Emoti-Con 2015 Showcases Youth Innovators And Their Technology Projects Designed For Social Good

Seventh Annual Digital Media and Technology Challenge Unites NYC Youth Around Technology and Social Change

Keynote presenters include Minerva Tantoco, CTO, City of New York; Arlene Ducao, Principal, The DuKode Studio; and Iltimas Doha, Student Resident, Eyebeam

May 19, 2015, 12:00 ET from MOUSE

NEW YORK, May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There is a growing movement among teenagers in New York City to design video games, produce films and build with digital tools that promote social change around issues that they are passionate about.

On Saturday, May 30, more than 150 New York City youth from across the five boroughs will gather at the seventh annual Emoti-Con to showcase their digital media and technology projects and meet with professionals in the field. Emoti-Con will be held from noon to 4 p.m. in the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library.

Emoti-Con is an annual "Con"-ference supporting youth to "emote" or express themselves through digital media and technology. This youth conference is the largest event of its kind among informal learning programs in New York City and has been developed through a unique collaboration between NYC youth-serving organizations and Hive NYC Learning Network members.

This year's organizers include MOUSE, Mozilla Foundation, the New York Public Library and Parsons School of Design at The New School. We are honored that General Assembly and Urban Arts Partnership have also joined as our newest members this year. 

Youth participants' projects reflect a diversity of interests and skills—everything from digital comics and game design to robotics and assistive technology. They enter the Emoti-Con Challenge where their work is judged by the following categories: Most Innovative, Most Potential for Social Impact, Point of View, Most Entertaining, Best Pitch, and Crowd Favorite. 

Examples of some of this year's projects include:

  • Assistive and adaptive technologies designed for individuals with cerebral palsy to assist them to create digital art, play video games, input information on a computer and put on their shoes
  • An online collection of audio narratives to motivate and inspire young girls to speak up and find their identities
  • A social network where users share pictures to raise awareness and bring light to issues that residents of NYC face on a daily basis
  • A video game called Astroknights with the mission of traveling to the moon to extract materials and bring back for those who can use them
  • A multi-touch book designed using iBook Author that includes galleries, videos and interactive photos to highlight everything that someone would want to know about Apple

The day's events will include keynote presentations, hands-on activities and a Youth Media Expo, showcasing youth projects from several organizations and schools.

This year's keynote speakers are:

  • Minerva Tantoco, New York City's first ever Chief Technology Officer
  • Arlene Ducao, Principal, DuKode; previously Researcher, MIT Media Lab
  • Iltimas Doha, Student Resident, Eyebeam

Judges for the Youth Media Expo represent many impressive organizations, including BrainPOP, DIY Ability, DoSomething.org, General Assembly, HipHop Educator, Jewliebots.com, LittleBits, Mozilla, the National Science Foundation, NYU Game Innovation Lab, Orbital, Pockets Change, Shapeways, SoundCloud, Stoked on STEAM, StoryCode, and TASC.

Winning projects and photos will be available following the event.

Find more information about Emoti-Con, and follow our updates:

Participating Organizations

Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network (Hive NYC) is a city-wide lab where educators, technologists and youth-development experts build innovative, connected learning experiences for young people. Its members include museums, libraries, afterschool programs, code clubs and informal learning spaces. Together, they share best practices, learn from one another, and create an ecosystem of programs, tools and events that prepare young people for success in the digital age. Information at hivenyc.org.

General Assembly is a global educational institution that is building a community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love through instruction an opportunity in technology, business and design. General Assembly offers classes, workshops, full-time immersive programs and online educational programming on the most relevant skills of the 21st century economy, including web development, user experience design, digital marketing and data science. Headquartered in New York, General Assembly was established in early 2011 and has fourteen campuses worldwide, in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, Boston, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.

MOUSE is a youth development nonprofit that believes in technology as a force for good. We empower students to harness this strength to solve real problems and make meaningful change in our communities and the world around us. Founded in 1997, MOUSE programs have had a positive and lasting impact on more than 27,000 students nationwide. Learn more about MOUSE at www.mouse.org.

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.  

Parsons School of Design at The New School is one of the world's leading institutions for art and design education. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, visit newschool.edu/parsons.

Urban Arts Partnership advances the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.