Institute for Media Innovation

Media Innovation
Institute for Media Innovation
Boutique hub for research and design

The Institute for Media Innovation is a boutique hub for research and design housed within the Moody College of Communication.

Distinct and yet interrelated, the research and design components drive IMI’s quest to better understand the intersections between media, technology and the future of innovation.

Media Innovation


Our researchers are encouraged to push the boundaries and explore, for example, the growing role and influence of artificial intelligence in daily life or how diverse populations are transforming the media and technology landscape.

Media Innovation


Our boutique lab brings together a unique collection of talent—research scientists, media producers, designers—to prototype the future of media. IMI’s experiments test new ideas that reimagine the possibilities of innovations like augmented reality or the media environment of children.

Media Innovation

About IMI

The Institute for Media Innovation is a boutique hub for research and design located in the Moody College of Communication. IMI translates research-driven knowledge into critical and creative engagement with a media and tech world that grows more influential everyday.

Our Millennials, Social Media, and Politics report is now available.
Some of the findings in the report include:

  • About eight in 10 Millennials say that posts and discussions about political issues are part of their social media feeds

  • African Americans are much more likely than their white counterparts to post political content to social media

  • More than half of Millennials express negative sentiments about the political content and discussions that occur in social media

  • Despite the challenges of the current political environment, Millennials are optimistic about their generation's ability to affect change

Direct download here

Craig Watkins

Craig Watkins

S. Craig Watkins is the Founding Director of the Institute for Media Innovation and the incoming Ernest S. Sharpe Centennial Professor in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. An internationally recognized expert in media, Watkins is the author of five books exploring young people's engagement with media and technology.   He was a member of the Connected Learning Research Network, an interdisciplinary team of scholars commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation to study young people's engagement with the digital world. You can learn more about his team's multi-year study of black and Latino teens inventive uses of digital media in their book, The Digital Edge. As a follow-up project, Watkins led a team of researchers to explore how young people are engaging in tech and social ingenuity to navigate the new world of work--the gig economy--marked by automation and globalization. His book, Don't Knock the Hustle, is a revealing portrait of how young creatives are reinventing the future of innovation in tech, media, design, education, and civic life.

The Digital Edge
Don't Knock the Hustle

Join Our Team

IMI is new and our work is just beginning. We are building an interdisciplinary team of researchers, media producers, designers and data scientists. If you are interested in learning more about how you can become a part of a project or even propose projects that engage our core thematic interests, please contact IMI at: