UC Berkeley receives grant from PIT-UN to enhance curriculum and elevate the next generation of civic-tech leaders

October 7, 2019 | The award is part of $3 million “Network Challenge” to grow the field of public interest technology.

Fung Fellowship
Oct 7 · 3 min read

WASHINGTON, D.C. —UC Berkeley received a grant from the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) to support Enhancing Public Interest Technology Education at UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley received one of the twenty-seven grants awarded as part of Public Interest Technology University Network’s inaugural “Network Challenge,” which aims to support the development of new public interest technology initiatives and institutions in academia, as well as foster collaboration among the network’s partner institutions, which includes UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley is developing a new wave of curriculum focusing on the intersection of technology and social impact.

The Enhancing Public Interest Technology Education project is developing an innovative curriculum to elevate the next generation of leaders who understand the holistic impact of technology on society and demonstrate the skills to engage and excel in chosen career paths across both technical and non-technical fields of study, regardless of background. The team, led by Jennifer Mangold, PhD, will co-design, pilot and scale an enriched experiential curriculum that bolsters students’ ability to work across disciplines and understand the ethical, political and societal implications of technology. The results of the pilot will be a model curriculum that can be easily adapted and scaled across programs and institutions nationally with open-source access on our website.

Jennifer Mangold, Principal Investigator and Director of Fung Fellowship (Photo: Golnaz Shahmirzadi)

“I’m honored to be part of this inaugural cohort of grantees and [look] forward to collaborating across the university network. The award is timely, as our students are eager to dive into this emerging field — agnostic of discipline and with the goal of serving society,” said Jennifer Mangold, Principal Investigator and Director of Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations

PIT-UN is building the next generation of technologists

The Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN), which was convened earlier this year by the Ford Foundation, New America, and the Hewlett Foundation, is a partnership of twenty-one colleges and universities dedicated to building the nascent field of public interest technology, as well as growing a new generation of civic-minded technologists and digitally-fluent policy leaders. The “Network Challenge” is funded through the generous support of the Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Mastercard Impact Fund, Siegel Family Endowment, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and Raikes Foundation.

Public interest technology is a broadly-defined and emerging area of study that combines digital innovation and public policy. Already, universities across the United States have created joint degrees, exchange programs and cross-disciplinary initiatives to begin to develop a robust pipeline of future technologists and leaders seeking to pursue careers in the growing field.

Colleges and universities that are interested in joining the Public Interest Technology University Network can contact New America (pituninfo@newamerica.org) for more information about membership.


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The Fung Fellowship for Wellness & Technology Innovations at UC Berkeley ~ shaping a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders focused on transforming wellness.

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