Public Participation in the 21st Century: From the Arab Spring to Civic Hacking


Friday, April 24, 2015, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Ash Center Foyer - 124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Cambridge

Ash Center Student Speaker Series
Nada Zohdy, MPP ’15, Taylor Woods, MPP ’15, and Rikki Dean, Ash Center Visiting Democracy Fellow
Friday, April 24, 2015, 12–1 p.m.

Ash Center Foyer
124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA 

Lunch will be provided.

About the Event 

The world's attention has been captured by recent popular uprisings: Hong Kong, The Occupy Movement, the Arab Spring, and beyond. But what are the real opportunities and challenges when citizens demand, or in some cases offered, a seat at the decision-making table? Nada Zohdy, MPP ’15, will talk about her research on diverse civil society participation in open government reforms in Tunisia. Her talk will range from different approaches to engagement to the importance of access to information to key lessons on broadening and deepening citizen participation in a new democracy. 

Taylor Woods, MPP ’15, will present a new tool he designed with three other teammates at the Ash Center’s #Hack4Congress civic hackathon this winter. Their award-winning idea, Congress Connect, would facilitate more productive face-to-face conversations between every-day citizens and their members of Congress. Rikki Dean, PhD candidate in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Ash Center Visiting Democracy Fellow, will provide a response and moderate Q & A.


About the Series

The Ash Center Student Speaker Series highlights and explores the implications and lessons learned from the research projects or applied learning experiences of Harvard University students supported by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Each week, we invite two students to offer brief remarks on their work, or a response to one another’s work, and then open to table for discussion. The series will take place each Friday at 12noon in the Ash Center foyer, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North.  Lunch will be provided.