To help address the shortage of women in the technology field by deploying a new program in Detroit, Miami and San Jose to encourage girls (ages 13-17) to build their skills and seek opportunities in technology
To implement Community PlanIT, an online tool that enables engagement in local community planning efforts, in four Knight communities: Detroit, Akron, San Jose and Philadelphia
To support the testing and scale of Project Madison, an open source platform for public document creation and discussion.
Knight’s Tech for Engagement initiative seeks to use the power of technology to bring people together to shape their future.
Knight believes technology has the potential to transform democracy by enabling citizens to directly engage with neighbors and leaders in ways we have not yet imagined. So far, there has been visible progress, with online tools gathering ideas and opinions on civic issues, and open platforms making some government functions more efficient. But fulfilling the true potential - to engage citizens in solving the major challenges of their communities - remains ahead of us.
Through our investments, Knight wants to push the field forward, seeking ways to use technology to create citizen-centered solutions. Technology-powered engagement can represent a new level of citizenship, one that strengthens democracy and leads to transformational community change.
The initiative funds in three areas:
1) Deepening public participation: We are looking for ways technology can help develop deeper neighbor-to-neighbor connections, facilitate community dialogue, or make it easier for residents and leaders to create solutions to our thorniest challenges.
2) Opening government: We are seeking to accelerate the movement of positioning government as less of a service provider, and more of a platform that empowers people to better their communities. Our funding supports sustainable tools and projects positioned to scale.
3) Building infrastructure for the field: To date, the Tech for Engagement field is creative, skilled and passionate, but small. We want to help build a cohesive network of individuals and organizations that contribute to this work, and recruit more technologists and social change leaders to take part.