Graduation ceremonies matter. They celebrate student accomplishments, recognize families and faculty for years of support, and inspire students as they make their journey into the world.

As we collectively grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, universities now need to move their 2020 graduation ceremonies online to protect their communities. In the process, they risk losing what makes these ceremonies so memorable in the first place. Inspiring commencement speeches fall flat when speakers lose their connection with physical audiences and virtual audiences tune out. …

#JuniperPortal at Juniper Networks HQ in Sunnyvale, CA

Mike Marcellin, the CMO and SVP of Juniper Networks reports from Sunnyvale, California:

I’m thrilled to announce that Juniper Networks has teamed up with Shared_Studios to deliver real-time connections between people around the globe — from refugee camps to universities to public parks to innovation centers. Shared_Studios delivers a unique experience where individuals step inside a “portal” and feel as though they are sharing the same space as someone in an identical portal somewhere else on Earth, through a flawless, life-sized video connection. …

Recently we caught up with Sanaz, our Stockholm Portal Curator.

  1. What is your favorite Shared_Studios memory and how long have you been a curator?

I’ve been a curator since October 2018. During this time, I’ve curated the Stockholm, Sziget and Reeperbahn Portals. One of my favorite memories is been facilitating a folk-music exchange between Swedish and Afghan musical students. By the end of the connection, all of the participants started playing together in harmony.

It was a connection beyond all barriers.

2. What’s a fun fact most wouldn’t know about you?

I’m an avid reader. I have a personal record…

On the face of it, Shared_Studios can look a lot like a tech company. Our work relies upon the internet and the connections we create depend upon screens. When we bring people together, we use computers to do it.

When you enter a Shared_Studios Portal, you are connected to someone in another part of the world, live and full-body, as if you are in the same room. We place these shared spaces in parks, universities, refugee sites, and public squares across the globe.

Inside a connection

In this world of software and hardware, it’s easy to forget that all of what we do…

Using Portals, a new civic infrastructure, researchers developed the most extensive collection of first-hand accounts of policing in the United States.

The result is a new type of research — an attempt to describe and analyze democracy from the ground up. Introducing: The Portals Policing Project.

The inside of a Portal

In 2015, Americans learned that public authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, had used the police force to impose a ‘predatory system of government’ on poor black citizens. The moment made unmistakeable something already well-known to these communities: that our experiences of the police are central to how we understand ourselves and our democracy.

How Americans…

Originally published on the One Journey Festival blog.

The mission of the One Journey Festival is simple: to amplify refugee voices and build enduring allies for refugees through cultural and technological tools. Last year, the 2018 festival gave more than 4,000 attendees a glimpse into the lives, hearts, and brains of refugees in the Washington DC area — and beyond. This year, we are thrilled to host the festival again and are looking forward to even more activities, attendees, and engagement.

The 2019 Festival, to be held on June 29th at the National Cathedral, is hosting more than 100 artists…

Speaking before the United States Commission on Civil Rights in May 2018, Shared_Studios COO Jake Levin testified on peacebuilding and resisting hate with technology. Find the transcript below.

Briefing on Hate Crimes, 5/11/18

Good afternoon. My name is Jake Levin, and I am speaking on behalf of the organization Shared_Studios.

We are a collective of artists, community organizers and former lawyers who are working to connect diverse communities around the world through live, full body video environments called Portals. When you enter a Portal, you come face to face with someone in a similar Portal somewhere else around the world…

A Portal at Harvard Divinity School.

On university campuses around the world, calls for global literacy are more urgent than ever. Three decades of accelerating globalization have made intercultural competency a central draw for universities. Prospective students are increasingly conscious that their careers will depend on their ability to navigate culturally complex situations.

Young people now look to universities for a new kind of learning experience — one where they can step out break out of the bubble of campus life and interact with people unlike themselves. They want to hear diverse perspectives from around the world first-hand.

Universities have heard that message loud and clear…

“People were crying”, Tomás says. “It was honestly one of the greatest days of connections in all these years that I’ve seen.”

Our longstanding Mexico City Curator, Tomás, is speaking about the Portal connections he witnessed on International Women’s Day. Shared_Studios celebrated #IWD2019 with a host of dialogues and discussions focussed on the experiences of women around the world.

The Fearless Girl meets women in Gaza through a Shared_Studios Portal.

The Mexico City Portal connected with Portals in Stockholm, Lagos, Lesbos, Dallas, and Tempe that day. Behind the Portal, a Women’s March passed by, protesting the state of women’s rights and reproductive health in Mexico.

Every connection, Tomás says, revealed something…

Public libraries are in a tough spot. They have to compete with Netflix, Instagram, and Fortnite for the attention of young people. Increasingly, their funding is threatened by austere governments. And on top of that, a vocal school of skeptics would like to turn this pubic infrastructure to private hands.

In response, librarians have begun to think outside the box. At the Next Library Conference, which concluded last week in Berlin, hundreds of librarians from across Europe and the world came together to tackle these challenges. They spent four days talking about new services and technologies that can bring the…


We build Portals. When you enter a Portal, you come face to face with someone in a distant Portal, as though in the same room.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store