Technology and Democracy Fellowship

The 2019-20 fellow were recently announced! Read the news

The Technology and Democracy Fellowship is part of an Ash Center initiative to explore technology’s role in improving democratic governance—with a focus on connecting to practice and on helping Harvard Kennedy School students develop crucial technology skills.

Over the course of the fellowship, participants design, develop, or refine a substantive project that is salient to their field. This project could entail research, writing, and developing strategy relating to each fellow’s work, or could take the form of a new platform, service, app, or idea.

Technology and Democracy Fellows form a virtual community through which they share ideas and resources, pose questions, offer feedback, and help one another with solving challenges in their projects or other work. The Kennedy School serves as a unique space for these technologists to take a step back from the day-to-day minutia working in the world of practice to discuss, research, and write about the bigger questions their work addresses.  

Fellows also help students, staff, faculty, and other members of the HKS community to develop their understanding of major concepts and to build skills related to technology and governance. This knowledge sharing is primarily delivered through a hands-on, skill-building workshop that each fellow designs and leads once during the year on a topic of interest to the fellow. Find upcoming workshops here.  Fellows can also develop personal relationships with faculty, staff, and fellows at HKS in the form of consultation and mentoring, event/speaking opportunities, and more. Fellows are encouraged to even further contribute to the broader technology and democracy discussion through the Ash Center's multimedia, for example, tune in to a recent podcast recorded with 2018-19 Fellow Victoria McCullough. 

Fellow Spotlight

Sofia Gross"I've had the most amazing time engaging with the advisors, staff and students of Harvard Kennedy School through the support and guidance of the Ash Center. The team is always accessible, excited to collaborate and eager to learn about the expertise you bring to the larger Harvard community. I wish I could do it again!" 

—Sofia Gross, 2018-19 Technology and Democracy Fellow 

Location

The Technology and Democracy Fellowship is an unpaid, non-resident fellowship, so Fellows are not expected to reside or work locally. We invite Technology and Democracy Fellows to Cambridge at least twice during the course of the fellowship year (at the Ash Center’s expense) to give workshops, present their work, and meet with members of the HKS community.

Eligibility

The Fellowship welcomes mid-career practitioners with an interest in leveraging technology to improve democratic governance. Each cohort of fellows includes technologists with an interest or background in democratic politics and governance or public and civic leaders with technology expertise. Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Applications for AY 2019-20 are closed. Applications for AY 2020-21 will open by March 15, 2020. Please direct questions to Teresa Acuna at teresa_acuna@hks.harvard.edu.

FAQ

- Are letters of recommendation requested as part of application?
        No, letters are not requested.

- I accidently submitted my application without completing it. Can you delete this application?
        If two submissions by the same individual are submitted, we use the latest version.

- Can I make changes to my application packet after I have submitted?
        No, we are unable to make changes to your application.

Current Technology and Democracy Fellows

Nick Carter, Managing Director, 2020 Vision Ventures
Shomik Dutta, Co-founder and Partner, Higher Ground Labs
Daniel Marks, Digital Manager, Color of Change
Laura Miller, Director of Digital Strategy, When We All Vote
Ramya Raghavan, Head of Civic Engagement and News Outreach, Google
Stephanie Valencia, Co-founder, EquisLabs
Eric Wilson, Chief Digital Officer, America Rising