It’s part of our mission at Niantic to grow and support communities while fostering exploration of the history and culture in the world through technology and interactive experiences.
In 2017 we announced a collaboration with our partners at Knight Foundation to increase civic engagement and positively impact local towns, cities and communities through real-world events. In the summer of 2018, we announced the next phase of our partnership with the first Niantic/Knight Fellows Program where we selected Fellows in cities around the United States to host community-focused events using Niantic games to create a positive impact in their local areas.
Ming-Chun Lee from Charlotte, North Carolina, Roger Riddle from Akron, Ohio, Joey Allen from Macon, Georgia and Christopher Foreman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania became the first four fellows of the initiative, dedicated to making a positive impact in their respective cities. From open streets events to joining communities together at nature centers & libraries, exploring historic trails & museums, to encouraging appreciation of public art and bringing opportunities to underserved neighborhoods the Niantic/Knight Fellows made a lasting impact in their communities.
“I recognize that I have to do my part to change hearts and minds to create a better tomorrow for future generations. Communities are hungry, starving even, for fresh and positive ideas and initiatives, especially when the youth are impacted.”
Chris Foreman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“Today's technology is capable of exposing people to ideas, experiences, and community more efficiently than ever before. If future tech is developed in socially aware ways, we as a generation can drastically transform the world in positive ways.”
Joey Allen from Macon, Georgia
“The Summit MetroParks system was interested in how they could plan similar events to get people engaged in some of the parks that don’t get as much use as others. Neighborhood groups in one area of the city where I hosted an event was intrigued with how playing a game could help tell the history of the neighborhood.”
Roger Riddle from Akron, Ohio
“This idea of social gaming is both evolutionary and revolutionary, as it can be seen as a continuation of all sorts of efforts we humans have made to connect to one another, while social gaming has generated a whole new platform for different forms of communications and human interactions to take place.”
Ming-Chun Lee from Charlotte, North Carolina
This is the first of many Fellow Programs and we hope to take the learnings from this pilot to make those in the future even better!
-Leah Caudell-Feagan, Social Impact