Data Science for Social Good and Humanitarian Action

My (new) colleagues at the University of Chicago recently launched a new and exciting program called “Data Science for Social Good”. The program, which launches this summer, will bring together dozens top-notch data scientists, computer scientists an social scientists to address major social challenges. Advisors for this initiative include Eric Schmidt (Google), Raed Ghani (Obama Administration) and my very likable colleague Jake Porway (DataKind). Think of “Data Science for Social Good” as a “Code for America” but broader in scope and application. I’m excited to announce that QCRI is looking to collaborate with this important new program given the strong overlap with our Social Innovation Vision, Strategy and Projects.

My team and I at QCRI are hoping to mentor and engage fellows throughout the summer on key humanitarian & development projects we are working on in partnership with the United Nations, Red Cross, World Bank and others. This would provide fellows with the opportunity to engage in  “real world” challenges that directly match their expertise and interests. Second, we (QCRI) are hoping to replicate this type of program in Qatar in January 2014.

Why January? This will give us enough time to design the new program based on the result of this summer’s experiment. More importantly, perhaps, it will be freezing in Chicago ; ) and wonderfully warm in Doha. Plus January is an easier time for many students and professionals to take “time off”. The fellows program will likely be 3 weeks in duration (rather than 3 months) and will focus on applying data science to promote social good projects in the Arab World and beyond. Mentors will include top Data Scientists from QCRI and hopefully the University of Chicago. We hope to create 10 fellowship positions for this Data Science for Social Good program. The call for said applications will go out this summer, so stay tuned for an update.


5 responses to “Data Science for Social Good and Humanitarian Action

  1. People from Google and the Obama Admin … how hopeful! Maybe someday we’ll have (more) projects that are not corporate and gov influenced. Anyone who does not share a similar view needs to re-evaluate their ideas on how hierarchy corrupts democracy. Google wants all data, and American government? Well, try watching the “Power Principle” (free) from and get back to me. I’m posting this with the assumption that no one will even try watching the movie. Anyhow, democracy is dead, enjoy your corporate government while calling it progressive and part of the digital wonderland we’re building. I’m simply disgusted and tired of seeing authorities posing as sugar daddies and candy coating their images that they’re not the monstrous money & power legal beasts that they are. They are swallowing our chances of free and independent development. G’day All.

    • Some important and significant good will still come out of this. In the meantime, please offer concrete, realistic and actionable solutions for other sources of funding for future fellowships instead of making an exclusively negative and unhelpful comment. In fact, if you could offer to take the lead in these fundraising efforts, that would be much appreciated. Please be the change you want to see.

  2. Reblogged this on analyticalsolution and commented:
    Being that I used to work for Chicago GSB – Love to see the good press!

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