What's on Your Phone, Scott Wolovich?

Scott Wolovich is a social innovator and Executive Director of New Sun Rising (NSR) in Pittsburgh, PA, an organization that strives to find and support fresh, creative solutions to social problems that are more effective, efficient and sustainable than what currently exists. As an advocate for social innovation and community development, Wolovich helped to develop NSR’s Arts MODE, a social arts fellowship and incubator. Here, AMT Lab Contributor Sarah Weber sat down to talk about Scott's favorite apps.  

Sarah Weber: What are the apps you use every day and why do you like them?  

Scott Wolovich: My apps lean heavily towards serving as my mobile office. For years, our organization (New Sun Rising) had no physical headquarters. With the majority of work happening in the field and on the fly, I quickly learned to optimize use of apps to be efficient with my time.

Twitter is a common first stop, checking in to share progress from our 100+ program participants and partners at a glance. Google calendar runs my life. We use Basecamp to stay organized as a team, as well as to keep our incubated organizations on track. 

Music and photography have been constant creative outlets in my life. I've yet to move on from Pandora - still listening to channels created at least 10 years ago - and make frequent use of the ease at which photos can be shared as personal or professional content.

Sarah: Is there an app that surprised you with its usefulness?   

Scott: An app that should come as mandatory in all Pittsburgher's welcome basket is Pgh Traffic. I love the Planets and pUniverse apps to get me oriented and exploring meteor showers on a clear Summer night sky. With two kids, the Fandango app has saved many a night with easy to navigate trailers and ticket purchase functionality. 

Sarah: Is there an app you think developers should be working on? 

Scott: I am drawn to apps which enhance your experience with real world people and result in physical action. Wouldn't it be great if there was an app that incentivized us to use our phones less?

Sarah: If you could recommend one app to arts managers, what would it be? 

Scott: To reach untapped audiences who may be out of your immediate circle, I believe you have to start at some common denominator. A combination of Instagram and Twitter feels like a solid place to start. It may seem intuitive but ask yourself - what's the organization's goal of using the app? and what's the one app that my target audience would be most likely to use? Focus your energy on building that stream, monitor its effectiveness, and don't be afraid to go in a different direction if you're not getting results.