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Strava, Contracts, and Our Data Stockholm Syndrome

In Viewpoints by Sean Martin McDonaldLeave a Comment

In the last few days, there has been a lot of hand wringing after Strava, a run tracking app, published a global heat map of its users’ exercise paths. As it turns out, in many of the world’s most dangerous locations, the only people using social exercise tracking apps are expatriate military and humanitarian staff, making it fairly easy to …

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From Policy To Technology: Takeaways from Predict-a-Palooza 2018

In Viewpoints by Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.Leave a Comment

With the tax changes in the U.S. and the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, policy is expected to play a big role in changing the philanthropy landscape in 2018. Income inequality will be another key factor, shaping philanthropic fortunes on one end of the spectrum and fueling political unrest from the other end. Meanwhile, we may be headed …

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Robot Nonprofits and Algorithmic Philanthropy

In Viewpoints by Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.Leave a Comment

This post is part of a series of excerpts from Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2018, the ninth annual industry forecast from Lucy Bernholz. Read the entire Blueprint series and join the conversation on social media with #blueprint2018. Big data, open websites, and algorithms make certain kinds of research much easier. Scanning job postings as a way to understand what organizations …

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Digital civil society around the world

In Viewpoints by Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.Leave a Comment

This post is part of a series of excerpts from Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2018, the ninth annual industry forecast from Lucy Bernholz. Read the entire Blueprint series and join the conversation on social media with #blueprint2018. Over the course of the year, I met with people in eight countries about the shape and meaning of digital civil society, with …

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You don’t need a data scientist, you need a data culture

In Viewpoints by Rahul BhargavaLeave a Comment

This piece was originally published on Medium. The DataBasic.io project is supported by a 2016 Digital Impact Grant. Most of the larger non-profit organizations we work with are scrambling to figure out how to deploy complex technologies like machine learning and “AI” in service of the social good. These include inspiring examples that range from poverty alleviation, to home fire prevention, to self-harm risk …

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Digital Impact: Reflections from New York City

In Viewpoints, Digital Impact World Tour by Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.Leave a Comment

The Digital Civil Society Lab welcomed 80 civil society leaders to the Digital Impact World Tour convening in New York City on October 23.   Given the depth and breadth of the academic and civic tech communities in New York, the panel discussions were particularly illuminating. Throughout the previous eight global conversations we have convened this year around the “possibilities and responsibilities” of the …

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Considering Bias

In Viewpoints, Digital Impact World Tour by Paula DootsonLeave a Comment

Human perceptions and decision-making are riddled with cognitive biases. Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that sometimes lead to irrational judgments. For example, you might think you are more likely to die in a plane crash than die of a heart attack (that’s caused by the availability heuristic). While that can impact your anxiety to fly, it …

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Digital Impact: Reflections from Brisbane

In Viewpoints, Digital Impact World Tour by Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.Leave a Comment

On July 29 More than 100 Australian social sector leaders spent a beautiful Saturday in Brisbane discussing the possibilities and responsibilities of digital civil society. Several themes dominated the day: the importance of the “people” part of digital data, the ways digital technologies can highlight and even amplify existing social disparities, and a clear enthusiasm for building connections across sectors, …

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The Dark Side of Data (Organizations)

In Viewpoints, Digital Impact World Tour by Angela DalyLeave a Comment

Non-profits and philanthropy organizations need to embrace the digital age and start engaging more with digital and data in their activities. However, they must also be careful to avoid the ‘dark side’ of data and digitization, and ensure they uphold respect for the privacy and security of individuals’ data.   These threats are not merely theoretical. There are plenty of …

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Digital Impact: Reflections from Brussels

In Viewpoints, Digital Impact World Tour by Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.Leave a Comment

The European leg of the Digital Impact event series kicked off in Brussels on 13 June.   Not surprisingly to those who follow EU policy, the emerging European digital policy landscape permeated the day’s discussions. We were fortunate to have participants and speakers from digital rights groups and corporate policy offices to share insights on the many ways that European …