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Tech@hks final report 5.5.2015

The State of Technology at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government - 2015 This report summarizes students' efforts to incorporate for technology policy knowledge and skill development into the fabric of HKS. It also puts forth specific recommendations for the 2015-2016 school year.

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The State of Technology at
Harvard Kennedy School
2015
Prepared by Alison Flint and Denise Linn
Co-chairs, Tech4Change
May 5, 2015
The State of Tech@HKS
Page 1
Table of Contents
Executive Summary..............................................................................................................................................2
Summary of 2015-2016 Academic Year Recommendations ...............................................................3
The Current State of Technology at HKS......................................................................................................5
Defining Technology .......................................................................................................................................5
HKS Technology Evaluation.........................................................................................................................6
Technology Skills.........................................................................................................................................6
Technology Knowledge.............................................................................................................................7
Student Technology Survey ..............................................................................................................................8
Survey Findings ................................................................................................................................................9
The HKS Technology Summit........................................................................................................................ 13
Big Ideas for the Future .............................................................................................................................. 13
What the HKS Community Can Do Now............................................................................................... 14
Pictures from the HKS Technology Summit........................................................................................ 15
Recommendations for the 2015-2016 Academic Year........................................................................ 18
1. Offer introductory technology skills and policy classes............................................................ 18
2. Expand cross-registration access to technology classes........................................................... 19
3.	
  Begin	
  development	
  of	
  a	
  new	
  “makers”	
  PAE	
  cohort .................................................................... 20
Appendix 1: Proposed Cross Registration Approval Framework................................................... 21
Appendix 2: Tech@HKS Survey Questions .............................................................................................. 22
Appendix 3: Full Tech@HKS Survey Results........................................................................................... 27
The curriculum for technology, policy, and civic engagement could be radically improved at HKS.
There are already great people working on important issues from Cybersecurity (Joe Nye) to digital
media (Nicco Mele), however, there's still a huge gap which HKS could easily and readily
fill. Everything from Civic technology and media, to open government, to broadband policy and its
implications for economics, social justice, and race, as well as Internet governance and policymaking
for speech, and more, there are huge gaps that leave HKS graduates under prepared for the digitally
immersive	
  world	
  they	
  are	
  entering	
  into.” - HKS Mid-career
The State of Tech@HKS
Page 2
Executive Summary
We have a unique opportunity for the Kennedy School to become a leader in training
students to be effective 21st Century policymakers – it’s	
  time	
  to	
  act.
The importance of technology in government has been vividly displayed in recent public
policy debates over topics from cyber security and net neutrality to the failed Obamacare
website launch. As HKS seeks to train future public sector leaders, students increasingly
need to be technically literate, in fields ranging from education and health care to
international development and foreign policy.
This academic year, HKS students set out to quantify and articulate the demand for
technology-related offerings at the Kennedy School. During the fall semester, we conducted
a survey to understand student priorities. We found that 94% of students agreed or
strongly agreed that technology was important to their future career plans. However,
while a majority of students are interested in pursuing additional courses (68%) and
workshops (82%) to learn about technology policy and develop technical skills, 45% are
unsatisfied	
  or	
  extremely	
  unsatisfied	
  with	
  HKS’s	
  resources	
  in	
  this	
  area.
In response, we presented our findings to the HKS community including students, faculty,
administrators, research centers, and the Academic Affairs Committee. Working with the
support of more than a dozen student groups and research centers, we held an HKS
Technology Summit on February 27th, 2015. Students, faculty, administration and staff all
met together to discuss the results of the survey and come up with a plan of action.
This report is the culmination of our work over the last year to understand what
technology means to HKS students, the current state of technology at the Kennedy School,
and what we need to do to ensure that HKS becomes a leader in this area. Based on the
Student Technology Survey, conversations with faculty and administration, and the HKS
Technology Summit, we have developed a comprehensive action plan, including three
recommendations for the 2015-2016 academic year:
1. Offer introductory technology skills and policy classes
2. Expand cross-registration access to technology classes
3. Begin	
  development	
  of	
  a	
  new	
  “makers”	
  PAE	
  cohort
“In	
  analyzing a social venture I would like to launch during my time here, I have realized that there is
a strong technology component. I will have to hire someone that can code (and likely take a coding
class	
  myself).” – HKS MPP1 joint degree
The State of Tech@HKS
Page 3
Summary of 2015-2016 Academic Year Recommendations
Based on the Student Technology Survey, conversations with faculty and administration,
and the HKS Technology Summit, we propose three actionable recommendations for the
2015-2016 academic year:
Recommendation 1: Offer introductory technology skills and policy classes
We recommend that HKS offer two introductory classes that would provide students with
basic technical skills and digital literacy.
First, we recommend an introductory skills class that would train students to
be digitally literate, including both hard skills such as basic coding, data analysis,
and data visualization, as well as soft skills like web design, social media and
blogging. In addition to these topics, we would also recommend covering an
introduction to technology-related management including design thinking and
innovation, public entrepreneurship/lean startup, and product management for
government.
Second, we recommend an introductory technology policy class that would
provide a solid basis for understanding how to create effective policies. This
would include an introduction on the technical background of how the Internet
works, regulating new technologies, and the social effects of advancing technology.
The course should also cover key current issues like cyber security, privacy, digital
activism, and Internet access and equity. Finally, there should be an opportunity to
explore local, national, and international efforts in digital and data-driven
government.
Recommendation 2: Expand cross-registration access to technology classes
The faculty committee should create uniform, transparent and predictable processes for
approving technology-related courses. We propose the following specific protocols.
All CS courses at Harvard College should be automatically approved. If HKS
students are allowed to take languages for credit as it can help their policy career,
they should be able to take all languages. In the interim, as the faculty committee
gauges demand for such courses, CS classes can be automatically approved and be a
part	
  of	
  each	
  student’s	
  “language	
  allowance.”
The faculty committee should adopt a uniform, predictable framework for
approving non-CS technology courses at Harvard, MIT, and other partner schools.
This framework, or series of questions, should be publicized so students will know
how course approval works and gauge how likely their class of interest will count
for credit. We have included an example framework in Appendix 1.
