person

Samir Doshi

Samir Doshi, Ph.D. was a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab in Partnership with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (2019-2020, 2020-2021).

Samir is the Network Manager for the San Mateo Food System Alliance, a public-private alliance spanning the SF Bay Peninsula that seeks to improve the vibrant and interdependent food system to be more environmentally sustainable, economically resilient and socially just across urban and rural communities.

Samir has worked for the World Wildlife Fund helping to design their international technology and innovation strategy. He also worked for Obama Administration as a Senior Scientist and Deputy Division Chief for the USAID’s Global Development Lab, where he led programming on agile development, responsible data and disaster/emergency feedback systems so programming could be more responsive and adaptive to needs on the ground. Samir has also held teaching and research appointments at the University of Cambridge, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Santa Fe Institute and as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University. His Ph.D. research specialized in Systems Ecology, and his MS and BS focus was in Development Economics and Computer Systems Engineering, respectively. Prior to his academic career, Samir worked as an environmental engineer and humanitarian responder for local organizations and indigenous communities around the world. He has also worked and facilitated extensively on issues of racial, gender and intersectional justice for communities pushing for a Just Transition. Samir sits on the board of the Center for Whole Communities, as well as the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.     

Fellowship Impact

Samir Doshi is committed to investing in people through communities and communal relationships. As a Fellow, his work became both external (organizing farm workers around the detrimental and extractive impact of digital agricultural technologies) and internal, recognizing the power of his cohort and creating a circle keeping space unique to the Fellows. This practice, informed by indigenous elders and communities around the world, gave the Fellows a place to gather, support each other, and deepen their relationships. It is a space that activists of color often call for but rarely find, and was especially important for those doing racial justice work through the pandemic.

That commitment to relationship building is found in all of Doshi’s work. He has been expanding the range of farmworker and food sovereignty groups he works with and is excited about the potential of new alliances, land trusts, and other models of power building. Solid growth and recognition of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, an unofficial food arm of the Movement for Black lives, has received funding for land purchases and infrastructure. Doshi notes that the Alliance’s plans go beyond acquiring assets for Black farmers, but to dislodging racist systems of finance and real estate that have long sidelined Black wisdom and leadership.

Products

Co-coordinated a research project to produce select briefers on issues of AgTech

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Advised the Sustainable Ag and Food System Funders Network on how funders can support critical work on AgTech

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Advised Erik Nicholson and United Farm Workers on a redesign of farmworker training with an innovation and learning focus

Discussed the potential for a new collaboration between the Stanford Digital Civil Society Lab and Berkeley Food Institute

Contractor for National Black Food and Justice Alliance on helping to develop a national Black Housing and Agriculture Land Trust

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Article on  “Decolonizing Our Dreams” for fall issue of YES! Magazine

Visionary fiction short story, “Oracle,” for upcoming issue of Moya literary journal

Led a consortium to win $250,000 USDA Regional Food Systems Partnership grant for Bay Area organizing

Helped establish a consortium for emergency food response in Bay Area winning $4,000,000 from USDA Farmers to Families food box program

Interviewed for Civil Eats article on AI and farmworkers

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New Positions & Appointments

Appointed to Policy Committee (Climate Resilience and Environmental Justice) for Biden-Harris Campaign and supported Transition Teams

Volunteer Coordinator for Voter Protection for Biden-Harris Campaign

Board Member for Agroecology Commons

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Speeches & Presentations

Stanford 2021 Tech and Racial Equity Conference: Anti-Racist Technologies for a Just Future

Session: Centering Racial Justice for Workers & Communities in Digital AgriFood Systems

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Rights Con panel on Technology for a Better Future

Stanford Haas Center on Exploring Rural America: A Discussion on the Environment, Food Systems, and Farmland

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Soul Fire Farm’s BIPOC Farmers Skillshare for COVID-19

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