At Data & Society, we advance public understanding of the social and cultural implications of data-centric technologies and automation. Through empirically grounded research and inclusive engagement, we work to ensure that knowledge guides the development and governance of technology.
Our Theory of Change
We envision a future where the values that inform data-centric technologies are grounded in equity and human dignity.
Empirical research is a first, crucial step to building an evidence base for just data governance that more equitably serves the public. In each of our programs, we work to move from building an evidence base and diagnosing complex harms to advancing specific solutions and just outcomes in policy, in norms, and in societal expectations — and to do so in ways that support and broaden a vibrant and growing field.
Power, control, and the datafied state
We explore how algorithms become part of and influence state functions, how trust and doubt in public sector data infrastructures are shaped — and what the implications are for democratic practice.
Participation, agency, and algorithmic accountability
We seek to better understand what forms of public involvement can increase agency and equity in data governance and algorithmic accountability, and what the trade-offs are across them.
Reframing society’s relationship to technology
We build coalitions and center stories and tactics that advance public understanding of the ways technology reflects societal choices, reveal the social contexts in which technology is designed, and highlight the power society has to change the trajectory of tech development.
Enduring commitment to equity
In all of our work, and at every level of the organization, we committed to continuously reviewing, building, and expanding a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, accountability, and access.
Change the terms of debate by challenging techno-solutionist narratives and pushing for nuanced, context-specific understandings of technology’s role in society.
Shift power by foregrounding systemically affected communities and offering approaches to design and governance that are grounded in equity and justice.
Shape policy and practice by informing emerging data governance with a rigorous, interdisciplinary evidence base drawn from empirical research.
Building organizational trust and equity by connecting and engaging with our staff and network to nurture a culture where everyone’s work is supported, celebrated and valued.