Public Interest Tech reading list

Explore online articles, videos, and reports that can be integrated into public interest tech coursework.

We are compiling readings that can be assigned in classes. Please feel free to share additional recommendations through the Connect page.

What is Public Interest Technology?

Crawford, Susan. “Why Universities Need ‘Public Interest Technology’ Courses.” Wired, 2018.

Freedman Consulting, LLC. “A Pivotal Moment: Developing a New Generation of Technologists for the Public Interest,” 2016.

Costanza-Chock, Sasha, Maya Wagoner, Berhan Taye, Caroline Rivas, Chris Schweidler, Georgia Bullen, and the T4SJ Project. “#More Than Code: Practitioners Reimagine the Landscape of Technology for Justice and Equity,” 2018. 

“Five Foundations Award $18 Million to Strengthen Public Interest Tech.” Philanthropy News Digest, 2016.

Editorial Board. “Legislators Struggle with Tech. That’s Why We Need the Office of Technology Assessment.” The Washington Post, 2018.

Slaughter, Anne-Marie, Darren Walker, and Larry Kramer. “Building the Field of Public Interest Technology.” Inside Higher Ed, 2019.

Davidson, Alan B., Alex Fiorille, and Maria White. “Building the Future: Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders in an Era of Rapid Change,” 2018.

Freedman Consulting, LCC. “A Future of Failure? The Flow of Technology Talent into Government and Civil Society,” 2013.

Partnership for Public Service. “Mobilizing Tech Talent: Hiring Technologists to Power Better Government,” 2018. (video link:, pdf link:

Public Interest Tech in Action

Knight Foundation. “Assessing Civic Tech : Case Studies and Resources for Tracking Outcomes,” no. March (2015).

Bason, Christian, Andrea Botero, Joanna Saad-Sulonen, Margherita Pillan, Irina Suteu, Eduardo Staszowski, Scott Brown, et al. Public and Collaborative: Exploring the Intersection of Design, Social Innovation, and Public Policy. Edited by Ezio Manzini and Eduardo Staszowski. New York, New York, USA, 2013.

Camacho, Maria. “Christian Bason: Design for Public Service.” She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation 2, no. 3 (2016): 256–68.

Implementing innovation in the government

Lu, Y., 2016. Code Cracking: Why Is It So Hard to Make a Website for the Government? New York Times. Available at: 

Bason, C., 2013. Design-Led Innovation in Government. Stanford Social Innovation Review, pp.15–18. Available at: 

OECD, 2017. Fostering Innovation in the Public Sector, Available at: 

Junginger, S., 2013. Design and Innovation in the Public Sector: Matters of Design in Policy-Making and Policy Implementation. Annual Review of Policy Design, 1(1), pp.1–11. Available at:  

Terrey, Nina. “Managing by Design: case study of Australian Tax Office”: 

Delivering Public Service for the Future:

McQuillan: Could prototyping be the new policy: 

RAND: On Prototyping : 

Eskelinen, Jarmo, Ana García Robles, Ilari Lindy, Jesse Marsh, and Arturo Muente-Kunigami. “Citizen-Driven Innovation: A Guidebook for City Mayors and Public Administrators,” 2015.

Chapman, Peter., Elena, Sandra., and Surya Khanna,  Access to justice, open judiciaries, and legal empowerment through the Open Government Partnership, Open Government Partnership., 2018.,  available here: 

Bursfield, Evan and J.D. Harrison, Regulatory Hacking, Portfolio / Penguin., New York., 2018., Section 2 (The Foundations of Regulatory Hacking), p. 117-172. Available here: 

Justice + Technology tools for improving people’s access to legal rights

Rosenberg, T., 2016. Legal Aid With a Digital Twist. The New York Times. Available at: 

Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, 2017. Court Compass: Mapping the Future of User Access Through Technology, Denver. Available at: 

Farley, S., 2018. Legal tech is opening the system to those who need legal representation the most. TechCrunch. Available at: tech tools for tenants:

MADE self help for eviction in Boston:

Arizona Eviction Self Help (Stanford):

Represent online simulation game for SRLs (Northeastern):
Dear Landlord and Hello Landlord – for tenants to write about problems (Australia and Arizona/Utah):,

Ethical + Impact Concerns

Papi-Thornton, Daniela. “Tackling Heropreneurship.” Stanford Social Innovation Review 15 (2016): 4–7.

McCann, Laurenellen. “Building Technology With, Not For Communities : An Engagement Guide for Civic Tech.” Organizer Sandbox, 2015.

Stanford Legal Design Lab, Ethical Design Engagement: 

IDEO, 2015. The Little Book of Design Research Ethics, Available at:

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