The Portals Project at the 2018 Rotary Annual Conference in Toronto

Project Description

Rotarians from around the world will have the opportunity to participate in a groundbreaking immersive experience at the 2018 Rotary International Convention in Toronto, on June 23 – 27, 2018.

The Portals Project is Shared_Studios. They maintain a network of 35+ Portals around the world, each of which are placed in public locations across diverse communities and used to connect across social, cultural, and ideological divides. A Portal at the Rotary Conference in Toronto could feature connections to sites that align closely to Rotary programmatic focus areas, and will encourage Rotary clubs and districts everywhere to join this global network in service to Rotary peace-building goals.

Project Title
The Portals Project – Worldwide Immersive Audiovisual Networking Presentation at the 2018 Rotary Annual Conference in Toronto
Project Description
Shared_Studios, a multidisciplinary art, design and technology collective, proposes to bring a Portal to the 2018 Rotary Annual Conference in Toronto. Portals are self-contained, portable community spaces equipped with immersive audiovisual technology. When you enter a Portal, you come face-to-face with someone in a distant Portal and can converse live and full-body, as if in the same room. Shared_Studios maintains a network of 35+ Portals around the world, each of which are placed in public locations across diverse communities and used to connect across social, cultural, and ideological divides.

Simple to operate, yet profound to experience, Portals are valuable tools in overcoming biases, assumptions, and mistrust among disparate groups, and provide a path toward peace and greater appreciation of our common human experience. Shared_Studios works with host sites to program Portals, providing facilitated (and translated) dialogues, activities, and performances that tie to topics that are relevant and important to both sites and the network at large. Portal programming can range from conversations on civic engagement between Democrats and Republicans to dance competitions across multiple continents. A Portal at the Rotary Conference in Toronto could feature connections to sites that align closely to Rotary programmatic focus areas, and will encourage Rotary clubs and districts everywhere to join this global network in service to Rotary peace-building goals.

In 2014, the very first Portal linked U.S. cities with Iran, as people shared stories of their daily lives, musicians collaborated on songs, filmmakers explored creative ideas, and school kids asked one another about what they were learning in school.

Portals have connected more than 120,000 people across twenty countries in one-on-one dialogues, and engaged tens of thousands more in collaborations, classes and performances. Community partners have built permanent Portals in diverse locations around the globe, ranging from refugee centers in Iraq and Jordan to diverse American cities; from universities and community centers in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iran, Gaza, Rwanda, or Zimbabwe to public parks in Cuba, Mexico and more – all capable of interconnection and shared experience. Portals have also been visited by U.S. Presidents and other global leaders, and a new permanent facility will soon be in place at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC.

Portals envisions a world where no matter what the activity—work, exploration, play—people from all walks of life can enter these facilities and learn to enjoy the benefits of engaging with other human beings from communities unlike their own. More than an internet chat, these encounters make us human; they are meaningful, enlightening about ourselves and others, and filled with curious human exploration.

Shared_Studios looks forward to demonstrating this valuable tool for socio-cultural awareness and engagement at the Rotary annual conference, and working with Rotary clubs and districts everywhere to make this technology available in support of Rotary’s global peace building initiative.

Project Description Excerpt
Presentations of “Portals”, unique immersive audiovisual spaces, at the 2018 Rotary annual conference, linking communities world wide in support of Rotary goals of peace and greater appreciation of shared human interests
Project Contact Name
Anthony Rock
Project Contact Email
budrock10@gmail.com
Preferred Language
english
Project URL (website)
https://www.sharedstudios.com/
Project Categories
Peacebuilding
Project Location
Address
Rotary 2018 Annual Conference
Toronto, Ontario n/a
Canada
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Project Information
Project Time Frame
6 months or less
Rotary District
TBD
Club Name
TBD
Project Resources
Funding
Project requires sponsorship of $20,000 for Portal transportation, installation, and operation during the event. Shared_Studios requests that event facilities provide internet and electricity. Portals infrastructure or specific dialogues can be sponsored or branded if relevant opportunities can be identified.
Volunteers
Volunteers are not required for the event, but are welcomed.
Is there a Global Grant for this project?
No
Cosponsors
none identified, but co-sponsors are welcomed and will be recognized.
Images – Photos
Images