Georgia State U. joins civic tech network

(Georgia State University)


Georgia State University will join the Public Interest Technology University Network, the school announced last week.

The Public Interest Technology University Network, or PIT-UN, was created by New America, the Ford Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation, and is designed to promote collaboration between 21 universities and colleges around public interest or civic technology efforts. The network launched in March 2019. GSU will be the network’s 22nd member.

“We are excited to join those preparing our public and nonprofit institutions and executives to lead this technology-driven future forward,” said Sally Wallace, the dean of GSU’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, in a statement. “Stronger collaborations among our institutions will be essential in effectively harnessing technological advances to support society’s core values when minimizing the risks and unforeseen consequences they may impose.”

Members of PIT-UN commit to developing curriculum and programs in the public interest technology space, as well as support for graduates and faculty along the way. In return, member colleges will provide data back to New America to assess the effectiveness of the effort, according to New America’s website.

Despite only joining the network last week, Georgia State’s Andrew Young School has already embarked on its public interest technology journey. The school recently launched the Southeast Region Public Interest Technology Fellows Program alongside PIT-UN founding member Georgia Tech.

“We expect our PIT-UN fellowship and membership will provide many new avenues for our school to promote research and curriculum related to public interest technology,” said Ann-Margaret Esnard, Georgia State’s Andrew Young School associate dean for research and strategic initiatives, in the release. 

The fellowship program and network membership will help drive forward the school’s Digital Landscape Initiative: AYS Open, Esnard said. The effort is designed to provide students and staff access to the latest in the public policy innovation field. 

In January, the school announced the receipt of an open educational resources grant from the University System of Georgia.