ESP Biography



SHAVA NERAD, Organizing folks online since 1982, offline longer




Major: Not available.

College/Employer: consultant

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Shava Nerad

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Shava Nerad is a professional online organizer with a strong background in community organizing going back to the 70's. She is currently starting up a youth journalism/organizing nonprofit which will incorporate her "How to Save the World" work.

She is a part time ghost writer, and general business/strategic/media consultant. She was the founding executive director for the Tor Project, recently in the news for its involvement with Silk Road and the Snowden/NSA leaks -- an open source nonprofit providing online security for bloggers, journalists and human rights workers.

In the past she has worked in business (chief software engineer at Digital Equipment in the early 80's doing educational software, nominated for Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003), academia (including MIT, UNC/Chapel Hill, and University of Oregon), and nonprofits (including several digital divide projects, and projects helping nonprofits use computers and online tools effectively).

She lives in Salem in semi-retirement due to poor health, and is working on a mystery/horror novel set there.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


How to Save the World in Your Spare Time in Splash! 2013
Do you want to change the world? Do you know you could make a difference if you could only figure out how, and find other people who could help? Have you ever suspected that people who tell you that when you get to be 18 and "your vote counts!" -- that at best, that is a really partial story about what your contribution could be? Did you ever suspect that all those hero's tales were trying to tell you something about the real world? You were right. And it's a grind... But you can change the world. Locally, even globally, eventually, if you have the will, play well with others, talent, and sheer stubborn and games(person)ship. What, you thought the game of thrones was all in fantasy books? ;) But mostly, yes, it's blazingly dull paperwork, chasing bureaucrats, dealing with difficult people, building coalitions, flirting with media, sitting through meetings, and writing good copy. From improving the hot lunch menu to tackling the NSA, we'll talk about problems local to global -- bring an issue you'd like to tackle, and maybe we'll workshop it as a group!


Q&A with the Tor Project Founding Executive Director in Splash! 2013
The Tor Project has been in the news lately due to the Snowden leaks which showed that the NSA had targeted Tor users to try to decloak them, and because of the Silk Road marketplace being busted. How did a local MIT-spin-off nonprofit, founded to help journalists, human rights activists, democracy activists, and online privacy advocates end up in this weirdness? Sit down for a Q&A with the founding executive director of the project, former MIT staff member Shava Nerad (who taught her first ESP class in 1981!) for some answers from the source. The Q&A is going to try to focus on sociopolitical/news aspects, not technical aspects of Tor -- but some technical computer geekiness will no doubt come up, without being vital to the core topic much more than if you were reading the New York Times or The Guardian.


How to Save the World in Your Spare Time in Spark! Spring 2009
Is there something you'd like to do in your local community to make the world (or your part of it) a better place? Ever wondered how a seasoned community organizer plans a project? Want to learn new ways to think about bringing people together to change the world? In a couple hours, you can learn enough to create a plan which will let you and your friends and allies in your community set out to create positive, nonviolent change. With 30-some years of nonprofit and political organizing experience, Shava Nerad learned community organizing from her dad, who worked with MLK and the SCLC on the summer marches in the civil rights movement of the 60's. She brings experience inherited from union, social action, and civil rights movements of the 40's-60's from her dad, along with organizing experience from the 70's through today in her own career. The prerequisites for this class were: Come with an idea of something you'd like to change -- the first thing in the class, I'll give you a piece of paper that says "If I could change one thing in the world it would be ____________; I am really passionate about ____________" Be motivated! 7th and 8th graders, be even *more* motivated!


How to Save the World in Your Spare Time in Spark! Spring 2008
Is there something you'd like to do in your local community to make the world (or your part of it) a better place? Ever wondered how a seasoned community organizer plans a project? Want to learn new ways to think about bringing people together to change the world? In a couple hours, you can learn enough to create a plan which will let you and your friends and allies in your community set out to create positive, nonviolent change. With 30-some years of nonprofit and political organizing experience, Shava Nerad learned community organizing from her dad, who worked with MLK and the SCLC on the summer marches in the civil rights movement of the 60's. She brings experience inherited from union, social action, and civil rights movements of the 40's-60's from her dad, along with organizing experience from the 70's through today in her own career.


How to Save the World in Your Spare Time in SPLASHONWHEELS (2008)
Is there something you'd like to do in your local community to make the world (or your part of it) ...


How to save the world in your spare time in SPLASH (2007)
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? What are you most passionate about? If ...


How to Save the World in your Spare Time in HSSP (2006)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I have a dream!" But Dr. King didn't just have a vision -- he ...


How to Save the World in your Spare Time in HSSP (2006)
<cite>Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ...


How to Save the World in Your Spare Time in SPLASHONWHEELS (2006)
Got a cause? Want to change the world? Want to just make something better in your local community? This class ...


How to Save the World in your Spare Time in SPLASH (2005)
Got a cause? Want to change the world? Want to just make something better in your local community? This class ...