Tech & Society Week 2023

Join us March 27 – April 1 for the second annual Tech & Society Week—a week of events across campus, exploring various issues at the nexus of technology and society. Whether you’re deeply immersed in these issues, or just curious, there are events for you.

Take a look below for a snapshot of the week. You can also:

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by March 15th to

Monday, March 27

10am – 3:30pm // Privacy Enhancing Technologies for the Public Interest

This workshop is the second installment of an ongoing series connecting policy makers and technologists to encourage the development of thoughtful, impactful privacy enhancing technologies. The workshop will feature presentations and interactive, small group brainstorming sessions.

1:20 – 3:20pm // Interplanetary Internet Governance

Professor Laura DeNardis will speak about “Interplanetary Internet Governance” at the Tech Law and Policy Colloquium. 

*email for details

3:00 – 4:30pm // An Introduction to Feminist Cyberlaw

Join Georgetown professors Meg Jones and Amanda Levendowski for an introduction to the new field of Feminist Cyberlaw. Through discussion with authors from our forthcoming edited volume, we will explore how gender, race, sexuality, disability, and class shape cyberspace and the laws that govern it.

Co-Sponsored by the Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy, and the Law & Technology Forum of the Women’s Bar Association of D.C.

Tuesday, March 28

11am – 12:30 pm // Behind the Mic: Tech Podcast Hosts Reflect on the Impact of Technology

If digital technology has taught us anything in the last several decades, it is that alongside the potential for good comes the potential for great harm. As people everywhere try to understand the implications of current and emerging technology, it is increasingly clear that there are few (if any) clear-cut answers, and that the issues we are exploring are often in the rough and blurry edges between disciplines. Podcasts have proven to be a compelling medium for exploring these rough edges with impressive line-ups of guests and scholars. But what about the people who host and create the space for these conversations? Let’s flip the script, and create a space to hear more from them. What do they see in the constellation of conversations they are having: patterns, gaps, questions that need further exploration?

Join us for a conversation with three brilliant minds that create conversations exploring and untangling complex issues: Bridget Todd (Host of There Are No Girls on the Internet and Founder of Unbossed Creative), Justin Hendrix (CEO and Editor/Host of Tech Policy Press), and Quinta Jurecic (Host of Lawfare, Arbiters of Truth).

1:30 – 3:30 pm // Politics and Polling: Practices, Perceptions and Public Confidence

The last two presidential elections have led to scrutiny and debate over how political polling is conducted and how it is used (and misused) by campaigns, parties, political pundits, and the public at large. Join GU Politics and MDI for a discussion with polling experts about the challenges polling faces today and what to expect in 2024. The panel discussion will be followed by a reception.

The event will include speakers with a depth of experience in the field:

This event is hosted in partnership with the Institute of Politics and Public Service and the Massive Data Institute both at the McCourt School of Public Policy.

4:00 – 5:00pm // Data for Impact: Leverage the Environmental Impact Data Collaborative for your Research

Georgetown Community Launch Event of the EIDC: Do you want to research environmental, economic and social issues in the United States? Join the Environmental Impact Data Collaborative team to learn about our platform that hosts quality-checked datasets on environmental policy and related topics, such as health or vulnerable communities. Drop-in for snacks and great conversation! This event is open to the GU Community — students, faculty and staff.

5:30 – 7:30pm // Fail Fest

Fail Fests draw on the philosophy of “failing forward” to allow speakers and attendees to find comfort in making mistakes and exploring opportunities for continued learning and growth. During this event, students will hear fun and funny failure stories from 4–5 professionals working at the intersections of technology and society, followed by an opportunity for students to mingle and reflect. Light appetizers and refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, March 29

10am – Noon // Behind the Scenes: Understanding Equity and Representation in Government Data

If data is not collected, shared, or used with equity in mind, it can worsen structural inequities in important policy-making and delivery of public services. How might we understand the role of governments and individuals to address equity as we consider data collection, usage and accessibility? Join the panel of experts to discuss how we responsibly use data for data-driven decision making. The panel discussion will be followed by “Coffee Conversations” with the panelists.

The event will include speakers with a depth of experience in the field:

This event is hosted in partnership with the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation and the Massive Data Institute at the McCourt School of Public Policy.

11am – Noon // Conversations in Tech & Society Research with GNOVIS

Join the GNOVIS journal team to discuss current student research on tech and society topics ranging from misinformation to representation in media. We’ll be workshopping theoretical concepts and ideas from previous published GNOVIS articles. Space is limited, register early!

1:00 – 2:15pm // Intersectional Bias in Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Join us to explore the potential for intersectional bias in applications of artificial intelligence drawing on case studies from migration and border control, military and medical contexts. Our aim is to ask how overlapping markers of identity, including age, gender and race can produce bias and the ways existing approaches to AI often do not take into account these intersections. Using cases from different fields, we also point to the limits of datasets for AI developed in one context and deployed in another, as well as the challenges of testing and evaluation.

