Why Data Matter to Cities


Friday, September 23, 2016, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Ash Center Foyer, 124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Cambridge MA 02138

Ash Center Student Speaker Series

Join Sean Alaback and George Simpson for a discussion on the importance of data to city governments. Both George and Sean were 2016 Ash Center Summer Fellows in Innovation, and worked on civic data projects at two very different scales. George, who worked in the Mayor’s office in Los Angeles, CA, worked between the Chief Data Officer and the Communications department, helping to craft and disseminate the City’s messaging around their data initiatives. Sean, as part of the Innovation Field Lab, developed a data tool called CityNexus, which is being deployed in the five Field Lab cities to build capacity to collect, store, and ultimately use data to improve governance. Together, they will discuss the role data plays in city government, how it is communicated to the public, and how a city’s capacity to collect and use data impacts its ability to function.


Sean Alaback, BLA '17, Harvard Extension School
George Simpson, MPP '17

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 the table for discussion. The series will take place each Friday at noon in the Ash Center foyer, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North. Lunch will be provided.