September 5, 2019 | Cori Zarek

Classes may slow down here at Georgetown over the summer, but our work at the Center never stops. Our summer cohort of student analysts spent their time researching a number of topics vital to the future of the Data + Digital portfolio:

  • Identifying innovative digital service successes in Latin America that could be good models for services in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world
  • Sharpening their skills in human-centered design to teach those methods to other student analysts and use that approach to improve upon Beeck Center programs
  • Exploring pathways into the civic technology and digital government field for young designers and developers 

Read more about our students’ June and July activities.

As we move into the fall, the Digital Service Collaborative, a project in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, is launching several projects that will scale proven solutions that governments have adopted to more efficiently and effectively serve the public. 

For example, we are supporting a Foster Care Working Group jointly with New America and Foster America that is scaling a new, faster process to help eligible families get licensed for foster care — taking a proven solution from Rhode Island and expanding to eight more states with an implementation playbook for the next wave of states. 

We will also launch a working group to pioneer new approaches to policy making to apply human-centered, agile methods to develop government policy. By focusing on what the public needs, governments can draft policies to more directly deliver better outcomes for the people they serve. Additionally, we are scouting for states beginning to implement digital service practices where we can pair a researcher to document their challenges and successes in real time so we can better learn from them as a community of practice as more and more government teams begin to focus on service delivery approaches.

Finally, we are also exploring ways to professionalize this nascent but growing government digital service delivery field. As these roles become more standard in governments, we can identify job description templates that can be shared across all levels of government and amplify recruitment and hiring models underway by colleagues like the Tech Talent Project. We are also working with practitioners to identify training and skills building opportunities for government leaders so they can keep their skills sharp while on the job and don’t necessarily have to cycle back into the private sector for training.

Get Involved

We are launching a new academic series on the principles of responsible data use and digital service delivery for the Georgetown community. Our Data, Digital + Social Impact seminars will feature data experts from the public and private sectors and leaders in digital services and technology lecturing on related topics and opening the conversation to the group. This roundtable approach will give participants an opportunity to learn from these experts and also engage in a dialogue in a small group setting — and, we’re buying dinner. The seminars are open to anyone in the Georgetown community and registration is now open for the first session on Sept. 24. Future sessions will be shared in the Beeck newsletter, on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Data, Digital + Social Impact Seminar | September 24 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | (Future Sessions: October 8, October 22, November 5, November 19) 


If you’re working on government service delivery as part of a government team, civil society, industry, academia, or elsewhere, and you want to collaborate with us — and each other — please reach out and let us know what you’re working on: or @BeeckCenter.


September 5, 2019 | Lisa Hall

The Fair Finance team is looking forward to the official launch of our initiative this fall focused on changing or righting the rules and systems which drive financing in ways that create shared prosperity for all communities.  This summer Senior Fellow, Lisa Hall had the chance to speak with Deval Patrick, head of the Bain Double Impact Fund, about how to make the economy work for all citizens at the Singularity University Global Summit in San Francisco.

Beeck Center’s Lisa Hall interviews Deval Patrick at the Singularity University Global Summit. (Interview starts at 1:48:20)

We’re also pleased to have several Fellows with distinguished careers and expertise in impact investing, sustainable investing, and real estate on our team including Jen Collins, Betsy Zeidman, and Mark Newberg.  We are launching several new projects in the coming months including efforts to expand our Opportunity Zone Framework and Opportunity Zone Investor Council as well as an initiative around innovative approaches to workforce training for refugees and immigrants.  We are also joined on the team by a veteran journalist, Elizabeth MacBride who is creating a new social enterprise, testing the proposition that good journalism can help drive inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation. Elizabeth also wrote this Forbes article over the summer which features one of our summer intern’s Kriti Sapra and offers advice to young women about how to manage their careers and motherhood.

The goal of our work on Fair Finance is to examine and deconstruct the financial systems that perpetuate in-equity in our society.  Building upon our past work around results-based financing, impact investing, and performance-based funding,  as well as our data for social good work, the Beeck Center is now embarking upon a bold initiative to examine and change the rules of the game for financing outcomes.  

Finance is a fundamental tool for solving intractable social problems like poverty and wealth inequality.

At the Beeck Center we seek to confront the powerful constituencies that promote and preserve the myth of opportunity or the “American Dream;” which ignores systemic and persistent barriers to financial and economic success. We seek to identify scalable solutions that address these challenges.  We also intend to directly address barriers to opportunity and market access. Some of the results we will deliver through this initiative include a survey of efforts to increase the number and scale of diverse managers, case studies highlighting successful impact in Opportunity Zones, and convening around workforce training for refugees and immigrants.  We will also be producing digital content providing context for the history community investing in US along with recommendations for bold new policy ideas that match the demographics and challenges of the 21st century.  

Get Involved

As we build out the Fair Finance initiative we are seeking your ideas and want to collaborate with likely and unlikely partners.  Please reach out to us with your bold ideas and thoughts on new policies that are needed in a time when we are facing unprecedented social and environmental challenges. 

Also come hear our ideas at upcoming events including the GU Women in Impact Investing Conference at Healy Hall’s Gaston Auditorium on the Georgetown campus, co-sponsored by the Beeck Center, on September 26 from 6-8:30 pm (Register), where Lisa Hall will join a panel discussing All About Impact Measurement

Please follow us on Twitter for updates on other Fair Finance team speaking engagements like Social Capital Markets (SoCap) 2019 and the South Carolina Opportunity Zone Summit. 


September 4, 2019 | Matt Fortier

We’ve been busy at the Beeck Center, pursuing our mandate as a training ground for students. Our student analyst program, which included 16 undergraduate and graduate students from 5 different universities, culminated in capstone projects that featured our entire portfolio of work, from community investment and opportunity zones in our Fair Finance portfolio, to various elements of our Data + Digital portfolio such as Census 2020 and a playbook for data sharing. 

Our capstone presentations also featured an exciting new initiative that helps students map their social impact journey, which we will introduce this fall. Be sure to attend our upcoming open houses to find out how the Beeck Center is defining a social impact leader and how you, as a student, can participate in our programming to acquire the tools and mindsets to drive social impact at scale. The open houses will also provide more information about upcoming events, seminars, and workshops. 

Speaking of this fall, we’ve been preparing an exciting back-to-school calendar as we welcome new students and returning students. Our fall calendar provides opportunities to learn about social impact, to explore topics in the field more deeply and engage in reflection, to experience social impact through applied learning, and to partner around social impact – all in accordance with our LEAP framework

This fall, we are also excited to welcome back our 2019 GU Impacts Fellowship class. 21 fellows completed their independent projects with one of our 10 different partners this summer, spanning from entrepreneurship in Atlanta to eco-tourism in the Philippines.  These students will complete their fellowship upon returning to campus, participating in reintegration activities such as reflection, mentorship, and additional guidance. We’ll be hosting an exposition this fall to showcase the exciting work that our GU Impacts Fellows accomplished this summer and the growth they experienced as a result of the program, providing insight into how our students are applying themselves as budding social impact leaders.

If you’ve held a curiosity about social impact and are interested in learning more about how you can approach some of our generation’s most pressing problems, we invite you to engage with us and to join us in our social impact journey. 

Get Involved