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SOC 11 — Technology for Social Good

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Apr 4—May 2
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 17
Unit: 1
Tuition: $240
Instructor(s): Lucy Bernholz
On-campus course
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 4—May 2
5 weeks
Drop By
Apr 17
1 Unit
Lucy Bernholz
Digital tools are changing how we volunteer our time, donate our money, and work together to help other people. In the last few years, disaster response organizations have become reliant on global volunteer corps using their smartphones to guide responders. Humanitarian organizations now use tweets and online video to identify war criminals, and communities use remote cell signals to monitor water pumps. We are beginning to use these digital tools to imagine new strategies for addressing age-old challenges of hunger, poverty, and injustice.

This course will consider digital technologies being used for social good across many domains, from education to healthcare, environmental monitoring to poverty alleviation. Technologies we will look at include data mining, crowdfunding platforms, drones, satellite imagery, and mobile payments. The course will focus on discerning what these different examples have in common, what leads to their success, and where there may be opportunities for the next innovation.

We will also consider the context in which digital technologies can be most valuable, and zero in on the organizational and social settings that shape successful implementation of digital interventions. The emerging fields of digital data ethics, privacy rights, and data philanthropy will also be discussed.

This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade.

Lucy Bernholz, Senior Scholar, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford

Lucy Bernholz co-leads the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford. She is the co-editor of Philanthropy in Democracies (with Rob Reich) and is working on a book titled The Future of Good. She is the author of the Blueprint Series of Annual Industry Forecasts on Philanthropy and Social Investing, Disrupting Philanthropy, and Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. She received a PhD from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.