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Beth Simone Noveck

Professor, Author, Government Adviser On Institutional Innovation


Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, the acclaimed author, professor and adviser to the White House and 10 Downing Street, Beth Simone Noveck, draws from years of experience working with governments and public innovators to provide audiences with a new vision of governing in the digital age — one in which open, collaborative institutions function smoothly through innovations like crowdsourcing and social media.

With trust in government at an all-time low, and scientific innovation skyrocketing the author of Smarter Cities, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing, offers bold solutions for restoring "the people" back into our foundational ethos of "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Through her urgent, future-forward presentations, illustrated with examples from her intersecting expertise in technology, policy and law, Noveck offers glimpses of the revolution in participatory democracy unfolding around us right now, revealing how the country, its leaders and its people will take shape and interact in the years to come.



Crowdsourcing Smartly: Is Democracy Prepared To Flip the Big Data Switch?

No previous generation has had the tackle the complex challenges society will confront in the coming decades, from combatting terrorism to safeguarding the future of the planet. To succeed, we have to run our institutions differently. Getting ideas from the outside — often called open innovation or crowdsourcing — should be as vital to the performance of public institutions as it has been to commerce and science. In this presentation, Beth Simone Noveck explores how new data tools hold the potential to transform how we govern, making it possible to pinpoint more diverse expertise in solving hard problems. Through "technologies of expertise" — and crowd-sourcing widely — we can create innovative institutions, active citizenship and innovative politicians.

We Don’t Need a Change of Policies, We Need to Change How We Make Policy: What Every Candidate Needs to Know to Govern Better

The idea of progress, prosperity and building a better world — the DNA that once defined the United States — no longer seems possible in a country where we are routinely told our government is "broken." The current election season promises more of the same. To change this, envisioning how technology can revolutionize the way we govern is crucial to our future. Government is broken because it has failed to keep up with innovation. By leveraging the wisdom and talents of a diverse and open society, and harnessing the expertise that comes from many different people and places, our government needs to be re-engineered. In this presentation, Beth Simone Noveck argues for a new conception of democratic participation suited to today's integrated, networked world. She proposes a model of participatory democracy rooted not simply in voting every four years but in citizens (and politicians) being actively engaged and ready to use their skills and knowledge for the good of society.

The Big-Data Revolution in Non-Profit Management

Tax returns and registration forms are our primary window into the workings of America's enormous and economically impactful nonprofit sector, which pays $670 billion annually in wages and benefits. Every year, approximately 1.5 million tax-exempt organizations file a version of the federal "Form 990" with IRS and state tax authorities, providing details on the financial, governance and organizational structure of America's universities, hospitals, foundations and charities, ensuring they are deserving of their tax-exempt status. Soon these forms will be released as downloadable open data by the IRS, providing instant transparency on the inside functioning of nonprofits, including charities. In this presentation about the impact of big data on the nonprofit sector, Beth Simone Noveck explores how nonprofits might be transformed by big data and the access to tax information that's right around the corner.

Smarter Workers, Smarter Jobs: Technologies of Expertise & the Future of the Labor Market

In this presentation Beth Simone Noveck draws from her recent book Smarter Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing to address how big data is transforming the hiring process. By avoiding the personal biases of human interviews, new tools help employers sift through mountains of applications to identify the ideal candidate. Although these technologies of expertise can help match people with opportunities they might not have had access to before, machine tools must be combined with human intelligence, empathy and sensibility in order to create fair and well-functioning workplaces. The key to success in using these tools in the labor market is to ensure that human and machine processes are transparent and evolving.

Building Stronger Public Entrepreneurship

A common term in the startup world indicating the difficulty of covering negative cash flow in the early stages of a venture is the "valley of death." But there are more common deathtraps than cash flow. In this presentation, Beth Simone Noveck draws from her years of experience as the founder of GovLab and coach and mentor to thousands of professionals to show how we can foster more impactful entrepreneurs, change-makers and startups — by tackling the hard problems up front and leading responsibly and effectively in order to change the world for the better. She offers tips on navigating bureaucracies, legal regimes and institutions, developing compelling materials, and identifying what works and what doesn't in building stronger public entrepreneurship.

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