Harvard University’s #Tech4Democracy Movement, with Harvard innovation lab

Date: 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 4:10pm to 6:30pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Blue-green handsPanel Discussion and Tweet Chat

Mat Morgan, ShoutAbout
Cristina Garmendia, OpportunitySpace
Seth Flaxman, TurboVote
Gaurav Keerthi, Dialectic
Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship (Moderator)

About the Event
Mainstream efforts in the arena of democratic reform include campaign finance reform, election administration, and reform of the electoral college. But the next democratic revolution may be driven by much smaller operators – especially start-ups riding the digital technology revolution. And Harvard University students, alumni, and faculty are launching some of the most compelling and promising tech start-ups that find creative ways to deepen democracy by mobilizing citizens and empowering them to influence the critical public and private decisions and policies that affect their lives.

The panel discussion will feature tech entrepreneurs among Harvard alumni and current students. Each will explain their technological innovation and its contribution to the field of democratic reform efforts and what we are learning about technology’s contributions and shortcomings to the health of democracy. Reception to follow the panel discussion.

Read more» Four Cool Civic Tech Startups from Harvard in Boston Business Journal

Read more» Ash Center Convenes Harvard Kennedy School’s Growing #Tech4Democracy Community

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#Tech4Democracy Tweet Chat

Also on April 30, join Tech4Change, the Ash Center, Harvard i-lab, and tech entrepreneurs in a day-long tweet chat using the label #tech4democracy. Key themes and tweets will be shared with participants and incorporated into the afternoon panel discussion.

Entrepreneurs, faculty, students, and the community at large are invited to come together for a virtual dialogue:

1. Identify your tech start-up or nominate one you know about
2. Share lessons learned and best practices
3. Pose salient questions facing your work and the field

Read the Tweet Chat here!

Suggested Reading

Knight Foundation Report, The Emergence of Civic Tech: Investments in a Growing Field, (Mayur Patel, Jon Sotsky, Sean Gourley, Daniel Houghton): “Over the past two years, we’ve witnessed through our work a groundswell of interest at the nexus of technology, civic innovation, open government and resident engagement.”

NPR Interview: Civic Tech Skips the Red Tape, Host Celeste Headlee speaks with Roxann Stafford of SecondMuse, an innovation and collaboration agency. “If you’ve ever spent a day on hold with a government agency, you know there has to be a better way. Now, the emerging field of ’civic tech’ is trying to find it.”