HCII ~ School of Computer Science ~ Carnegie Mellon University

JR Summit

World Map Justine Cassell directed Junior Summit 1998, an opportunity to empower and give voice to the world's children through digital technology. This international project brought together 3000 children from 139 countries in an online forum that allowed children to communicate with each other across languages on topics of international concern. During the forum 100 of the children were elected to attend a 6-day summit in Boston to meet with world leaders and explore technology and the effects that young people could have on the world.

The technology and design of the program focused on empowering voices that are not often heard, to help children reach beyond stereotypes to the areas in which they can make the most valuable contributions, and potentially increase their role on the world stage.

Today we are carrying out a large-scale investigation of cross-cultural computer-mediated communication, community-building, emergent leadership, relationship formation and online discourse, based on the more than 48,000 messages that the Junior Summit participants sent one another. Thanks to a Kellogg Foundation grant during 2002-2003, we were able to collect 5-year follow-up data on a significant percentage of the participants, allowing us to examine long-term effects of this novel online youth community. Click here for publications.

JR Summit Project Team
Justine Cassell
David Huffaker
Dona Tversky
Joseph Jorgensen
Alastair Gill