Research

Digital Civil Society Lab

The digital age has expanded the potential for civil society participation and presented new challenges and threats. Our dependencies on digital software and infrastructure that are commercially built and government surveilled require new insights into how these digital systems work and how we can safely and ethically engage them for civil society’s purposes.

The Digital Civil Society Lab investigates the challenges and opportunities for civil society to thrive in the digital age. We conduct research and engage practitioners and policymakers across four domains:

  • Software and hardware designed for the values and interest of civil society actors
  • Organizational practices that align with civil society missions and protect institutional independence from markets or governments
  • Legal practices and regulatory frames that protect the building blocks of civil society, including free association, speech, and privacy
  • Social norms and practices that promote safe and ethical data collection, generation, and use

These Four Codes of Digital Civil Society (Social, Software, Organizational and Legal) help us organize our research, identify potential partners, and frame our engagement with practitioners and policymakers.

Connect with the Digital Civil Society Lab