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Organizing in the Digital Age: How Big Data is Affecting Voting and Civic Participation

Traditionally, personal relationships and networks have been the primary tools of community organizing. However, as technology and big data play increasingly important roles in our lives, some organizers are leveraging it in their work. Locally, organizations are using insights gleaned from data to build political power and affect change in Durham and North Carolina.

Join the Hart Leadership Program for a discussion on the ways in which data can be used in organizing, featuring Amy Cox and Briana Brough, co-founders of Flip NC, and Karthik Balasubramanian Pratt '07, an assistant professor at Howard University and founder of the 14 Cities initiative. FLIP NC is a grassroots organization that uses data to conduct targeted, direct voter outreach to elect progressive candidates in North Carolina. 14 Cities uses a data-driven approach to build neighborhood power in majority-Black neighborhoods.

Panelists will share how they use evidence-based strategies and data analytics for organizing communities around causes, while grappling with the implications of big data for the future of community-engaged work. With the panelists, we hope to address questions such as: What counts as data? Does it change the fundamental nature of organizing or is it simply another tool in the organizer's tool kit? What are the implications of this for protection of citizens' trust and privacy? Does big data provide political and community organizers with new tools and strategies?

Contact: Adam Beyer