The State of Tech@HKS
Page 4
Recommendation	
  3:	
  Begin	
  development	
  of	
  a	
  new	
  “makers”	
  PAE	
  cohort
Imagine a student using their PAE project as a policy whitepaper for their new social
enterprise, or running a Kickstarter campaign for a new water purifier as a part of a market
analysis of infrastructure challenges for the World Bank.
As the lines between policy and action blur, our final recommendation is for the Kennedy
school	
  to	
  explore	
  the	
  development	
  of	
  a	
  new	
  “makers”	
  PAE	
  concentration.	
  We	
  believe	
  that	
  
this is the type of innovative proposal which would allow the Kennedy School to attract
high-caliber public sector leaders from around the world and help define the future of
public policy.
This new concentration would support social entrepreneurs and technologists who want to
combine rigorous policy analysis with hands-on, tangible solutions. It would still require
finding a client, and writing a policy paper, however, the PAE would be framed around
developing action-oriented and policy-relevant solutions.
The	
  school	
  is	
  already	
  experimenting	
  with	
  group	
  PAE’s	
  and	
  other	
  models.	
  As	
  HKS	
  has
expanded its emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship in recent years, students with
these	
  interests	
  need	
  a	
  common	
  “home	
  base”.	
  By	
  bringing	
  students	
  together	
  in	
  a	
  special	
  PAE	
  
“makers”	
  concentration,	
  students	
  could	
  learn	
  from	
  each	
  other,	
  practioners, and faculty in a
unique program that takes advantage of all the Kennedy School and the Boston area has to
offer.
There are several key steps that HKS should take to lay the groundwork for this cohort next
year. These include supporting pilot projects by students or teams of students, identifying
potential advisors, and recruiting support from research centers like CPL (Social Enterprise
+ Philanthropy), the Ash Center (Civic Tech), the Shorenstein Center (Data Journalism +
Social Media) or the Belfer Center (Cyber security).
Former  US  CTO  and  MPP’97  Aneesh  Chopra  speaks  at  the  HKS  Technology  Summit
The State of Tech@HKS
Page 5
The Current State of Technology at HKS
Defining Technology
We see technology as encompassing two main categories when we think about its current
existence and future existence within HKS.
The	
  first	
  category	
  is	
  composed	
  of	
  “skills”.	
  Many	
  students	
  come	
  to	
  the	
  Kennedy	
  School	
  to	
  
learn more about economics, statistics, and other technical skills that have traditionally
been included under the umbrella of public policy.
Today, we believe that technical skills, including both hard skills like data analytics and
programming, as well as soft skills like managing technical teams and digital
communications, should be part of the core Kennedy School training.
We also note that technology is rapidly changing the core knowledge sets that public policy
professionals will need to be successful. We divide this body of knowledge into two
categories: Tech Policy, which includes new, tech specific topics ranging from Internet
privacy and governance to cyber security, as well as technology in different policy areas
such as education technology, telemedicine, or smart cities. These examples are just a few
of the many areas that technology will influence, and should not be seen as exclusive.
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Tech@hks final report 5.5.2015

  • 1. The State of Technology at Harvard Kennedy School 2015 Prepared by Alison Flint and Denise Linn Co-chairs, Tech4Change May 5, 2015
  • 2. The State of Tech@HKS Page 1 Table of Contents Executive Summary..............................................................................................................................................2 Summary of 2015-2016 Academic Year Recommendations ...............................................................3 The Current State of Technology at HKS......................................................................................................5 Defining Technology .......................................................................................................................................5 HKS Technology Evaluation.........................................................................................................................6 Technology Skills.........................................................................................................................................6 Technology Knowledge.............................................................................................................................7 Student Technology Survey ..............................................................................................................................8 Survey Findings ................................................................................................................................................9 The HKS Technology Summit........................................................................................................................ 13 Big Ideas for the Future .............................................................................................................................. 13 What the HKS Community Can Do Now............................................................................................... 14 Pictures from the HKS Technology Summit........................................................................................ 15 Recommendations for the 2015-2016 Academic Year........................................................................ 18 1. Offer introductory technology skills and policy classes............................................................ 18 2. Expand cross-registration access to technology classes........................................................... 19 3.  Begin  development  of  a  new  “makers”  PAE  cohort .................................................................... 20 Appendix 1: Proposed Cross Registration Approval Framework................................................... 21 Appendix 2: Tech@HKS Survey Questions .............................................................................................. 22 Appendix 3: Full Tech@HKS Survey Results........................................................................................... 27 The curriculum for technology, policy, and civic engagement could be radically improved at HKS. There are already great people working on important issues from Cybersecurity (Joe Nye) to digital media (Nicco Mele), however, there's still a huge gap which HKS could easily and readily fill. Everything from Civic technology and media, to open government, to broadband policy and its implications for economics, social justice, and race, as well as Internet governance and policymaking for speech, and more, there are huge gaps that leave HKS graduates under prepared for the digitally immersive  world  they  are  entering  into.” - HKS Mid-career
  • 3. The State of Tech@HKS Page 2 Executive Summary We have a unique opportunity for the Kennedy School to become a leader in training students to be effective 21st Century policymakers – it’s  time  to  act. The importance of technology in government has been vividly displayed in recent public policy debates over topics from cyber security and net neutrality to the failed Obamacare website launch. As HKS seeks to train future public sector leaders, students increasingly need to be technically literate, in fields ranging from education and health care to international development and foreign policy. This academic year, HKS students set out to quantify and articulate the demand for technology-related offerings at the Kennedy School. During the fall semester, we conducted a survey to understand student priorities. We found that 94% of students agreed or strongly agreed that technology was important to their future career plans. However, while a majority of students are interested in pursuing additional courses (68%) and workshops (82%) to learn about technology policy and develop technical skills, 45% are unsatisfied  or  extremely  unsatisfied  with  HKS’s  resources  in  this  area. In response, we presented our findings to the HKS community including students, faculty, administrators, research centers, and the Academic Affairs Committee. Working with the support of more than a dozen student groups and research centers, we held an HKS Technology Summit on February 27th, 2015. Students, faculty, administration and staff all met together to discuss the results of the survey and come up with a plan of action. This report is the culmination of our work over the last year to understand what technology means to HKS students, the current state of technology at the Kennedy School, and what we need to do to ensure that HKS becomes a leader in this area. Based on the Student Technology Survey, conversations with faculty and administration, and the HKS Technology Summit, we have developed a comprehensive action plan, including three recommendations for the 2015-2016 academic year: 1. Offer introductory technology skills and policy classes 2. Expand cross-registration access to technology classes 3. Begin  development  of  a  new  “makers”  PAE  cohort “In  analyzing a social venture I would like to launch during my time here, I have realized that there is a strong technology component. I will have to hire someone that can code (and likely take a coding class  myself).” – HKS MPP1 joint degree
  • 4. The State of Tech@HKS Page 3 Summary of 2015-2016 Academic Year Recommendations Based on the Student Technology Survey, conversations with faculty and administration, and the HKS Technology Summit, we propose three actionable recommendations for the 2015-2016 academic year: Recommendation 1: Offer introductory technology skills and policy classes We recommend that HKS offer two introductory classes that would provide students with basic technical skills and digital literacy. First, we recommend an introductory skills class that would train students to be digitally literate, including both hard skills such as basic coding, data analysis, and data visualization, as well as soft skills like web design, social media and blogging. In addition to these topics, we would also recommend covering an introduction to technology-related management including design thinking and innovation, public entrepreneurship/lean startup, and product management for government. Second, we recommend an introductory technology policy class that would provide a solid basis for understanding how to create effective policies. This would include an introduction on the technical background of how the Internet works, regulating new technologies, and the social effects of advancing technology. The course should also cover key current issues like cyber security, privacy, digital activism, and Internet access and equity. Finally, there should be an opportunity to explore local, national, and international efforts in digital and data-driven government. Recommendation 2: Expand cross-registration access to technology classes The faculty committee should create uniform, transparent and predictable processes for approving technology-related courses. We propose the following specific protocols. All CS courses at Harvard College should be automatically approved. If HKS students are allowed to take languages for credit as it can help their policy career, they should be able to take all languages. In the interim, as the faculty committee gauges demand for such courses, CS classes can be automatically approved and be a part  of  each  student’s  “language  allowance.” The faculty committee should adopt a uniform, predictable framework for approving non-CS technology courses at Harvard, MIT, and other partner schools. This framework, or series of questions, should be publicized so students will know how course approval works and gauge how likely their class of interest will count for credit. We have included an example framework in Appendix 1.
  • 5. The State of Tech@HKS Page 4 Recommendation  3:  Begin  development  of  a  new  “makers”  PAE  cohort Imagine a student using their PAE project as a policy whitepaper for their new social enterprise, or running a Kickstarter campaign for a new water purifier as a part of a market analysis of infrastructure challenges for the World Bank. As the lines between policy and action blur, our final recommendation is for the Kennedy school  to  explore  the  development  of  a  new  “makers”  PAE  concentration.  We  believe  that   this is the type of innovative proposal which would allow the Kennedy School to attract high-caliber public sector leaders from around the world and help define the future of public policy. This new concentration would support social entrepreneurs and technologists who want to combine rigorous policy analysis with hands-on, tangible solutions. It would still require finding a client, and writing a policy paper, however, the PAE would be framed around developing action-oriented and policy-relevant solutions. The  school  is  already  experimenting  with  group  PAE’s  and  other  models.  As  HKS  has expanded its emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship in recent years, students with these  interests  need  a  common  “home  base”.  By  bringing  students  together  in  a  special  PAE   “makers”  concentration,  students  could  learn  from  each  other,  practioners, and faculty in a unique program that takes advantage of all the Kennedy School and the Boston area has to offer. There are several key steps that HKS should take to lay the groundwork for this cohort next year. These include supporting pilot projects by students or teams of students, identifying potential advisors, and recruiting support from research centers like CPL (Social Enterprise + Philanthropy), the Ash Center (Civic Tech), the Shorenstein Center (Data Journalism + Social Media) or the Belfer Center (Cyber security). Former  US  CTO  and  MPP’97  Aneesh  Chopra  speaks  at  the  HKS  Technology  Summit
  • 6. The State of Tech@HKS Page 5 The Current State of Technology at HKS Defining Technology We see technology as encompassing two main categories when we think about its current existence and future existence within HKS. The  first  category  is  composed  of  “skills”.  Many  students  come  to  the  Kennedy  School  to   learn more about economics, statistics, and other technical skills that have traditionally been included under the umbrella of public policy. Today, we believe that technical skills, including both hard skills like data analytics and programming, as well as soft skills like managing technical teams and digital communications, should be part of the core Kennedy School training. We also note that technology is rapidly changing the core knowledge sets that public policy professionals will need to be successful. We divide this body of knowledge into two categories: Tech Policy, which includes new, tech specific topics ranging from Internet privacy and governance to cyber security, as well as technology in different policy areas such as education technology, telemedicine, or smart cities. These examples are just a few of the many areas that technology will influence, and should not be seen as exclusive.
  • 7. The State of Tech@HKS Page 6 HKS Technology Evaluation We begin with a brief evaluation of the current state of technology opportunities in the categories  we’ve  listed  at  the  Kennedy  School,  as  well  as  what  we  see  as  the  baseline   trajectory for what we expect in the future with no additional resources. Technology Skills Hard Skills • What we mean: data analysis, programming/coding, engineering, operations • Current State: limited access to data analysis and operations courses, extremely limited for programming/coding and engineering • Possible Future State: Better access to these opportunities --­‐  whether  at  HKS  or   elsewhere at Harvard. These skills should be available to students and encouraged by the faculty and administration. If it exists at HKS, it could be folded in to the quantitative side of the core. If students want to cross register into these classes elsewhere, they should be allowed to. • Why: Technical skills like data analysis, basic coding and statistical programming, GIS are increasingly expected in the workplace from policymakers, analysts, project managers, and social entrepreneurs. HKS should make sure that at the very least - they  allow  ambitious  students  to  take  a  deep  dive  in  these  “hard  skill”  areas.       Soft Skills • What we mean: managing and collaborating with technical people, digital communications (blogging, social media, open platforms, etc.), being technically literate in general. • Current state: good in social media, but limited for other soft skills, particularly now that Nicco Mele is no longer teaching • Possible Future State: HKS should work to fold these values/skills into the core curriculum --­‐  especially  the  management  component  of  leading  cross--­‐disciplinary   teams. For example, the Oyster case in MLD-101 already includes a tech component, which could be expanded with guest technology experts. • Why: We  don’t  want  a  repeat  of  Obamacare.  Being  able  to  manage  technical  projects   and communicate with technical employees will be a key skill for future policymakers, even if they never write a line of code themselves.
  • 8. The State of Tech@HKS Page 7 Technology Knowledge Knowledge of Technology Policy • What we mean: Internet policy (access, adoption, infrastructure), privacy, security, etc. • Current state: fair, but not unified as a single policy area for students to rally under. • Possible Future State: Better consolidation of these efforts as well as new events, speakers, specialized courses, and faculty to meet increasing student demand. • Why: HKS is attracting students who come from these fields and want to be leaders in these fields, but without more resources, those students might choose to go elsewhere. Knowledge of Technology in Policy • What we mean: civic technology/tools, technology in development, technology in education policy, telemedicine, social entrepreneurship etc. • Current state: varies by subject area, but generally limited in the curriculum • Possible Future State: Faculty in specific policy areas should update cases, topics, and courses, folding in timely tools and best practices as related to technology. • Why: Students should enter the workforce knowing what the latest experiments and technical advancements in their policy area are. Other policy schools are starting cross-train  their  students  in  policy  and  technology  (ex:  UChicago’s  “Hack  Harris”  or   the  Heinz  School’s  “Big  Data”  track).  HKS  should likewise aim to produce a new, advanced class of 21st century public servants.
  • 9. The State of Tech@HKS Page 8 Student Technology Survey This fall we set out to quantify the demand for technology opportunities at HKS through a survey of all Kennedy School Students. In the following section, we present key findings from the survey. We also include the questionnaire (Appendix 2), and a full report, including comments and stories from more than 30 students (Appendix 3). Methodology: Last fall, we worked with a focus group of more than a dozen students to develop a survey with three main goals: Gauging the level of student interest in and career relevance of technology to the HKS student body. Identifying what technology knowledge (both tech policy and policy in tech) and skills (hard and soft) students had and were interested in. Evaluating the current levels of satisfaction of technology at HKS and how the school should prioritize future efforts. We sent the survey to every Kennedy School student through the HKS student government, and also publicized the survey through numerous student groups and flyers around campus. We received more than 250 responses, more than a quarter of the school. Demographic data suggest that our respondents include a diverse and representative mix of students by gender, program, area of interest, graduation year, etc.. Following completion of the survey, we publicized its findings to the student body, as well as presenting our findings to key stakeholders including: Dean Ellwood Dean Haigh Dean Fung Dean Cooper Dean Weaver The Academic Affairs Committee The HKS Technology Summit
  • 10. The State of Tech@HKS Page 9 Survey Findings While the HKS Technology Survey provides a wealth of valuable information about student views on technology and policy at HKS, we choose to highlight just a few key findings. We include the survey text and full results in Appendices 2 and 3. Our first finding is that technology overwhelmingly matters to HKS students. 87% agree or strongly agree that technology is important to the future of their policy area, and 94% agree or strongly agree that technology is important to their future career plans. No student strongly disagreed that technology would be important to their future career.
  • 11. The State of Tech@HKS Page 10 Second, we find that there is strong student demand for technology related opportunities at HKS across a wide range of subject areas. Students are most interested in pursuing technology-related opportunities in economic development, local government, and social entrepreneurship, but there is also significant interest in international development, education, and international relations. Students are also interested in a wide range of technology policy topics. Nearly half of respondents expressed interest in predictive analytics, managing the risks of new technologies, and digital activism. Privacy and data ethics, cyber security, and broadband access are also popular topics, with approximately 40% of students expressing interest.
  • 12. The State of Tech@HKS Page 11 We also asked students about the skills that they have, and the skills that they wanted to expand. Most students feel confident in social media, blogging, and data analysis, but have strong interest in learning more about data visualization, coding, and data analysis. Students were also particularly interested in web design, technical project management, and media analytics. The biggest gaps between the skills students had, and the skills they wanted to learn, were in data visualization and coding, but only in social media did more students feel skilled than those that wanted to learn more. We also feel that it is important to highlight the raw numbers that we found. While the percentages are high (for example, 58% of respondents want to learn to code), this translates into 145 individual students who want to learn to code – just among students who took the survey. Unfortunately, we find that the majority of students are unhappy with tech opportunities at HKS, and that this is particularly true for hard skills. 45% of students are unsatisfied or extremely unsatisfied with technology overall at HKS, and 64% are unsatisfied or extremely satisfied with opportunities to learn hard skills (and many of them, 26%, are extremely unsatisfied). There are many students who feel neutral about the opportunities that HKS provides, but very few are satisfied – and only one student is extremely satisfied.
  • 13. The State of Tech@HKS Page 12 However, the good news is that there are many opportunities to improve, and students know what they want. 82% of respondents are interested in hard skills workshops, and 68% would be interested in more HKS technology courses. There is also significant demand for soft skills workshops and embedding technology in existing courses.
  • 14. The State of Tech@HKS Page 13 The HKS Technology Summit On February 27th, 2015, students, faculty, staff, and administration gathered together at the first HKS Technology Summit to brainstorm ways HKS can produce technology literate policymakers – policymakers who will inevitably make decisions in a world with drones, robotics, Internet governance issues, and digital government services. Dean Karen Jackson- Weaver,  former  U.S.  CTO  Aneesh  Chopra  (MPP  ’97)  and  former  U.S.  Deputy  CTO  Nick  Sinai   all spoke at the event. The purpose of the Summit was to react to the Student Technology Survey and produce an action plan to meet student demand. Across all Summit participants, there was a shared attitude: we have a unique opportunity for the Kennedy School to become a leader in training students to be effective 21st Century policymakers – and the time to act is now. Big Ideas for the Future At the Summit, Hugo Zylberberg (MPP1), Nico Miailhe (MC/MPA), and JeeYoung Oh (MPP2) led a breakout session on long-term goals. The breakout group – comprised of faculty, fellows, students, and research center representatives – came up with a list of interesting, innovative ideas that HKS could pursue. Some highlights include: Develop  an  MPP  concentration  for  “makers”  which  would  allow  students  to  not  just   write a policy analysis exercise (PAE), but build something new – whether  it’s  an   application, digital service, or social enterprise. Offer an introductory course summarizing the basics of technology policy, technological trends, working with experts, and contracting with technical vendors. Create a GovTech Lab at HKS. Much like what MIT has done with the Media Lab, a future GovTech Lab could be a major convening force. Right now technology resources and research is decentralized at HKS. A lab would also be a natural home for student projects, workshops, talks, or hackathons. Incorporate key technology topics into the core. For example: o Incorporate basic data visualization into core statistics class o Incorporate  “learn  to  code”  basics  into  core  economics  class,  applied  to  Stata o Incorporate innovation and design thinking into core policy analysis o Incorporate agile and lean startup methodologies into core management class o Include more technology-based cases, bringing in outside experts if needed
  • 15. The State of Tech@HKS Page 14 What the HKS Community Can Do Now Another breakout session was held to think of immediate, relatively easy changes that could be made to meet student demand in the near-term. Chris Sommerfeld (MPA1), Loren Newman (MPP1) and Carolyn Anderson (MC/MPA) led that discussion and came up with the following action plan: Make sure the next Dean of the Kennedy School recognizes the important, evolving role of technology in public policy training – that future policymakers will make decisions in a world with drones, robotics, Internet governance issues, and digital government services. Starting next semester, HKS can allow students to take technical courses for credit – for instance, the College’s  CS-50  or  MIT’s  “How  to  Make  Almost  Anything.”     Students can create (and constantly improve) a centralized list of all technology resources available in Cambridge. With OCA, students can reach out to alumni to understand what technology-related skills and knowledge HKS graduates need to succeed in various policy fields. HKS can find ways to highlight technology in existing curricula and cases. The Tech4Change PIC along with a partnered research center can conduct a workshop on data visualization (or another skill) by the end of this year.
  • 16. The State of Tech@HKS Page 15 Pictures from the HKS Technology Summit The Summit was sponsored by the Ash Center, the Shorenstein Center, and the Belfer Center. Supporting student groups include Tech4Change, the Future Society, the Cyber Security Policy PIC, the International Security PIC, the Regional, State, Local & Tribal Government PIC, the IDEV PIC, the EdPIC, EPPIC, the Crisis Management PIC, the Criminal Justice PIC, the Human Rights PIC, and the Energy & Environment PIC.
  • 17. The State of Tech@HKS Page 16 . Tweets from the Summit:
  • 18. The State of Tech@HKS Page 17
  • 19. The State of Tech@HKS Page 18 Recommendations for the 2015-2016 Academic Year Based on the Student Technology Survey, conversations with faculty and administration, and the conversations from the HKS Technology Summit, we propose three actions be taken for the 2015-2016 academic year: 1. Offer introductory technology skills and policy classes 2. Expand cross-registration access to technology classes 3. Begin  development  of  a  new  “makers”  PAE  cohort 1. Offer introductory technology skills and policy classes We recommend that HKS offer two introductory classes that would provide students with basic technical skills and digital literacy. First, we recommend an introductory skills class that would train students to be digitally literate. As a broad framework, we suggest that this course could include the following data-supported topics: 1. The Language of Technology 2. Coding 101 3. Data Analysis 4. Data Visualization 5. Web Design 6. Social Media + Blogging 7. Design Thinking + Innovation 8. Public Entrepreneurship + Lean Startup 9. Product Management for Government Second, we recommend an introductory technology policy class that would provide a solid basis for understanding how to create effective policies. This course would offer a basic outline of key technology policy frameworks, as well as specific, in depth analysis of several relevant issues such as: 1. How the Internet Works 2. History and Social Impacts of Technology 3. Tech Policy and Regulations 4. Cybersecurity 5. Privacy 6. Digital Activism 7. Broadband/Internet Access+ Equity 8. Digital and Data-Driven Government
  • 20. The State of Tech@HKS Page 19 2. Expand cross-registration access to technology classes The faculty committee should create uniform, transparent and predictable processes for approving technology-related courses. We propose the following specific protocols: All CS courses at Harvard College should be automatically approved. If HKS students are allowed to take languages for credit to help their policy careers, they should be able to take all languages. In the interim, as the faculty committee gauges demand for such courses, CS class can be automatically approved and be a  part  of  each  students  “language  allowance.” The faculty committee should adopt a uniform, predictable framework for approving non-CS technology courses at Harvard, MIT, and other partner schools. This framework, or series of questions, should be publicized so students will know how course approval works and gauge how likely their class of interest will count for credit. We have included an example framework in Appendix 1 based on conversations with administrators on their key priorities. One of the frequent concerns we have encountered is that classes counting towards HKS degrees be policy relevant. To put this priority in perspective, we have created the following chart:
  • 21. The State of Tech@HKS Page 20 Courses  like  “How  to  Make  Almost  Anything”  (MIT)  and  CS50  (Harvard  College)  would   most definitely fit in the top right quadrant of having indirect policy relevance and being technical and skill-based in nature. These courses have been denied cross-registration in the past. The chart above, however, displays a bias not in policy relevance, but in how technical the class is. Negotiations, ethics, and speech are very popular subjects folded in to the fabric of HKS – and all are arguably very indirect when it comes to policy relevance. It is therefore only the technical courses that are denied credit worthiness. What does that say about HKS and the 21st century policymakers it hopes to produce? 3.  Begin  development  of  a  new  “makers”  PAE  cohort Imagine a student using their PAE project as a policy whitepaper for their new social enterprise, or running a Kickstarter campaign for a new water purifier as a part of a market analysis of infrastructure challenges for the World Bank. As the lines between policy and action have become increasingly blurred, exploring the development  of  a  new  “makers”  PAE  concentrations  would  be  an  exciting  next step in supporting the development of 21st Century policy and policymakers. This concentration would support social entrepreneurs and technologists who want to combine rigorous policy analysis with hands-on, tangible solutions. It would still require finding a client, and writing a policy paper, however, the PAE would be framed around developing action- oriented and policy-relevant solutions. The  school  is  already  experimenting  with  group  PAE’s  and  other  models.  As  the  school  has   expanded its emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship in recent years, students with these  interests  need  a  common  “home  base”.  By  bringing  students  together  in  a  special  PAE   “makers”  concentration,  students  could  learn  from  each  other,  practioners,  and  faculty  in  a   unique program that takes advantage of all the Kennedy School and the Boston area has to offer. The intersection of policy and action also has a long history, both within and outside the Kennedy School. Over the last few years, several students have used their PAE’s  as   whitepapers to develop a strong policy foundation for their social enterprises. On a larger scale, program-based organizations like City Year and Year Up have actively changed the policy discourse around service learning and youth unemployment, in a way that would be difficult to imagine had they focused solely on policy. We believe that HKS should work to lay the groundwork for this cohort next year by supporting pilot projects by students or teams of students, identifying potential advisors, and recruiting support from research centers like CPL (Social Enterprise + Philanthropy), the Ash Center (Civic Tech), the Shorenstein Center (Data Journalism + Social Media) or the Belfer Center (Cybersecurity).
  • 22. The State of Tech@HKS Page 21 Appendix 1: Proposed Cross Registration Approval Framework Assumed Priorities: An approved course must policy relevant – either directly or indirectly. In certain circumstances indirect relevance should be supplemented with directly relevant projects. Any approved course must be rigorous.
  • 23. The State of Tech@HKS Page 22 Appendix 2: Tech@HKS Survey Questions Tech@HKS The Tech@HKS Initiative unites students from all policy backgrounds interested in influencing the Kennedy School's technology strategy. The goal of this survey is to measure student interest and demand for technology opportunities at HKS. It should take about 5 minutes to complete. Please contact Denise_Linn@hks15.harvard.edu with any questions, or if you'd like to get involved. Background: When we think about technology at HKS, we recognize that technology means different things to different people. For this survey: Technology knowledge refers to technology policy like net neutrality as well as technology in policy areas like smart cities or education technology. Technology skills includes hard skills like data analysis and programming, as well as soft skills like social media and managing technical teams. For more information, read our handout: "What is Technology at HKS?" Section 1: Demographic Information What is your degree program at HKS? MPP (1) MPA (2) MPA-ID (3) Mid-Career (4) Security Fellow (5) Mason Fellow (6) Ph.D. (7) Other (8) ____________________ Are you in a joint degree program? Yes (1) No (2) What year do you graduate? 2015 (1) 2016 (2) 2017 (3) What is your gender? Male (1) Female (2)
  • 24. The State of Tech@HKS Page 23 What is your age? Under 25 (1) 25-29 (2) 30-34 (3) 35 and over (4) Section 2: Technology Knowledge What is your primary policy area of interest? Choose one. Education (1) International Relations (2) International Development (3) Housing (4) Transportation (5) Economic Development (6) Social Entrepreneurship (7) Regional, State, and Local Government (8) Public Finance (9) Environmental/Energy (10) Human Rights (11) Military/Security (12) Electoral Politics (13) Health Care (14) Gender Equality (15) Other (16) ____________________ I think technology is important to the future of my policy area. Strongly Disagree (1) Disagree (2) Neither Agree nor Disagree (3) Agree (4) Strongly Agree (5)
  • 25. The State of Tech@HKS Page 24 Technology in Policy: I would actively pursue more learning opportunities about technology in these policy areas. Check all that apply. Education (1) International Relations (2) International Development (3) Housing (4) Transportation (5) Economic Development (6) Social Entrepreneurship (7) Regional, State, and Local Government (8) Public Finance (9) Environmental/Energy (10) Human Rights (11) Military/Security (12) Electoral Politics (13) Health Care (14) Gender Equality (15) Other (16) ____________________ Technology Policy: I would actively pursue more learning opportunities in the following technology policy topics. Check all that apply. Spectrum Policy (1) Broadband Access/Infrastructure (2) Leading Technical Teams (3) Digital Activism and Organizing (4) Privacy and Data Ethics (5) Cybersecurity (6) Nanotechnology (7) Biotechnology (8) Forecasting Technology/Predictive Analysis (9) Managing Risks of New Technology (10) Other (11) ____________________
  • 26. The State of Tech@HKS Page 25 Section 3: Technology Skills Check both categories if they apply - they are not mutually exclusive. Skills I have (and am comfortable listing on a resume): (1) Skills I want to develop or expand: (2) Coding (1) HTML (2) Web Design (3) Data Analysis (4) Social Media (5) Blogging (6) Social Media Analytics (7) Technical Project Management (8) Data Visualization (9) Engineering (10) Other (11) How important will technology be for your future career plans? Please answer for each technology area. Strongly Disagree (1) Disagree (2) Neither Agree nor Disagree (3) Agree (4) Strongly Agree (5) Technology in general (1) Technology policy (Internet policy, cybersecurity, biotechnology, etc.) (2) Technology in Policy (technology in your policy area of interest) (3) Hard skills (coding, data analysis, etc.) (4) Soft skills (technical project management, social media outreach, etc.) (5)
  • 27. The State of Tech@HKS Page 26 Section 4: Tech@HKS How satisfied are you by the availability of technology opportunities at HKS? Please answer for each technology area. Extremely Unsatisfied (1) Unsatisfied (2) Neutral (3) Satisfied (4) Extremely Satisfied (5) Technology in general (1) Technology policy (Internet policy, cybersecurity, biotechnology, etc.) (2) Technology in Policy (technology in your policy area of interest) (3) Hard skills (coding, data analysis, etc.) (4) Soft skills (technical project management, social media outreach, etc.) (5) What solutions should HKS adopt to improve your access to technology opportunities? Select all that apply. More cross-registration approval (1) Increase the number of HKS courses in technology (2) Embedding technology topics in existing offerings/core options/cases (3) Providing soft skills workshops (4) Providing hard skills workshops (5) Creating a technology course guide (6) Hire faculty with backgrounds in technology (7) Hire administration with backgrounds in technology (8) Bring in more speakers/fellows in this area (9) Provide more access to HKS alumni working in technology (10) Form partnerships with outside organizations (11) Expand career services resources for students interested in technology (12) Other: (13) ____________________ Other (14) ____________________ Other (15) ____________________ Tell us a story about your experiences with technology at HKS. (Optional)
  • 28. The State of Tech@HKS Page 27 Appendix 3: Full Tech@HKS Survey Results My Report: Last Modified: 01/29/2015
  • 29. The State of Tech@HKS Page 28
  • 30. The State of Tech@HKS Page 29
  • 31. The State of Tech@HKS Page 30
  • 32. The State of Tech@HKS Page 31
  • 33. The State of Tech@HKS Page 32 14. Tell us a story about your experiences with technology at HKS. (Optional) Text Response Operations Management (MLD 601) has some helpful cases regarding managing technology projects, and has also taught me some "hard skills." API 505 also included a case on the Oyster Card, but our class discussion could have focused more explicitly on the challenges managing IT procurement. The same goes for many MLD 101 cases. Frustrated with the lack of courses on STS. Any course offered is very esoteric and has no real practical application. Need folks with more "hard" skills on science and tech. In analyzing a social venture I would like to launch during my time here, I have realized that there is a strong technology component. I will have to hire someone that can code (and likely take a coding class myself) - I would also like to think more broadly about technology as both a risk an opportunity in different policy areas.
  • 34. The State of Tech@HKS Page 33 The career services in tech policy are not there. I've had to look for myself. The computers are a joke. Absolutely pathetic. HKS obviously doesn't prioritize tech. If we did, we'd have fancy Macs in all our libraries with Adobe and such to encourage us to use creative media to tell stories. I really enjoyed Nicco Mele's Media, Politics, and Power course; without him on the teaching team next year, I hope there is someone to teach a comparable course. Workshops or extra-curricular courses with outside organizations (on data analysis, data science, data journalism, data visualization) would be great. HKS is not very tech savvy in a myriad of ways - administration, curriculum, course delivery should all be reviewed through the lens of technology The curriculum for technology, policy, and civic engagement could be radically improved at HKS. There are already great people working on important issues from Cybersecurity (Joe Nye) to digital media (Nicco Mele), however, there's still a huge gap which HKS could easily and readily fill. Everything from Civic technology and media, to open government, to broadband policy and its implications for economics, social justice, and race, as well as Internet governance and policymaking for speech, and more, there are huge gaps that leave HKS graduates under prepared for the digitally immersive world they are entering into. And this is not only relevant to those in the Global North. Technologies in developing countries and the Global South follow a different path (often leapfrogging) and are often used in more sophisticated and different ways than they are already designed. There is a huge amount of learning we can do from cases in the Global South, from policymaking across the United States and the Global North, which can be incorporated into our education at HKS. My interactions with Nicco and Joe have been incredibly positive, but HKS should invest in this area x5, utilizing its existing faculty (Archon Fung, Calestous Juma, Joe Nye, etc) but also making a concerted effort to really broaden it out. Nicco Mele's departure will leave a hole in this area. consider replacing him. Micah Sifry is a great candidate to approach. I worked to implement new knowledge management and IT infrastructures with a large, global non-profit in developing countries. I also worked in biotechnology and launched a few innovative data transmission pilots in Zimbabwe that saved quite a few infant lives by providing faster test results. I would love to have more opportunities to learn coding extracurricularly but through HKS. I went to the career center because I was interested in finding opportunities related to segmenting voters data to use for outreach and campaigns. We have some major hubs here in Boston (NGP/VAN) and a number of alums who have worked in the field (Dan Wagner, and Obama campaign people), but the Career center had no information for me. Nikko Melle gives the only course and its focused on social media. One of the reasons I came back to school was to learn how to segment voters data to target advocacy/communications. However, there are really not many (or any) opportunities for me to learn these skills in a hands on way. I've been waiting for someone to ask me this question. This is truly the highlight of my week. Technology at hks is unacceptable. It pains me to see hks think it's a professional school when it's core intranet is a terrible as knet. Knet is one big sick sick joke. No one, from professors to students want to use it OR knows how to use it. It is damn near impossible to upload an assignment. The course discussion page looks like the internet looked the first day man had internet. Nothing is intuitive. Please please please fix this. Look at what other schools have: amazing course interface pages, GMAIL, etc,- I can't believe that it's because of money that everyone has to suffer like this. I am completely embarrassed when I'm at the business or law school or GSAS to pull up knet on my computer if other people are around because I don't want them to ask if I'm getting an associate's degree at northern Nebraska school of dentistry. Please bring knet and hks email into atleast the early 2000s. I would gladly attend seminars and workshops on hard and soft skills. I think this is easier to implement and can be offered several times throughout the semester. Workshops can also be planned in series with advanced workshops building on the knowledge of previous ones. I do believe that technology is important. However, those who truly want a hard technology degree can chose other programs or other schools for that. I would be a little bit concerned if the temptation to overemphasize technology fads displaces other important professional and intellectual skills. Expand the technology-related opportunities for those who want to supplement their policy training, but don't do it at the cost of opportunities that are uniquely available at HKS. Partnering with outside organizations who have a core
  • 35. The State of Tech@HKS Page 34 competency in technology sounds like a smart option. I was interning at LinkedIn. I was surprised to see the top quality public policy work a tech firm is engaged in. Surprisingly, the head of public policy arm of LinkedIn is HKS alum. I asked her why don't you recruit at HKS. She said that the alumni office has treated her badly and has never followed up with her to forge any alliance with HKS/LinkedIn. Our alumni base is the key, we can't take them for granted. I don't know why in the world we're not learning Stata in our intro statistics course, especially when we're being asked to do regression analyses for our final project. Stata is essential to anything more than the most basic regression analyses!! Many classrooms don't have enough power sockets. Hardly any study rooms with full multi-media equipment. KNET / SPARK is crap - sort it out and stop laughing it off!! Few IT classes after Summer pre-term (any??). All workshops should ALWAYS be filmed and easily available. Frankly, HKS is in the stone age and this is deplorable. The one class on IT is a joke - telling people how to tweet etc - is that all? Is that all tech means to HKS? Pathetic (as usual) ... and no one wants to hear, cares etc. Why should they? We just pay the bills here (mirroring governments who don't listen to their citizens?). Nicco Mele course - Exelent !! HKS needs urgently to fill this space !! I have worked in high tech before coming to HKS and I am not looking for any courses related to tech at HKS. We discussed the Oyster Card TfL case in both API 505 and MLD 601, but could have been more explicit about the lessons learned for managing IT projects. It would also be easy to incorporate more of a focus on technology into other MPP core classes such as MLD 101. I am using a computer running a version of Linux as an Operating System (Kubuntu) and I refuse to use any Microsoft software (Word, Excel or Powerpoint). This does not make my engagement with the IT department impossible (I can access the wifi and do basic things from my computer) but it prevents me for instance from printing on HKS computers - or Harvard computers for that matter. Another example is the use of Stata in our Stats classes when there is an equivalent free software, R, being used for exactly the same purposes. As a University caring about knowledge, I would have expected the technological environment at HKS and at Harvard to be more oriented towards free and open source software, which promote the diffusion of knowledge and skills to a far greater extent than the proprietary softwares that constitute the backbone of the Harvard IT infrastructure. At the very minimum, I would have expected the IT department to at least provide me with interoperability with their platform, but I went to the HKS IT department and I am apparently the very first student who dared to ask such a question. That being said, I think there's only a very little number of universities in the world where that's being done. Applied for credit at MIT 6.00. Denied. Took the course anyway, not for credit - it was one of the most rewarding I have taken since I arrived, although very tough to keep up with HKS courses as a result. This semester I have been awarded credit for a DBMS course up at SEAS, which has been great but makes no sense in the context of prior disapproval. My paper is on the chasm that currently divides policy from technological potential. Speaking on "The Responsive City" at an Ash Center, Susan Crawford memorably said, "We need to cross train students in policy and technology." Not only is HKS not doing that, but I don't even think they know what that phrase means. When I bring up technology to administrators or faculty, they assume that students want macs in the libraries. That is their perception of how technology interacts with (and can interact with) this school and public policy. It's very troubling - especially since those officials are the ones that stay when students (many of whom are anxious for evolving curriculum) leave after a max of two years...barely long enough to turn momentum into institutionalized change. I come from an Internet policy background. Once in my Econ class, the professor brought up a "new" policy instrument called the spectrum auction. He didn't know much about it, but I used to work in that office at the FCC. This was odd for several reasons. First, spectrum auctions have been around for about two decades. Second, why is our classroom experience so far behind the professional experience many of us have already gone through before entering HKS? Why isn't there a stronger connection between practitioners and HKS administration/faculty? This goes beyond just technology - though that subject is suffering most at the moment, in my opinion. This is a pre-professional program. I assumed that the school would be making an effort to see how the list of skills and knowledge needed of their graduates is changing with the times. I would love to learn how to code, how to work with people that do code, and how to grapple with complex topics which might be regulated in the future
  • 36. The State of Tech@HKS Page 35 (nanotechnology, robotics, etc.). Other policy schools like UChicago and Heinz are already folding in data science into join degree opportunities, programs, and classes. HKS should be a leader, not a follower. There's only a short window of opportunity here for the school to claim that role. Lastly, for students interested in technology - whether that's information tech, civic technology, biotechnology, etc. - the burden to get the jobs they want, get the research they want, and get the experiences they want at HKS is all on them. There is no institutional support. Sometimes it's Ash...sometimes Belfer...sometimes Shorenstein. No one has ownership over this space. Student groups like Tech4Change shouldn't be the "go-to," centralized resources and information for students the same way research centers are in other policy areas. HKS should celebrate the students who already see how policy is evolving as a result of changing times...not make their lives more difficult or make them feel unwelcome. I have just completed DPI-659, it was really valuable but now Nicco has left. What else is there? I have had a great experience, but specifically because I've taken two courses with Sheila Jasanoff. I'm very tech savvy, use tech in my private business, and know my way around these subjects. I'm frankly not terribly interested in the hard/soft skills discussion, though I know it might be necessary for a wing of people at HKS. I'm particularly keen to see more support for courses like Jasanoff's--ones that look at science and technology the same way we might look at democratic theory, ethics, etc. Sheila's courses have taught me how to navigate a world in which science and technology are pervasive and unevenly distributed with varying purposes and successes. I think these needs greater emphasis school-wide. I don't think you need to know how Reddit works to look at these things from the direction I'm suggesting and I think it would be a benefit to offer more in this area as part of a well-rounded, comprehensive approach you seem to be suggesting with your survey. Tapping the resources you already have with folks like Jasanoff will save you a fortune and give you the ability to quickly implement large pillars of this plan. Media Power and Politics in the Digital Age was a good, rounded program. Also good was study of cyber issues in Great Power competition. IT Help Desk provides good support and Excel training was useful. a lot can be done. bravo! I would love more workshops on hard and soft skills, especially if they are can organized as a series with successive workshops building on the skills or earlier ones. I have had very little exposure to technology at HKS. I think there should be a much stronger focus on the ways in which technology will affect all areas of policy in the future, in addition to a technology "boot camp" and/or other hard skills training -- particularly for those students who don't have a background. Knet is terrible. KNET sucks. Poor design and integration with daily student life. Common things hard to do or find. Just downloading course work is a pain. Why do I have to download each item. There should be a button to just download the whole lot on one go. A package download. From discussions with others, I feel that willingness to approve certain technology-related courses, for example CS50 and a database course in FAS, has been lacking. I believe that MPP's should be given more flexibility to craft a customized program if they can articulate compelling reasons that certain courses, especially in technical areas, can enable them to forge a desired career path. Statistic Value Total Responses 34