Too often, people feel checked out of politics — even at the level of their own city. But urban activist Alessandra Orofino thinks that can change, using a mix of tech and old-fashioned human connection. Sharing examples from her hometown of Rio, she says: “It is up to us to decide whether we want schools or parking lots, recycling projects or construction sites, cars or buses, loneliness or solidarity.”
Alessandra Orofino (25) is a field researcher who worked in Brazil and India. She has interviewed young girls who had been victims of domestic violence and she founded the organization Meu Rio in 2011 which has fueled bottom-up local politics using a combination of on-the-ground actions and custom-designed online and mobile platforms and apps.
Alessandra Orofino has a degree in economics and human rights from Columbia. She is a firm believer in participatory politics and regards cities as the ideal locus for reinventing representative democracy. Her team has designed Meu Rio as a catalyst for youth activism.