Study Groups and Workshops

The Ash Center regularly supports a number of non-for-credit study groups and workshops for interested HKS, Harvard, and other Boston-area students to work and learn from practitioners and scholars affiliated with the Center. Most study groups and workshops are convened by fellows with varied backgrounds as political practitioners, policy advocates, technologists, and academics who are interested in sharing their real-world experiences. Unless otherwise noted, study groups require no prior registration or application. You can find information below on upcoming study groups this semester including meeting times and locations.

Spring 2019 Study Groups and Workshops

Study Group with Miles Rapoport: Democracy Reform Through the Practitioner’s Lens
Join Miles Rapoport, Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy, for a four-part study group which will examine various aspects of the burgeoning democracy reform movement sweeping through states across the country. Throughout the semester, Rapoport and guests, including leading advocates and organizers on voting rights, campaign finance reform, gerrymandering, and redistricting, will share their unique experiences and perspectives. The group will discuss democracy reform campaigns, lessons learned, and the building of a movement to make democracy more inclusive, participatory, and responsive. Email for more information.
Study Group with Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter
Ash Center Fellow and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will lead a three-part spring semester 2019 study group on issues facing America’s cities. Nutter will draw on his time as a two-term mayor of Philadelphia and former member of the Philadelphia City Council to discuss how cities are grappling with issues related to corruption and ethics, criminal justice reform, and economic development. Email for more information.
Study Group: Reimagining Civic Discourse on Social Media
Ash Center Fellow Deepti Doshi, Director of Community Partnerships at Facebook and Mo Safdari, former Program Manager for Election Integrity at Facebook will lead a study group taking participants behind the scenes to understand the issues social media faces today. Over the course of four sessions, this group will work through an election integrity scenario, explore polarization, engage democratic theory on long-term strategies for discourse, and conclude with how we can each mobilize to improve discourse across social media. Please note this is study group is open by application only. Background and more information on the application process can be found here.
Study Group: Putting the Public Back in Government
Join Ash Center Fellow Victoria Alsina for a spring semester study group looking at strategies for restoring the public’s voice in governing institutions. Alsina and study group participants will explore why citizen engagement strategies have fallen flat in the past, and what steps can we take to restore citizen voices in government. Finally, study group participants will get hands-on experience carrying out contemporary citizen engagement strategies. Email for more information.   
Technology and Democracy Workshop Series
The Ash Center's Technology and Democracy Workshop Series are hands-on, cocurricular events designed to help HKS students develop real-world technology skills. Led by a network of technology practitioners, participants spend 3 hours working together and with the workshop leader to learn how to apply technical skills to impact real-word scenarios. The series is co-sponsored by Tech PIC, a technology-focused student group at Harvard Kennedy School. Click here to view past Technology & Democracy Events and Workshops.