USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

IDCC Program Details

IDCC Program Details

The Institute for Digital Civic Culture aims to elevate and transform online culture by creating and supporting leaders who can build community and manage conversations and conflict online.

The IDCC flagship program is an intensive six-week course hosted entirely online.

With a cohort of 20-30 adult professionals from the U.S. and Canada, participants will learn tactics for self-mastery in digital environments, information management, leadership skills for online spaces and methods for facilitating necessary, productive online conflict. Participants will learn from some of the best industry leaders in academia, the media and professional activism, as well as from one another.

IDCC revolutionized the way I approach differences and arguments both online and in person…. I, for one, find myself much calmer and more tolerant as well as better engaged with polarizing views.
–Anwar Pandit, Sr. (tax accountant)

IDCC offers participants opportunities to practice the new skills they are learning in a safe, cohort-based environment and to build a network of support that will benefit them long after the conclusion of the program.



IDCC is not accepting applications at the moment.

Who Should Apply

Digital civic culture is about influencing collective narratives from the center of a community. These leadership concepts have broad application across industries, disciplines and movements.

Our ideal candidates for the program are:

  • Mature and able to conduct themselves respectfully when engaging with differences;
  • Personally invested in seeing online spaces used in healthier, more productive ways; and
  • In possession of expertise, vision and/or education that allows them to lead important conversations authentically, and with a degree of authority.

I applied to the IDCC with what I thought was a strong foundation and understanding of digital media. Yet at every turn the IDCC pushed me to clarify and deepen my own thinking, never telling me what to think but giving me tools and perspectives for developing my own voice. I appreciated the collegiality in the program and have become a more savvy consumer and creator of social media.
–Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, PhD

Cost and Benefits

The financial cost of the six-week program is $299, which includes weekly webinars with respected, nationally recognized thought-leaders and daily online discussions.

Participants who complete the IDCC Program will be able to:

  • Articulate a new perspective on the value of online engagement.
  • Navigate digital spaces as a leader.
  • Build and manage healthy, online communities.
  • Lead and manage productive online conflict.
  • Foster the important conversations needed for a thriving democratic society.
  • Manage your online presence, including information intake, emotional triggers and bad actors who seek to undermine online communities.

Participants will gain new skills and confidence while engaging daily with a cohort of similarly skilled leaders who are passionate about their work and committed as you are to elevating digital culture.

Program Schedule

Weekly live webinars will be held on Wednesday evenings at 5 pm PST/7 pm CST / 8 pm EST (1 hour/week). Participants are also expected to read weekly assignments and engage in ongoing conversations.

Week 1 
Self-Mastery: “Leader, Know Thyself”
Understanding our own leadership styles and how they translate in online spaces.

Week 2 
Self-mastery: “A Mindful Approach to Online Environments”
Exploring what makes online environments unique and the limitations we face leading in online spaces.

Week 3 
Online Community: “Defining and Activating Your Community”
Defining your own unique online community and developing an understanding of the cultural, social and individual needs of the members of your online community.

Week 4 
Online Community: “Embracing Conflict, Valuing Pluralism”
Learning to engage with differences in productive, healthy ways that preserve the integrity of your community, while challenging others to do the same.

Week 5 
Productive Disagreement: “Safety, Security & Self-Care”
Understanding the threats and security concerns of having a leadership position online, and discovering ways of protecting yourself physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

Week 6  
Productive Disagreement: “Facts Matter: Public Conversations in a Post-Truth Society”
Understanding today’s information landscape and the need to prioritize information and integrity.

Program Requirements

The program takes place exclusively in digital platforms using online tools and includes active participation in a private online group, weekly reading assignments and weekly video webinars.

Technical requirements:

  • Internet access
  • Computer/smartphone/tablet that has both a camera and microphone
  • Facebook account

The foundation of the program curriculum is active cohort engagement. As such, participants will be asked to sign a commitment letter that confirms they are willing to prioritize the program in their schedule. The course requires approximately 6 hours each week, including a 1.5 hour video conference, reading assignments and daily discussions.



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