Archive by Author

Can Measures Change the World?

Christopher Nelson, Anita Chandra & Carolyn Miller in Stanford Social Innovation Review: “Our ability to track and report all sorts of things is growing by the day, resulting in a proliferation of measures—the percentage of children attending preschool, the cost of housing, access to mental health services, to name just a few. It’s time that organizations […]

Transatlantic Data Privacy

Paul M. Schwartz and Karl-Nikolaus Peifer in Georgetown Law Journal: “International flows of personal information are more significant than ever, but differences in transatlantic data privacy law imperil this data trade. The resulting policy debate has led the EU to set strict limits on transfers of personal data to any non-EU country—including the United States—that lacks sufficient privacy protections. Bridging the transatlantic data divide is therefore a […]

The Challenge of VR to the Liberal Democratic Order

Paper by Edward Castronova: “The rapid expansion of virtual reality (VR) technology in the years 2016-2021 awakens a significant constitutional issue. In a liberal democratic order, rule is by consent of the governed. In the medium-term future, many of the governed will be immersed fully within VR environments, environments which, we are told, will provide entertainment […] “The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) is a group of federal employees from different agencies and specialties who support the use of clear communication in government writing. Originally called the Plain English Network, PLAIN has been meeting informally since the mid 1990s. Our goal is to promote the use of plain language […]

Participatory Grant Making: Has its Time Come?

Paper by Cynthia Gibson for the Ford Foundation: “…During the past decade, all sectors of society have faced heightened demand for greater accountability and transparency. People have become more distrustful of established institutions, they are demanding more information about issues and decisions afecting them and their families and communities, and they want more voice in […]


New project by The GovLab: “With rates of trust in government at historic lows, the legitimacy of traditional representative models of lawmaking — often conducted by professional staff and politicians working behind closed doors and distorted by political party agendas–is called into question. New forms of public participation could help to improve both legitimacy and effectiveness by […]

Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy

Freedom of the Net 2017 Report by the Freedom House: “Governments around the world have dramatically increased their efforts to manipulate information on social media over the past year. The Chinese and Russianregimes pioneered the use of surreptitious methods to distort online discussions and suppress dissent more than a decade ago, but the practice has since gone global. […]

Measuring Tomorrow: Accounting for Well-Being, Resilience, and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century

Book by Éloi Laurent on “How moving beyond GDP will improve well-being and sustainability…Never before in human history have we produced so much data, and this empirical revolution has shaped economic research and policy profoundly. But are we measuring, and thus managing, the right things—those that will help us solve the real social, economic, political, […]

Understanding Corporate Data Sharing Decisions: Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities for Sharing Corporate Data with Researchers

Leslie Harris at the Future of Privacy Forum: “Data has become the currency of the modern economy. A recent study projects the global volume of data to grow from about 0.8 zettabytes (ZB) in 2009 to more than 35 ZB in 2020, most of it generated within the last two years and held by the […]