Berkman Center Continues Collaboration with Lady Gaga

Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society announced the next phase of its collaboration with Lady Gaga’s new Born This Way Foundation just days after the pop sensation’s much-trumpeted visit to Harvard to launch the organization.

After co-sponsoring a star-studded stage event with the Harvard Graduate School of Education last week, the Berkman Center will return its collaboration with Lady Gaga to more familiar territory—academic research.

On Monday, the Law School center announced the research project, entitled Kinder and Braver World, which it described as an attempt to compile anti-bullying research that will inform the work of the Born This Way Foundation.

The research will touch on subjects such as anti-bullying initiatives and methods of youth empowerment, ranging from government legislation to school curriculums.

“We are continuing to figure out what are the underlying issues associated with youth empowerment and bravery,” said John G. Palfrey ’94, a co-director of the Berkman Center who will serve as co-editor of the Kinder and Braver World project.

The Berkman Center made the first five papers in the series available to the public on its website on Monday.

Palfrey said that these five papers have already informed Lady Gaga’s preparations for launching her foundation. He added that the internet will allow the public to contribute suggestions to further hone the work.

“We can put work out there and improve it pretty much on a continuous basis,” Palfrey said, praising the ease of submitting feedback online.

The new project will unveil more papers on its website in the coming months.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation donated $500,000 to the Berkman Center to fund research for the Born This Way Foundation, plus an additional half a million dollars to other facets of the Foundation’s work, according to the Berkman Center’s website.

The website said that Lady Gaga has put $1.2 million into the organization herself.

Palfrey said that the Berkman Center hopes to involve youth directly in its Kinder and Braver World research. Current research underway at the center’s Youth and Media Lab will contribute to the new series, he said.

At the launch event in Sanders Theatre, Lady Gaga said that she wanted her foundation to base its efforts on researching solutions to bullying rather than just doling out funds.

“I really wanted to do this properly.... We are not philanthropists,” Lady Gaga said of herself and her mother.

—Staff writer Elizabeth S. Auritt can be reached at eauritt@college.harvard.edu.

Tags