We aim to foster a healthy public sphere. 


A nonprofit with roots in the MIT Media Lab, Cortico aims to strengthen an American public sphere weakened by political, cultural and socioeconomic isolation.



The Challenge

Filter bubbles that divide. False news that misleads. Opinion polls that misapprehend. Information cocoons that isolate. Local voices and issues that are ignored. 

The 2016 presidential election highlighted these and other public sphere maladies as powerful causes and effects of the isolation that Cortico aims to understand and address.



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Developing public sphere health metrics.

Our metrics are designed to indicate the health of public conversation across traditional and new media platforms, such as social media, talk radio, news coverage and locally grounded conversations. Health indicators might measure how much we agree on what’s important and on core facts, whether we’re exposed to varied opinions, and how well we’re listening to each other.

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Building journalism and storytelling tools.

Our tools are designed to empower more responsive and reflective journalism. We help storytellers listen to local voices through digital media and interviews, surface often unheard voices, and tell stories that engage audiences on common ground. We want readers of these stories to see their voices reflected back on them, so as to discourage people retreating into extreme or isolated cocoons.



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