Category: Viewpoints

Digital Identity — A Missing Piece for Civil Society?

“What if the people involved in building blockchains or developing AI or setting standards for the Internet of Things were as diverse and worldwide as the people whose lives are affected by these things?”

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Two Reasons Why the GDPR Matters Everywhere

Digital Impact’s Lucy Bernholz sees the EU’s data protection regulation as a framework that may just align with your mission. A silver lining?

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Data Review Boards: Facebook, Data Governance, and Trusts in Practice

This piece was originally published on Medium. This past weekend, years of advocacy and reporting from Carole Cadwalladr, Paul-Olivier Dehaye, and Max Schrems finally got its due on the front pages of the New York Times, the Guardian, and then, well, everywhere else. Without going into the minutiae, Cambridge Analytica, a voter manipulation firm, harvested the records […]

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Strava, Contracts, and Our Data Stockholm Syndrome

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, […]

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

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. […]

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Robot Nonprofits and Algorithmic Philanthropy

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 […]

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Digital Civil Society Around the World

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 […]

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You Don’t Need a Data Scientist, You Need a Data Culture

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, […]

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Digital Impact: Reflections from New York City

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 […]

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Considering Bias

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 […]

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