by AJ Gorman
Voltaire once said, “The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.” Although the Technology: New Tools to Enact Education Reform panel was neither focused on technology nor education, it was a great dialogue that successfully touched on a variety of high-level social impact issues.
The two of the three panelists worked for new organizations (Americans Elect & Ruckus) that want to enable political change by expanding ballot access and providing opportunities for building stronger political organizations. The third panelist comes from Students First, Michelle Rhee’s educational advocacy group (note: Michelle Rhee was my former boss when she was the Chancellor or DC Public Schools).
The panelists all shared an enthusiasm for socially impactful entrepreneurship. I expected more discussion specifically focused on ways to use technology to affect change in education but I was really impressed by the panelists’ perspectives on how the internet is revolutionizing individuals’ ability to organize. I also really enjoyed hearing about their experience with startups that are leveraging technology to produce social impact.