Summer Series

Looking to supercharge your summer and more effectively engage with communities?

Throughout this summer, the PKG Center at MIT will be hosting a series of sessions highlighting public interest technology work and the folx engaged in this field. We will be offering a mixture of panel discussions and workshops with students, faculty, and community partners to think more deeply about stretching the impact of our technological skills by using them in spaces for the public good. These sessions are open to all MIT students and members of the wider community. You don’t need to attend every session, you can tune into as many or as few as you’d like!

Continue to check back throughout the summer as we add more information on each event!

June: The “What?” and “So what?”

Investigating Structural Racism and Gentrification Using Computational Tech with Sebastian Sandoval Olascoaga (June 9th)

Sebastian Sandoval Olascoaga is a third-year Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Economics and Policy Analysis at MIT. Sebastian argues that shocks to a community and its inhabitants (e.g., the sudden death of a family member, a house fire, or an epidemic) create opportunities for real estate agents to flip the community’s housing stock, creating “seismic” waves that accelerate gentrification. Furthermore, he argues that communities with structural racial institutions within them accelerate this process even further. To kick off this summer series, Sebastian will share how he uses computational technology to explore this issue, as well as how he came into this work. To learn more about Sebastian, please go to:

Remote Supervision: Building Meaningful Work Relationships in a Virtual Setting (June 24)

The PKG Center’s own Social Impact Employment Graduate Assistant, Samantha Ha, and Assistant Dean for Community Based Programs, Sarah Bouchard, will lead us in an engaging conversation on developing meaningful relationships with your boss and/or teammates while navigating virtual work. As a remote employee, how do you know you’re meeting expectations? As a remote employer, how do you gauge the needs of your team? How many check-ins is too many and how can we use our on-screen time most efficiently? Join us as we explore these questions and share tips and tricks for working in a virtual setting.

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Data (July 6)

For session 3 of the “Stretch Your Impact” Summer Series, we will dig into the pros and cons of collecting and using data. We will be joined by esteemed MIT faculty members who will give us their thoughts and suggestions on how to and not to be thinking about and utilizing information, based on their own experiences. You won’t want to miss this session!

July: The “Now what?”

Tech for Social Good Community Partner Panel (July 14)

There are organizations that combine technology with public interest work and we have invited a few to share what this can look like. Join us to explore the unique and growing field of technology for the social good and see how you might stretch your skills and talent to serve a wider community!

Data Visualization Workshop (July 29) – CANCELLED

Join us in this interactive workshop and discussion on using and communicating data. Students who have data visualization skills will tell us how they applied them in their work with public interest organizations to build capacity, make results more digestible for communities, and stretch their impact!

August: Taking action

Building Pathways Towards Tech for Good Careers (August 10)

As we near the end of the Summer Series, we will be putting everything together and thinking about making careers in the tech for good/public interest technology field. Students working towards this goal will join us to discuss their trajectories and support others looking to enter this worthwhile arena. Bring your thoughts and questions and join us as we stretch into tech for good career pathways!  

Exploring Employment Options (August 18)

For the final session of the “Stretch Your Impact” summer series, we will hear from four folx representing public interest technology organizations where MIT students have interned/worked in the past. We will learn about these organizations and how interested individuals might get involved in their work. Join us for this culminating session as we explore tech for good employment options!