Category Archives: Technology and Democracy

HKS Alumni Use Technology to Improve Democracy

Last fall, the Ash Center convened a panel of four change-makers leveraging technology to improve Democracy titled “#Tech4Democracy: Meet the Change Makers.” This post expounds upon the issues discussed by Tiana Epps-Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Technology and Civic Life; Rey Faustino, CEO of One Degree; Seth Flaxman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Democracy Works; and Denise Linn, Program Analyst at Smart Chicago during the panel moderated by Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and Academic Dean, Archon Fung.
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Filed under Data-Smart City Solutions, Elections, Technology, Technology and Democracy

Technologists Working to Improve American Democracy

26577780260_6a7c24a233_mThe Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School is pleased to announce its new cohort of Technology and Democracy Fellows—technologists committed to improving the health of American Democracy.

This year’s Fellows are especially passionate about building the capacity and new tools needed by civic activists, community organizers, local government officials, and journalists who are so critical to making democracy work.

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Filed under Innovation, Technology, Technology and Democracy

The Technology of Elections: Q&A with Tiana Epps-Johnson

Tiana 1Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellow Tiana Epps-Johnson discusses her recently launched Election Toolkit for local officials administering elections across the United States. The Toolkit, developed in part during Tiana’s tenure as a fellow at the Ash Center and with the financial support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will serve as an online clearinghouse of resources for the 2016 General Election and beyond.  The Toolkit will include website templates, data tools, civic icons, and other digital resources to allow local election officials to better distribute nonpartisan election information in their communities. Read more about the Technology and Democracy Fellowship.

Check out interviews with other Technology and Democracy Fellows here.

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Journalism in the Age of Data: Q&A with Dhrumil Mehta

26756849632_c984671078_zAsh Center Technology and Democracy Fellow Dhrumil Mehta discusses his role as a database journalist at the data-driven news site FiveThirtyEight. Dhrumil uses an impressive digital toolkit to turn the plethora of harvested public information into usable data for data-driven stories on politics. In this interview, Dhrumil speaks to the connections and tensions between data analysis and content creation, and emphasizes the importance of transparency and data availability for database journalists. Read more about the Technology and Democracy Fellowship.

Check out interviews with other Technology and Democracy fellows here.

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Digitizing Congress: Q&A with Kirsten Gullickson

Kirsten 4 Kirsten Gullickson, Special Guest to the Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellowship, discusses how specific file formats of legislative documents and online repositories can make Congress more transparent and accountable to the public with Francesca Schembri. As a senior systems analyst for the Office of the Clerk in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kirsten spearheads the effort to convert the paper and parchment of legislative documents and federal law into digital formats including text, XML, and PDF. Read more about the Technology and Democracy Fellowship.

Check out interviews with other Technology and Democracy Fellows here. Continue reading

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Filed under #Hack4Congress, Participation, Technology, Technology and Democracy

Visualizing Campaign Finance: Q&A with Solomon Kahn

Solomon 2Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellow Solomon Kahn discusses data, transparency, and solving our democratic deficit with Francesca Schembri. Technology coach and data scientist by day, Solomon uses his skills in his spare time to innovate in the civic tech space. His latest project, Explore Campaign Finance, was launched this summer and allows the public to better understand where contributions to federal office holders come from with more context than ever before. Read more about the Technology and Democracy Fellowship.

Check out interviews with other Technology and Democracy Fellows here.

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Filed under Elections, Innovation, Technology, Technology and Democracy