Past Events

Past Events

October 22, 2020

What It Takes to Support Data and Tech Capacity in Government Transitions

Transitions are a way of life in government — whether it’s shifts in agency strategies, new leadership, or a change in administration, government folks are some of the most resilient and flexible there are because the only constant is change. In our work, we support governments as they use cutting-edge tools and practices to deliver services and carry out their missions — work that should continue amid transitions. In this conversation, we discuss strategies and approaches that government workers can take to ensure our important work to use data, design, technology, and other modern tools and practices continue to advance year over year. We will also briefly discuss some of the important questions that teams that plan administration transitions should be asking when thinking about capacity within agencies.

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October 21, 2020

Reimagining the Budgets and Oversight of Large Government Tech Projects

Major government software projects are more likely to fail than succeed. A lot has to go wrong for that to happen, but the seeds of that failure are planted way back at the budgeting phase, when the legislature or Congress first takes up a project or policy. Beeck Fellows Robin Carnahan and Waldo Jaquith lead the conversation on how by changing the budgeting and oversight process for these projects, back when they’re first being planned, they can be set up for success instead of failure.

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October 20, 2020

Ensuring Your Tech Career Can Make an Impact: A Discussion with Cyd Harrell, Author of “A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide”

Join for a candid discussion about how curious, passionate people who work in private-sector tech can become civic technologists and use their careers to make a different kind of impact. In this inaugural installment of our “Public Interest Tech Bookshelf” book talk, Cyd Harrell, author of “A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide,” will talk with Taylor Campbell, Deputy Director of Data + Digital at the Beeck Center, to shed light on the ways in which her book teaches new practitioners everything they need to know about the field of public interest technology and where we hope for it to go in the years ahead.

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October 19, 2020

Supporting Economic Recovery with Neighborhood Data – How State and Local Government Can Partner for More Informed Policies

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October 13, 2020

Ideas That Transform: Charting a 21st Century Digital Identity Framework for Financing

The global pandemic has shown the importance of upgrading our digital infrastructure. We’ve all heard the challenging stories of pandemic checks mailed to individuals and how hard it has been for banks to expand access to financial services to individuals in need. A critical piece here is the need for a digital identity. There’s a need for a 21st Century digital identity framework. This conversation will explore the role of digital identity in helping to unlock a well functioning digital payment infrastructure in the US. Our expert speakers will discuss a set of core problems that digital ID can solve and some emergent solutions that we should be looking to as we upgrade our larger digital infrastructure. Beeck Center Executive Director Sonal Shah moderates the conversation with guests - Vyjayanti T. Desai, World Bank - Miguel Sangalang, City of Los Angeles - Travis Jarae, One World Identity More info at

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September 29, 2020

Ideas That Transform: What if Colleges Designed Impact-oriented “Bridge Years”?

The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on higher education, leaving colleges and universities around the world scrambling as they figure out how to provide quality education that prepares students for successful and impactful careers. In the wake of this challenge, it’s become abundantly clear that simply transitioning traditional classroom teaching to virtual environments is falling well-short of delivering on the value proposition of higher education. The pandemic has laid bare the need for new models for education that prepare students as society-literate leaders who can solve real world problems that serve the common good. Over the past decade, Global Citizen Year (GCY) has pioneered a model that wraps education and instruction around real-world experience, and transforms the trajectory of our most promising young leaders. GCY has partnered with universities to integrate these programs to the undergraduate curriculum, creating on-ramps and off-ramps to provide holistic education. At the same time, initiatives such as Designing the Futures at Georgetown University, are reimagining education to design and integrate experience with traditional classroom learning. Join Abby Falik, Founder & CEO, Global Citizen Year, Randall Bass, Director of the Designing the Futures Initiative, and Jamie Cohen, current student at George Washington University and former bridge year participant, in conversation with the Beeck Center’s Matt Fortier, to explore how intentionally designed experiences can transform education and prepare students to tackle complex problems for social impact.  

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September 24, 2020

Pulling Back the Veil on Innovation in Government

The Tech Talent Project is partnering with the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation to launch a new speaker series, Pulling Back the Veil on Innovation in Government. Please join us for the third event, as we discuss procurement, on Thursday, September 24 from 3 - 4:30pm ET. You can’t “do tech” in government without procurement, and it’s one of the most common places to get stuck. Together we’ll explore several case studies in innovation and talk about opportunities to bring new ideas & approaches to your work in this space. The series is offered as a partnership between the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation and the Tech Talent Project. Featured speakers for this event include Robin Carnahan and Waldo Jaquith. This series highlights what's possible when you have the right teams at the table and will explore what it really takes to successfully implement modern tech practices in government.

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September 3, 2020

Innovation & Change Management: A Case Study From the Census Open Innovation Labs

Part 2 of our series, Pulling Back the Veil on Innovation in Government. Innovation & Change Management: A Case Study From the Census Open Innovation Labs, will take place on Thursday, September 3rd from 3 to 4:30pm ET. We hope you can join us!

The series, offered as a partnership between the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation and the Tech Talent Project, highlights what's possible when you have the right teams at the table and explores what it really takes to successfully implement modern tech practices in government.

Join the US Census Bureau’s first Chief Innovation Officer and the Co-founders of the Census Open Innovation Labs, Mara Abrams, Lorena Molina-Irizarry, and Drew A Zachary. They will discuss what institutional innovation and change management look like in practice by exploring short case studies from the US Census Bureau’s Open Innovation Labs including: The Opportunity Project, Census Accelerate/Creatives for the Count, and the Human Centered Design employee training program. This will be a particularly fascinating conversation given recent developments.

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August 19, 2020

2020 Census: A Conversation About Apportionment

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 3PM ET – Every 10 years, the U.S. undergoes a massive operation to count every person in the country. The census determines how many representatives states have in Congress, and thanks to COVID-19, underrepresented communities may be counted less than before, which could have a huge impact on the congressional map for the next decade. Join Beeck Center Fellow Denice Ross and Student Analyst Taylor Savell LIVE on Facebook for a conversation about the census - what it does, and the challenges facing it during this pandemic.

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August 18, 2020

Ideas That Transform: Shifting Power from Investors to Communities

The disparate impacts of the COVID pandemic and recent uprisings due to police brutality and racial injustices bring renewed focus to our persistent structural inequalities. Moving forward, we need to include more representative voices into investment decision-making processes and design investments with and not for communities of color in ways that fundamentally shift the balance of power. Join Dana Bezerra, President of the Heron Foundation and Lucas Turner-Owens, formerly with the Boston Ujima Project in conversation with the Beeck Center’s Sonal Shah to explore the different ways they are working to disrupt the inherent power structures that exist between funders and the communities they are serving.

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