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Illah Nourbakhsh Wants To Empower Citizens And Scientists To 'CREATE' Socially Conscious Tech

Courtesy of CREATE Lab, Carnegie Mellon University


Carnegie Mellon University professor Illah Nourbakhsh caught the robot bug at an early age, and as the director of CMU's CREATE Lab, he's influencing a technologically fluent generation to harness their energy for socially meaningful innovation. He shares his journey and what he's hoping for the years ahead.

Later in the program, a transit conference in Pittsburgh this week posits that repositioning the city's transit system is vital to maintaining its quality of life, attracting new talent and lifting up neighborhoods left out of its early rebirth. Rail~Volution CEO Dan Bartholomay says it takes authentic community engagement and innovative partnerships to build livable -- and economically healthy -- communities. 

Credit Dave Carver / First United Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights
First United Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights
Sixteen congregants from Malawi and four from South Sudan traveled to Pittsburgh for an immersive stay with their partners in faith at the First United Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights.


Credit Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA
90.5 WESA
Mercy Nhlema (left) and Davies Lanjesi (right), elders in the Church of Central Africa: Presbyterian, stand outside the WESA studios with pastor Dave Carver of the First United Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.

Zach Goldstein takes 90.5 WESA's Dividing Lines series to Squirrel Hill, a mostly white neighborhood, and its local public elementary school, Minadeo, where most of the students are black. He explores how the decision to send a child to private school can have unintended consequences for the less affluent kids and community they left behind.

WESA's Sabrina Bodon explains what's for grabs in state House District 54 where Republican Bob Brooks is up against Democrat Jon McCabe.

And 20 visitors from Malawi and South Sudanese are wrapping up a visit to Pittsburgh as part of an annual exchange between the Pittsburgh Presbytery and their counterparts in Central Africa.

Davies Lanjesi and Mercy Nhlema, elders in the Church of Central Africa: Presbyterian, and Dave Carver, pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights, discuss the history of their enduring cross-continental partnership; the challenges and similarities among their different congregations; and how the immersive experience is evolving.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at kkoscinski@wesa.fm.
Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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