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Stephen Walter

Program Director, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics

Stephen Walter researches and designs civic media and technology. At MONUM, he helps lead efforts around experiments in civic engagement, storytelling, technology, and various research collaborations, like the Local Sense Lab.

Previously, Steve was the founding managing director of the Engagement Lab, an applied research lab for reimagining civic engagement in a digital era. There he led the design and development of online engagement platforms like Community PlanIt, digital games like Civic Seed, analog games like UpRiver, and initiatives like the UN Gamechanger Fellowship and Games for Social Change Program. He’s conducted community-driven action research projects in places like Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Moldova, Zambia, Egypt, and Bhutan, and his research appears in the books Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice (MIT Press) and The Playful Citizen: Power, Creativity, Knowledge (University of Amsterdam Press). He’s also worked at the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, the United Nations Development Programme, the US Department of State, and the PBS television shows Frontline and Nova.

He likes eating his co-workers’ lunches, the month of September, and Hannah Arendt quotes like: people “in so far as they live and move and act in the world, can experience meaningfulness only because they can talk with and make sense to each other and to themselves.” He has no skills.