A Welcome to the HBS Digital Initiative Community

The desire to connect with people across the globe and tell their stories goes back as long as I can remember. When I was 17, I graduated from high school a year early and spent what would have been my senior year as an exchange student in Thailand. It was a game-changing moment, to say the least. Leaving a secluded mountain town of cattle ranchers and loggers and choosing to live in pretty much the furthest place on the globe I could go without coming back round again literally opened up the world of possibilities to me.

A California native and Cal alum by origin, my initial intellectual training was in international development with an interdisciplinary focus on the environment and global poverty. A couple of things led me to eventually switch directions, however. First, I grew tired of seeing so many development projects fail to improve the lives of the people they were meant to touch, even as they were deemed “successes” back at home in the global North. The disconnect between perception and reality of these projects seemed due largely to a lack of foresight in design and a failure to incorporate longterm data-driven tracking and measurement into the definition of success. This realization cultivated in me a strong respect for using design thinking and analytical insights to drive social impact.

And secondly, the Arab Spring happened! Activism. Truly global conversations. Revolutionary change. All made possible, in part, due to advancements in technology. That was it for me. I decided there might be something to this whole technology thing after all, and you could say I haven’t looked back since.

Since those days, I have been fortunate enough to work on a variety of kickass projects in digital media — from helping universities implement open access publishing platforms to writing for the multi-platform production arm of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” At last, I find myself at one of the premier learning institutions in the world, where until a few weeks ago, I drove engagement efforts with the participant community at HBS’s online learning platform, HBX.

I am beyond honored to have an opportunity to join the DI as your Community Manager. The topics we seek to study and understand are of the utmost importance in our rapidly transitioning world, and I look forward to the insightful, pensive, mind-blowing, funny, and at times even a bit somber conversations that will emerge from this work. To get things started, I would love to hear from you all about what topics and conversations you would most like to see highlighted by the Digital Initiative. Feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me at @digHBS. I can’t wait!

P.S. MOAR About Me:

Current Project: Learning LED protocol — I’m moving to a new place soon and mission #1 is to build my own Pixel Forest.

Current Project 2.0: getting the skin tone modifier added to the Unicorn emoji in the next Unicode release.

Favorite hobby: knitting — a) it’s not even remotely just for grandmas and b) it’s like coding with yarn and it’s great.

Favorite cat video: Cats Scared of Cucumbers (even though it’s actually really mean to them apparently — sorry cats!).