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Goldkind Organizes Fordham’s Inaugural Public Interest Technology Gathering


Fordham Graduate School of Social Service Professor Lauri Goldkind, Ph.D., continues to lead the Public Interest Technology (PIT) effort at Fordham.

Goldkind, who was awarded a 16-month, $178,000 grant from the 2023 PIT-UN Network Challenge for her project “Building Inclusive Public Interest Technology Learning Competencies,” has now organized Fordham’s first Public Interest Technology Gathering. She co-organized the event with Jessica Baldwin-Philippi, School of Arts & Sciences, Communication and Media Studies.

The event, which takes place from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on April 29 at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, will feature presentations from academics and practitioners explaining their work related to the broad field of public interest technology, or “tech for good.” The day will kick off a fireside talk between Afua Bruce, author of The Tech That Comes Next, and Fordham Law’s Zephyr Teachout.

Why Social Workers Should Care About Public Interest Technology

In a profession largely dependent on face-to-face interaction and relationship building, where does PIT come into play? How does this all impact social workers?

Read this excerpt from a previous interview where Goldkind outlines social workers’ future in PIT:

One such way comes through social media misinformation, Goldkind said. As the prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) deepfake videos increases, it will be more difficult to tell if what you see on the screen is real or artificially generated. But that’s just one of many challenges that come alongside our online lives, she added; others include marketing data farms that collect and sell our information to advertisers — acts of which many are unaware.

Bias can even be built into the technology itself, Goldkind said, and most of those biases are based on two things: who’s represented in the underlying data, and the people who are building those systems — most of whom are overwhelmingly white males.

This is where social workers are particularly impacted and can find their pathway into PIT.

“Social work could have a place at the table, both by having a deeper understanding of how those systems work and by being a conduit,” she said. “Social workers offer a completely different perspective on unintended consequences because, by and large, our clients are the recipients of those unintended consequences.”

Read the full event agenda below:

Time End Time Events
9:30 10:00am Coffee & Light Breakfast
10:00 10:10am Welcome Remarks – Provost Dennis Jacobs
10:10 11:10am Conversation between Afua Bruce and  Zephyr Teachout
11:10 11:20am Break
11:20 12:35pm Round Table One:  PIT Research
12:35 1:30pm Networking Lunch
1:30 3:15pm Round table two – PIT Teaching
3:15 3:30pm Break
3:30 4:30pm BetaNYC – How to teach with open data
4:30 5:00pm Closing reception & Reflections on a NYC PIT Regional Group


Register for the event here.


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