media for all platforms. She recently launched the Public Media Corps (PMC), a collaborative engagement framework that includes public media stations, producers, schools, libraries and a variety of community-serving institutions as partners.
New York, NY
In March 2011, Manson joined All Hands Volunteers for three weeks in their tsunami relief efforts in the town of Ofunato in Iwate prefecture. There, she discovered thousands of photos in the numerous evacuation centers around the towns. She spent the next six months organizing a world wide network of volunteer retouchers, retouching and restoring these photos, using widely available and mostly free technology and donated equipment. To date, these teams have restored hundreds and hand cleaned well over one hundred thousand photos.
Jose Gomez Marquez
Gomez-Marquez is the program director for the Little Devices Lab @ MIT. He leads a team of multidisciplinary team of scientists to design medical devices for developing countries. Gomez Marquez developed the Aerovax Drug Delivery System, a device for mass delivery of inhalable drugs and vaccines to remote populations and the X out TB program, now known as Adhere.io, which aims to increase tuberculosis therapy adherence in developing countries using novel diagnostics and mobile technology.
In 2008 Molinari created the Fundación Proacceso, a nonprofit organization that uses the educational potential of technology to drive the social and economic development of people living in marginalized communities. In just over two years Proacceso has built 70 educational centers with more than 180,000 users in Mexico. Today the RIA is recognized as an exemplary model for digital inclusion and has been presented at the World Bank, the OECD, TEDx Talks and the World Technology Summit.
San Francisco, CA
Nesbit serves as the CEO of Medic Mobile, a nonprofit company using low-cost, mobile technology to improve healthcare across 15 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Josh also founded Hope Phones, a recycling campaign designed to engage millions of Americans in global health efforts. He is an Ashoka Fellow, PopTech Social Innovation Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, Rainer Arnhold Fellow, Strauss Scholar, and Haas Public Service Fellow.
Pérez teaches video technology and heads Cougar Productions at Connally High School. He also recently co-founded the Cinema Du Cannes Project (CDCP). The mission of this non-profit organization is educate, empower, develop, and celebrate the next generation of emerging artists to be productive citizens, creative individuals and active participants in shaping our communities in the 21st century through the art of cinematic digital storytelling and digital media production.
DEWEY HONOREES BETWEEN 2000 and 2011
SXSW 2008 Dewey Honorees Maria Morrissey, Diana Prechter, Betty Sue Flowers, Linda Litowsky, Ron Lucey, Lisa Moretti, Heberto Ochoa-Morales, Christian Raymond, Lodis Rhodes, Gene Rodgers, and Glenda Sims
SXSW 2001 Dewey Honorees Ana Cisnette, Karen Krepps, Keith Rutledge, and Rachel Muir
SXSW 2000 Dewey Honorees Dave and Jennifer Evans
SXSW 1999 Dewey Honorees Dorothy Winburne