Resilient Communities Director Greta Byrum Completes Harvard Loeb Fellowship

During the 2016-17 academic year, Greta Byrum was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). The GSD’s Loeb Fellowship brings together a cohort of nine practitioners who are influential in shaping the built and natural environment and whose work advances positive social outcomes. Loeb Fellows spend a year in residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, sharing their experience with faculty, students, and the broader communities of Harvard, MIT, and the greater Boston area.

Byrum’s work through the GSD included disaster response and micro-broadcasting workshops for Harvard and MIT students, lectures on community technology and community-led emergency response, and mentorship of students seeking to learn about urban planning approaches to creating equitable and resilient broadband systems. She also had the opportunity to explore the wealth of resources and learnings at Harvard and MIT, learning with experts on climate-resilient infrastructure and technology for disaster response as well as taking a poetry workshop and a seminar on the anti-Nazi dissident theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Byrum says, “the Loeb Fellowship is unique in its recognition that groundbreaking work does not progress along a straight line. I am so grateful to have had this moment of reflection, learning, and critical and unbounded thinking, as well as the Loeb’s support in leadership development, to prepare for the rapid and urgent challenges we are facing as a culture. My Loeb Fellowship year gave me the freedom to divert, step aside, and gain perspective on my work, and also brought me together with a cohort of colleagues who are thoughtful, critical, generous, and understand things from radically different perspectives.”

During her fellowship year, Byrum worked remotely with the rest of the Resilient Communities team, who ably led day-to-day operations of the Resilient Networks NYC project, collaborating with five community partners across the city to plan and build community wireless networks for disaster response. Byrum has now resumed full-time leadership of the Resilient Communities program and the Resilient Networks project, which is moving into its network installation phase in Fall 2017.

Watch Greta's full interview below: