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SOC 11 — Technology for Social Good

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Date(s): Mar 29—May 3
Duration: 5 weeks
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Apr 11
Unit(s): 1 Units
Tuition: $225
Format: On-campus course
Status: Open
Please Note: This course has a different schedule than what appears in the print catalogue. The final on-campus session will be on Tuesday, May 3. There will be no class on April 12.
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 at the beginning of using these digital tools to imagine new strategies to address 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. We will consider the use of technologies such as 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.

Rob Reich, Professor of Political Science, Stanford; Faculty Director, Center for Ethics in Society; Faculty Co-Director, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford

Rob Reich’s research focuses on contemporary political theory, and his most recent work examines the relationship between philanthropy, democracy, and justice. He is the author or editor of five books, including Democracy at Risk and Education, Justice, and Democracy. He is the co-editor of Philanthropy in Democracies (with Lucy Bernholz). He has received several teaching awards, including the Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Teaching Award and the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. Reich received a PhD from Stanford.

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 the Social Economy, Disrupting Philanthropy, and Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. She received a PhD from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks