Digital Fundamentals for Public Impact
- Type of Course: Non-Credit
- Format: Online
- Length: 12 Half Days
- Department: Executive Education
This course will run from July 9th to August 1st, and be held 3 days per week:
- Fridays from 6-9pm
- Saturdays + Sundays from 1-4pm
Regular tuition $3200
Students who complete this course will earn 3.6 continuing education units.
As technology shapes our world, there is an urgent need for people across the public sector to understand digital fundamentals in order to effectively leverage the upside potential of technology, while managing risk and mitigating harm. From governments and multilateral organizations to nonprofits and companies working with or adjacent to public institutions, understanding digital technology is critical to its application for public impact. Through Georgetown University’s Initiative on Technology and Society, the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation and the McCourt School of Public Policy are launching a new continuing education course to help participants rapidly grasp digital fundamentals in a way that is practical and relevant to their work.
The course examines the nexus of policy and technology from a technical and operational perspective, starting with a basic understanding of a digital product from top to bottom, and moving to how best-in-class digital products are designed and delivered. Taught by senior practitioners who have led digital transformation in various public sector contexts, the course goes beyond the typical lecture format and takes a blended approach to learning, combining lectures with hands-on exercises, workshops, and dynamic small-group discussions that will create opportunities to experience concepts and test real-world applications
By the end of this class, students will be able to:
- Understand why it is important for governments to design and deliver effective technology.
- Explain why governments are having a hard time with technology.
- Illustrate how governments can design and deliver useful, usable, and secure digital products and experiences to the public.
- Define Public Interest Technology, “digital” products, Human-Centered Design, Agile Development and their applications.
- Understand what skills are involved in building a digital product.
- Explain what infrastructure digital products and services are built on.
- Define data, and how it is stored/moved/used.
- Illustrate how data is distinct from, and related to, the products built on top of it.
- Professionals working in the public sphere;
- Government at all levels;
- Multilateral/national organizations;
- Advocacy organizations;
- Companies working with public institutions.
Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) Alignment:
This course will be co-designed and taught by practitioners with deep and current experience across the field of Public Interest Technology. Instructors run a range from deeply technical software engineers like Afua Bruce (former Executive Director of the White House National Science and Technology Council) and Mikey Dickerson (founding Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service), to product and service designers like Cyd Harrell (author of A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide and former Chief of Staff at 18F) and Dan Hon (Principal at Very Little Gravitas, a government technology consultancy, and former Editorial Director at Code for America) who have been working with governments at all levels to design and deliver products (and policies) that work better for people. Emily Tavoulareas will be the anchor Georgetown faculty member, leading the design and delivery of the program.