We are actively engaged in the dialogue and debates of our space: on issues of social justice, global development, and democratic innovation, and on the ethics and methodological evolution of design, mediation, and co-creation practice. More of our writing can be found at Medium.

Welcome New Rebooters!

Over the last few months, we’ve welcomed several new team members to support programmatic work across our portfolio. Adeola Ojebiyi, Ijeoma Mba, and Tahir Sherriff will lend their combined expertise in journalism, research, evaluation, and development to our West Africa office. Matthew McNaughton, Merlin Chatwin, and Raúl Zambrano have also joined our team to help shape our work with OGP subnational pilots in Ghana, Kenya, and Mexico.

How to Start Up

Zack Brisson will share the Reboot story with fellow entrepreneurs at a Coworkrs Founders panel on Thursday, July 28th in Brooklyn. He will talk about what it takes to get a bold idea (e.g. changing the status quo of the public sector) off the ground and then grow it into a meaningful business.

Building Capacity in Big Data

Carrie Oppenheimer is attending the Data-Pop Alliance’s first Global Professional Training Workshop on Big Data and Development at the MIT Media Lab from June 27th to 30th. This pilot workshop will inform a series of global trainings on the implications and applications of big data for development and policy practitioners. Supported by the Hewlett Foundation and the United Nations System Staff College, this training program will blend teaching formats, from instructor-led sessions to a data expedition, covering the context, methods, decisionmaking, and ethics of big data.

Teaching Tech for Governance

Panthea Lee will co-present a session on governance at Singularity University’s flagship Global Solutions Program on July 1st. The program brings together 80 participants from over 40 countries to learn about and build exponential technologies to address human challenges. Panthea will discuss Reboot’s approach to understanding complex political economies and tackling thorny governance problems, and the role (and limitations) of technology in doing so.

Showcasing Innovation at USAID

On June 27th & 28th, Panthea Lee participate in USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Partners’ Forum. She will co-open the forum’s innovation sessions—which will cover topics including co-creation, political economy analysis, internet freedom, and social accountability—by sharing Reboot’s lessons from designing and implementing democracy, governance, and civic engagement programs around the world.


Accelerating Media Development in West Africa

We are excited to announce the launch of a new report: People-Powered Media Innovation in West Africa. Supported by the Omidyar Network, Reboot researched opportunities for funders to leverage the power of media for government transparency and accountability in Nigeria and Ghana. The report describes how citizen participation in new media is reshaping the dynamics between citizens, media, and government, and highlights two key opportunities for funders: activating audiences and providing sustainable funding. Read the summary or download the full report.

Regional Learning on Open Data for Governance

In Istanbul this week, Nicole Anand and Panthea Lee will join the UNDP’s Data for Development Results  conference to learn and share how open data can address governance challenges in Europe and Central Asia. Panthea will present on smart cities shifting away from dashboards and towards being more citizen-centric in the “Wise Cities are Built around Citizens” session on June 8th. At the “Doing Data Differently” panel on June 9th, Nicole will discuss how new sources of data affect the power distribution between citizens and governments. Panthea and Nicole will also provide closing remarks for the days’ sessions on their respective speaking dates. Follow along on Twitter with #ECADATA16.

Leading the Adaptive Management Agenda

From May 23th to 27th, Panthea Lee will participate in USAID’s Science, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (STIP) Summit in Pretoria, South Africa. Hosted by USAID’s Global Development Lab, the conference will gather leaders from the Agency’s missions worldwide. Panthea will lead a discussion on adaptive management and its integration to USAID’s programs on May 23rd, and speak about Reboot’s experience with participatory innovation methods at a plenary on May 27th.

Tech Innovation for Sustainable Development

Next week Zack Brisson will speak at the ICT4D Conference, a global summit on using technology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, in Nairobi. On May 16th, Zack will discuss adaptive management and problem-driven design in a session on “Systems Change: Real-Time Data for Agile, Responsible and Participatory Development” with Dr. Samir Doshi from USAID. On May 17th, he will present My Voice, Reboot’s open source tool for feedback and accountability, and using digital tools to improve basic human services. Follow along on Twitter with #ICT4D2016.

Making Feedback Smart

Panthea Lee will facilitate Feedback Labs’ Smart Summit on May 12th in Washington, DC. Practitioners and experts in aid, development, and philanthropy will gather at the World Bank to discuss the value of beneficiary feedback in program design and outcomes. Read the background paper, and register to attend here.

Emergent Learning for Impact

On May 9th at 3 pm, Zack Brisson will discuss the evolving practice of adaptive learning with fellow thinkers and practitioners in Washington, DC. Hosted by the Results for Development Institute, the conversation will explore new approaches to impact evaluation and practical limitations to closing feedback loops. Register to attend on Eventbrite.

Converging on the Impact of Civic Technology

On April 27th and 28th, Nicole Anand will join global thought leaders in civic technology and digital democracy at TICTec, The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference, in Barcelona. On April 28th at 11:30 am local time, Nicole Anand will present on our experience with media users in West Africa. Follow the event on Twitter with #TICTeC2016.

Harnessing Engagement for Digital Innovations

On April 19th, Adam Talsma will participate in a panel on stakeholder engagement strategies as part of the Innovation Africa Digital Summit in Abuja. Using our MyVoice platform as a case study, he will discuss how to ensure that tech innovations reach their intended audience and objectives.

Careers in Social Impact

On Wednesday, April 6th, Laura Freschi will share her experience as a social impact professional with students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. SIPA students can meet Laura and learn more about Reboot from 6–8 pm at the Social Impact Career Panel.

Bringing User Experience to Government

On Friday April 8th, Panthea Lee will join the U.S. Department of State for UX exponential, their first workshop on user-experience design. As part of a panel of design experts, Panthea will share how the State Department can employ user-centered design to improve internal strategy work.

Convening on Human Rights in a Digital Future

From March 30th to April 1st, Panthea Lee and Zack Brisson will join RightsCon, the world’s leading summit on human rights and the future of internet, in Silicon Valley. On Friday, Zack will present on using digital tools for analog rights at 12 pm, and Panthea will lead a hub table on media development and citizen engagement at 4 pm. Follow the event on Twitter with #RightsCon.

Building Strategies for Ethical Data Collection

Zack Brisson will attend the Responsible Data Forum on Human Rights Documentation on March 29th in San Francisco. This collaborative discussion on the ethical, privacy and security challenges of data advocacy will expand resources and tools for a benign use of technology to the document human rights, based on the 2015 forum with frontline activists.

Spreading Service Design in Nigeria

Adam Talsma is in Lagos this week supporting a team of forward-thinking service design practitioners at Areedi and PolicyLab to soft launch the Nigerian chapter of the global Service Design Network. SDN Lagos’ first event will engage business owners in how service design principles and methods are being applied in Nigeria. Follow along on Twitter with #sdnbreakfast.


NYC Transparency Platform Launches

We congratulate the Mayor’s Office of New York on the launch of the new beta transparency platform, OpenRecords. Building on Mayor De Blasio’s commitment to transparency, the platform makes it easier for the public and city agencies to request, track, and manage freedom of information requests. Reboot was proud to support the city in the platform’s design and implementation.


Welcome Beatrice Nordling!

Joining Reboot as our new programs and communications intern, Beatrice is a soon-to-be economics graduate from NYU, with a background in research and communications. She will assist in shaping Reboot’s communications and projects, and is excited to apply her heterodox economics perspective to our integrative design approach.