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 Miles_Rapoport@hks.Harvard.edu 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 daniel_harsha@hks.harvard.edu 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 victoria_alsina@hks.harvard.edu 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.

Upcoming Study Groups and Workshops

2019 Mar 25

Study Group: Putting the Public Back in Government Session 1

12:00pm to 1:15pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn St. Suite 100N, Room 106

CrowdLaw for Congress: Strategies for 21st Century Lawmaking

Join Ash Center Democracy Fellow Victoria Alsina for the first session of her three-part spring semester 2019 study group Putting the Public Back in Government. In this first session, participants will explore how legislatures are and should be using technology to engage with the public to improve lawmaking’s quality and legitimacy. Alsina will showcase practical strategies to engage the public at each one of four stages of the legislative process: defining the problem, developing...

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2019 Mar 26

Study Group: Democracy Reform

12:00pm to 1:15pm

Location: 

Room 106, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Suite 100N

Join us for the fourth session of the Democracy Reform: Through the Practitioner’s Lens study group with Miles Rapoport. Voter suppression played a major role in the 2018 elections, and promises to continue to be sharply contested terrain in the elections of 2020. What’s the latest on the issue, and the strong efforts fighting back against attempts to limit the vote? This session will feature Brenda Wright, Senior Legal Advisor, Demos, and Allegra Chapman, a leading voting rights lawyer, previously of Common Cause and...

Read more about Study Group: Democracy Reform
2019 Apr 04

Study Group: Reimagining Civic Discourse on Social Media

4:15pm to 6:15pm

Location: 

Harvard Kennedy School

The application for this study group has closed. 

Students and fellows at Harvard and surrounding universities are invited to apply for a spring semester study group with Ash Center Fellow Deepti Doshi, Director of Community Partnerships at Facebook, MC/MPA '12; and Mo Safdari, former Program Manager for Election Integrity at Facebook, MBA/MPP. 

Building constructive civic discourse on social media is an urgent challenge. This reading group will...

Read more about Study Group: Reimagining Civic Discourse on Social Media
2019 May 03

Study Group: Reimagining Civic Discourse on Social Media

4:15pm to 6:15pm

Location: 

Harvard Kennedy School

The application for this study group has closed. 

Students and fellows at Harvard and surrounding universities are invited to apply for a spring semester study group with Ash Center Fellow Deepti Doshi, Director of Community Partnerships at Facebook, MC/MPA '12; and Mo Safdari, former Program Manager for Election Integrity at Facebook, MBA/MPP. 

Building constructive civic discourse on social media is an urgent challenge. This study group will take you behind the scenes to...

Read more about Study Group: Reimagining Civic Discourse on Social Media