The event will include speakers with a depth of experience in the field:

Co-Sponsored by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, the Institute for the Study of International Migration, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office in the School of Foreign Service.

1:30 – 3:30pm // CCT Project Exhibit

Come walk through CCT and check out projects created in CCT classes that focus on the nexus of technology and society.

3:30 – 4:45pm // Tech and the Good Life

Wasn’t tech supposed to help us live better? Can we still make it do that? Join us for a conversation about how we can (and must) pursue a meaningful life in a world full of distractions, especially all those shiny rectangles with buttons. This panel will discuss how to be present with peers and practice healthy-ish relationships with tech in our homes, on our wrists, and at our workplaces. But this panel will also walk the walk — by inviting audience members to reflect on their own sociotechnical dilemmas and exploring the collective nature of the current cognitive crisis. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Jeanine Turner, Dr. Erika Cohen-Derr, and Dr. Cal Newport.

3:30 – 5:00pm // Cop Out: Automation in the Criminal Legal System

Algorithmic technologies increasingly pervade the criminal legal system. Police, judges, prosecutors, and other legal authorities are increasingly using technologies like predictive policing, face recognition, and risk assessments to inform or make critical decisions about policing and punishment, which has profound consequences for peoples’ rights and liberties. In a new interactive digital narrative, Cop Out: Automation in the Criminal Legal System, we explore these algorithmic technologies fueling the increasing automation of the criminal legal system. An accompanying essay considers the real-life, on-the-ground impacts of this change, and how algorithmic technologies can stymie attempts to reconsider how the criminal legal system operates by reinforcing historical and contemporary inequities.

Join the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law for the official launch of Cop Out: Automation in the Criminal Legal System, followed by a roundtable discussion.

The event will feature incredible speakers, focused on strategies of resistance:

Thursday, March 30

10:00 – 11:30am // A Roundtable with the Chief Technologists: Leveling Up the Government’s Technology Policy Expertise

To address the central role technology plays in our economy, work, communications, and social interactions, many government agencies–at the state and federal level–have named Chief Technologists or Chief Technology Officers to bring greater knowledge and skills into their work. On March 30, 2023, the Georgetown Institute for Technology Law and Policy is pleased to bring a group of these distinguished, trailblazing government officials together for a conversation about the strategies for keeping government nimble and responsive to the ever-changing landscape of technology.

The event will feature current and former CTOs at regulatory agencies, including:

4:00 – 6:00pm // Diving into the CHIPS Act

A deep-dive on the CHIPS act. This is part of CSET’s monthly Tech and Security Webinar Series, and will be followed by a reception.

5:00 – 7:00pm // Tech Policy Happy Hour

Tech Policy Happy Hour is a long-standing monthly gathering of folks working at the intersection of technology, law, and policy. Join us for a special edition that coincides with Tech & Society Week!

Friday, March 31

9:00am – 1:00pm // Fritz Family Fellowship Conference

The Fritz Family Fellows Program is a cross-campus collaboration that aims to cultivate the next generation of leaders with expertise in the social impacts of technology, and build a network of public interest technologists who learn from and support each other’s work. The annual Fritz Family Fellowship Conference is a celebratory event during which fellows will have the opportunity to present their research to their communities, as well as reflect on their research experiences.

1:30 – 3:30pm // Tech for the Public Interest: How Tech Jobs Can Launch Careers in Civil Rights, Social Justice, and Public Service

Whether it’s advocating for public policies that hold tech companies more accountable, designing tech solutions to modernize delivery of government services, or imagining how tech can drive greater access to justice, there’s no question that tech can offer a clear path to working for social good. Join tech VIPs and Georgetown students, faculty, staff, and alumni to learn more about how to combine an interest in technology with the pursuit of serving the public interest.

This program is presented by the Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Technology & Public Policy in partnership with the District of Columbia Mayor’s Innovation & Technology Inclusion Council.

3:30 – 4:30pm // Tech x Environment x Ethics

Join Ethics Lab fellows for a discussion about their work at the intersection of technology and environmental ethics.

all day // Digital Ethics Workshop: New Frontiers in Digital Ethics

A workshop featuring talks on new research in digital ethics by rising early-career researchers with backgrounds in philosophy, business ethics, and computer science. The workshop will include in-depth discussion about each of the eight talks. *Registration details to come. 

This is a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Saturday, April 1

all day // New Frontiers in Digital Ethics

A workshop featuring talks on new research in digital ethics by rising early-career researchers with backgrounds in philosophy, business ethics, and computer science. The workshop will include in-depth discussion about each of the eight talks.

This is a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.