Two years ago, the Knight Foundation embarked on a program to look at ideas, tools and projects to increase civic engagement and participation.
Damian Thorman, National Program Director, shares some insights from the KF Tech for Engagement initiative so far, and highlights some of the key focus areas for collaboration in the future.
In the beginning…there was a sense of experimenting – throw anything out there and see what sticks. I think today we’re facing a different question. We’ve got a lot of tools…the question today is how do you take these tools and get them adopted, and how do we articulate the value?
About Damian Thorman
Damian Thorman joined Knight Foundation in 2007 as National Program Director. The National Program supports innovative ideas and leadership with the potential to drive transformative change nationally and in Knight’s resident communities. He helps develop new grant opportunities at a national level that target systemic change within the framework of informed, engaged communities.
Thorman most recently served as assistant prosecuting attorney of the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in Kansas City, Mo. He founded and ran the Thorman Strategy Group, a consulting practice that assisted foundations, nonprofits and for-profit organizations from 2002 to 2005. He served as adjunct political science professor at Avila College in Kansas City, Mo. Thorman was the director of public affairs and policy at the Ewing Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City from 1994 to 2002. In Washington, D.C., he served as assistant director at the American Academy of Pediatrics, professional staff member of the House Education and Labor Committee, and congressional aide to then-U.S. Rep. Bill Richardson. He also served a brief stint as a reporter for the National Catholic Reporter in Los Angeles.
He has a law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a MBA from Rockhurst University.
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Episode links and resources
- Knight Foundation
- Tech for Engagement initiative
- Tech for Engagement summit
- Report: Digital Citizenship: Exploring the Field of Tech for Engagement
- Technology for Engagement Manifesto
- Code for America
- Change by us
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