This blog post is part of our ‘Data, Privacy, and the Future of Trust in Public Institutions’ series, which is penned by Garrett Morrow, who was MetroLab’s Experiential Research Fellow during Fall 2020. To learn more about this series and to access other posts in this series, check out our first post here.

Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash

On December 14, 2020 I had the opportunity to sit down with the Future of Privacy Forum’s (FPF) Senior Counsel Kelsey Finch. We spoke about FPF’s work on privacy issues and its work with municipalities and activists. FPF is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution whose goal is to…


Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

On January 22, 2021, I had the pleasure of speaking with Hector Dominguez-Aguirre. We spoke about his education, his work in Mexico, his experiences in the private sector in the Pacific Northwest, and his current work in the City of Portland with the Smart City PDX team. Hector was trained as a robotics and automation engineer, and he had training in Japan and the University of California. Hector grew up along the Gulf Coast of Mexico with a strong community feeling, so after his education, Hector returned to Mexico to establish a community collective based around collaboration across interdisciplinary fields…


Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash

This blog post is part of our ‘Data, Privacy, and the Future of Trust in Public Institutions’ series, which is penned by Garrett Morrow, who was MetroLab’s Experiential Research Fellow during Fall 2020. To learn more about this series and to access other posts in this series, check out our first post here.

Michael Schnuerle of the Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) and I spoke on January 21, 2021 about his background, his history of working on open government issues, and his current work with OMF. Michael began his career in Kentucky where he studied computer science, mathematics, and art design…


This blog post is part of our ‘Data, Privacy, and the Future of Trust in Public Institutions’ series, which is penned by Garrett Morrow, who was MetroLab’s Experiential Research Fellow during Fall 2020. To learn more about this series and to access other posts in this series, check out our first post here.

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

I interviewed Andrew Young of GovLab on January 7, 2021 about the group’s recent work, including their AI Localism project. Andrew started a master’s degree in media culture at NYU (where the GovLab is housed) in 2011 with a focus on digital politics and related issues. This…


Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

This blog post is part of our ‘Data, Privacy, and the Future of Trust in Public Institutions’ series, which is penned by Garrett Morrow, who was MetroLab’s Experiential Research Fellow during Fall 2020. To learn more about this series and to access other posts in this series, check out our first post here.

I had the joy of speaking with Jackie Lu of Helpful Places on December 16, 2020 about public facing data- and algorithm-based programs, and how cities, organizations, and business can best inform the public on how these technologies are being used. Jackie is an ecologist by training…


Photo by ev on Unsplash

This blog post is part of our ‘Data, Privacy, and the Future of Trust in Public Institutions’ series, which is penned by Garrett Morrow, who was MetroLab’s Experiential Research Fellow during Fall 2020. To learn more about this series and to access other posts in this series, check out our first post here.

I interviewed Brian Hofer, the Chair and Executive Director of Secure Justice and Chair of the City of Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission on December 9, 2020. We talked about Brian’s work regarding surveillance technology governance in the City of Oakland, the Bay Area, and beyond. Brian was…


Photo by Leon on Unsplash

This blog post is part of our ‘Data, Privacy, and the Future of Trust in Public Institutions’ series, which is penned by Garrett Morrow, who was MetroLab’s Experiential Research Fellow during Fall 2020. To learn more about this series and to access other posts in this series, check out our first post here.

Matt Stempeck of the Civic Tech Field Guide and I spoke on December 7, 2020 about the emerging field of civic technology. Matt’s interest in civic technology began while he was at the University of Maryland where he wrote an honor’s thesis on political blogs and how…


This blog post is part of our ‘Data, Privacy, and the Future of Trust in Public Institutions’ series, which is penned by Garrett Morrow, who was MetroLab’s Experiential Research Fellow during Fall 2020. To learn more about this series and to access other posts in this series, check out our first post here.

On December 1, 2020, I had the opportunity to talk with Ben Green, Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In 2019, Ben published his book The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim…


Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Data and algorithms are a growing part of municipal government, public institutions, and administrative bodies. Predictive policing and recidivism algorithms in criminal justice, teacher evaluations and school bus routing in education, and health care administration in human services are just a few ways that data and algorithms are already applied in our civic lives.

During MetroLab Network’s 2020 Summit, we began to explore the relationship between civic technology and data privacy as part of our ‘Trust in the Public Realm’ panel, sponsored by the Future of Privacy Forum. Both COVID-19 and the resurgence in the fight for racial justice sparked…


Local universities and colleges present a potential wealth of knowledge, expertise, and motivated student workers to cities. However, for a variety of reasons, engaging students with civic research is not always easy. For one, there is no standardized format for cities to interface with students and create ongoing projects. It can also be difficult to coordinate city needs with research interests and faculty incentives. Additionally, the semester and quarter systems of classes do not clearly align with city timelines. For example, the semester-long student project is restricted by the temporal and subject matter confines of the class that ends when…

MetroLab Network

35+ city-university pairs bringing data, analytics & innovation to city gov’t thru research, development & deployment. Launched at #WHSmartCities 2015

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