Carrie James is a Co-Director and Principal Investigator at Project Zero (PZ). A sociologist by training, her research explores young people's digital, moral, and civic lives. Over the past decade plus, Carrie has led research and educational initiatives focused on ethical issues in digital life, civic engagement and participatory politics in a connected age, and cross-cultural online learning experiences. 

For many years, Carrie worked closely with Howard Gardner and colleagues, conducting research on digital ethics. Past projects include: The Good Play Project, a MacArthur Foundation-Funded initiative focused on digital ethics and the Good Participation Project, a MacArthur Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network study of youth civic participation and civic education in a networked age.

A core feature of Carrie’s past and current work is the design of classroom curricula and pedagogical tools using a design-based research approach. Carrie co-led Arts as a Civic Commons (ArtC), a collaboration with Independent Schools Victoria (Melbourne, Australia), that produced a handbook for educators to support civic inquiry and dialogue through visual arts engagement.  With Liz Dawes Duraisingh and Shari Tishman, Carrie co-directs Out of Eden Learn, a global online learning community and educational companion to journalist Paul Salopek’s slow journalism project, the Out of Eden Walk. Carrie also serves as the Director of Design Based Implementation Research for the Democratic Knowledge Project K-12 at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (ELSCE) at Harvard University.

With Emily Weinstein, Carrie co-directs a suite of projects focused on thriving in a connected world, including Digital Dilemmas and Reimagining Digital Well-Being With and For Youth. These initiatives emphasize approaches that center teens’ perspectives and experiences, and involve them as co-designers of interventions to support their well-being. In collaboration with Common Sense Education, we have produced new classroom resources, including a core set of thinking routines and dilemmas for digital life.

With Emily Weinstein, Carrie is co-author of the book, Behind Their Screens: What Teens are Facing (and Adults are Missing) (The MIT Press, 2022). Weinstein and James are currently writing a book for educators, Teaching for Digital Life: Approaches that Empower Students to Navigate Real Digital Dilemmas (Under contract with Wiley/Jossey-Bass). Carrie’s past publications include Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap (The MIT Press, 2014), and numerous articles in peer-reviewed education and media journals. She holds a M.A. (1996) and a Ph.D. (2003) in Sociology from New York University. She is the parent of two technology-loving kids, ages 13 and 17.  You can follow her on Twitter at @carrie_james or on LinkedIn at carriejames.