The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University has been awarded over $5.75 million in new investments to expand our portfolio of action-oriented projects leveraging data, technology, and design to drive equitable social impact and better policy outcomes. We are also adding more than 10 new staff, fellows, and students to our team to convene new networks, launch training and technical assistance programs, and create accessible implementation guides for practitioners across agencies.
With these exciting new commitments, we are redoubling our efforts on better delivery and effective administration of the broken and neglected systems that millions of residents rely on for everyday necessities.
Threading together digital benefits networks.
Over the past year, our Social Safety Net Benefits team produced five guides on utilizing human-centered design and integration to improve applications, build accessible content, replicate text messaging to support SNAP clients through recertification, and promote eligibility rules to bring legislation and service delivery closer together. Later this year, these resources will become an interactive online guide of proven steps public benefits agencies can implement to improve social safety net access. In addition, our new Digital Benefits Network led by fellow Ariel Kennan will launch this spring. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Blue Meridian Partners, and Ballmer Group support this work.
Supporting governments to build digital infrastructure.
Governments across the country are launching innovation and digital service delivery teams. Under the leadership of our fellow Aaron Snow, who has built and led these teams in the U.S. and Canada, we are building an organized and intentional network specifically for digital service teams and their colleagues. The new Digital Service Network will document these efforts and increase U.S. state and local governments’ capacity for digital delivery. We will partner with U.S. Digital Response for a training and technical assistance program within the network that Beeck Center fellows will contribute to through our curricular research and teaching. Ballmer Group, the Knight Foundation, and Siegel Family Endowment support this work.
Codesigning with communities to address local challenges.
Building on the successes and learnings from our first sprint in San José, CA, and Saint Paul, MN, we are expanding The Opportunity Project for Cities to 12 city teams over the next three years. We will partner community organizations, tech volunteers, and government policymakers to codesign tailored solutions to local challenges such as access to housing. Our model leverages open data and technology to build the foundation of a lasting culture of transparency, accessibility, and responsiveness that strengthens public trust. We’re thrilled to officially open the application period for our second sprint series today! The Opportunity Project for Cities is a partnership with the Centre for Public Impact. The Knight Foundation supports this work.
Sharing software across governments.
Our State Software Collaborative is moving into its next iteration as the Intergovernmental Software Collaborative. New Beeck Center fellows Aaron Snow and Shelby Switzer, and community manager Julia Pan, will help governments work together on public service software projects they had previously taken on independently and sometimes duplicative. This cooperation will reduce the time, risks, and costs associated with major software implementations and improve the delivery of high-priority services. Ballmer Group supports the expansion of this work.
At the Beeck Center, we envision a future where people can seamlessly access the services they need to live and thrive. This guiding vision motivates our work and continually drives us to evaluate our readiness. Our priorities are ambitious, and to meet them, we have strengthened our internal expertise with our new Deputy Director, George Chewning. George joins us from the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a Presidential Innovation Fellow, he was a senior advisor to the VA’s Director of Artificial Intelligence and the Chief Technology Officer. He began his career as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army, and he led Facebook’s implementation of machine learning solutions to optimize the availability of global data infrastructure.
In addition to George’s appointment, we added Corey Rhoades as our student engagement manager and Lucie Bonneville as our associate for development and partnerships. We will be adding new fellows, community managers, researchers to our team in the months ahead to drive this work and encourage you to keep an eye on our Twitter, Linkedin, and jobs page.
About the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation
The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University brings together students, expert practitioners, and extended networks to work on projects that solve societal challenges using data, design, technology, and policy. Our projects test new ways for public and private institutions to leverage data and analytics, digital technologies, and service design to help more people.