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Tracking Employment Shocks Using Mobile Phone Data

Paper byJameson L. Toole et al Can data from mobile phones be used to observe economic shocks and their consequences at multiple scales? Here we present novel methods to detect mass layoffs, identify individuals affected by them, and predict changes in aggregate unemployment rates using call detail records (CDRs) from mobile phones. Using the closure of a […]

Video: The power of public art

“Anne Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time USA, says artists have the power “to kick open the door to social change.” In this video for the World Economic Forum, Pasternak talks about some of Creative Time’s commissions – from lighting up the New York skyline to shaking the hands of sanitation workers – […]

Want better science? Quit hoarding data, genetics researchers say

Nidhi Subbaraman at BetaBoston: “When Andrea Downing was 25, she got screened for the BRCA genes known to be associated with a variety of cancers, including breast cancer. Both her great-grandmother and grandmother had been diagnosed with the disease, so the results were no surprise: Downing carried the BRCA1 mutation in her genes. She learned […]

The Everyone City: How ICT-Based Participation Shapes Urban Form

  Book Chapter by Sara Levy, Karel Martens,  and Rob van der Heijden : “Citizen participation is a cornerstone of urban planning. One common criticism is that the process can be cumbersome and slow. However, in the face of recent advances in information and communication technologies (ICT), those problems can be easily overcome, making it possible to extend public participation […]

How the Internet, the Sharing Economy, and Reputational Feedback Mechanisms Solve the ‘Lemons Problem’

Paper by Thierer, Adam D. and Koopman, Christopher and Hobson, Anne and Kuiper, Chris: “This paper argues that the sharing economy — through the use of the Internet and real time reputational feedback mechanisms — is providing a solution to the “lemons problem” that many regulations, and regulators, have spent decades attempting to overcome. Section […]

Nudging hits Berlin

Hanno Burmester, Philipp Sälhoff  and Marie Wachinger at Policy Network: “Despite suspicion, the nudge theory may have a place in the process of party reform. Ever since Germany’s Kanzleramt published a job ad in 2014 to recruit three behavioural scientists, “nudging” has become a political buzzword in Berlin. For people outside the Berlin bubble, this may come as […]

Law school students crowdsource commencement address

Chronicle of Higher Education: “Though higher education is constantly changing, commencement ceremonies have largely stayed the same. A graduating student at Stanford Law School is trying to change that. Marta F. Belcher is crowdsourcing the speech she will give next month at the law school’s precommencement diploma ceremony, offering her classmates an opportunity to share […]

Opening Criminal Justice Data

Sunlight Foundation: “As part of a new initiative, the Sunlight Foundation has begun amassing an inventory of public and privately-produced criminal justice data. The spreadsheet on this page is a work in progress but we’re publishing it now with hopes that people can use it for research or reporting and even contribute to it. Please […]