Published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

By Multiple Contributors

The Ford Foundation’s technology and society program has spent more than a decade working with the talented technologists, researchers, leaders, and advocates who are asking these questions at scale through a pioneering new field: public interest technology.

Public interest technology is an interdisciplinary approach that demands technology be designed, deployed, and regulated in a responsible and equitable way. That’s why public interest technologists—engineers, scientists, community organizers, activists—explicitly center the experiences of historically marginalized groups who have been both targeted and neglected by technology.

Over the course of this series, sponsored by the Ford Foundation, some of the sharpest minds in this field will explore why and how advancing public interest technology will function best with widespread participation, particularly across four key sectors: academia, civil society, private and public sectors. In an increasingly interconnected global ecosystem, progress toward effective standards and regulations that protect the public must map to global consumer and human rights frameworks. Creating and distributing technology that works for all is an imperative for technologists, social entrepreneurs, business leaders, philanthropists, civil society leaders, and academics in our institutions across the globe.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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