Stephen Kovats is a Canadian cultural and media researcher with a background in architecture and urbanism, founding director in 2012 of the 'r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation', a transnational non-profit organisation that helps create open systems solutions for sustainable, innovative and hybrid forms of development in post-conflict and rapid transformation regions. From 2007 - 2011 he was artistic director of transmediale, Berlin's festival for art and digital culture, and in 2011 initiated the McLuhan in Europe Centennial Network. Previously he curated the international program at V2_Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, in 2000 helped lead the development of a new urban Master Plan for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, and was director of the 'ostranenie' electronic media art forum at the Bauhaus Dessau during the 1990's. His interests are focussed on open forms of digital collaboration, exploring the dynamic relationships between technological, political, and urban space and their application on the transformation of societal and cultural landscapes. These aims are pursued through r0g_projects including the YOGYA2015 Summit of Critical Making, and in particular the #OSJUBA initiative to create Open Systems Solutions in the establishment of the new state of South Sudan. In 2012, in collaboration with MICT_International and UNICEF he initiated and co-chaired the MEDIA & MAKERS JUBA Open Knowledge and Sustainable Media Forum and his recent report on Open Systems Solution for Peace and Development formed a thematic session at the first UNESCO WSIS+10 Review.
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