Civic Engagement

New Playbook Helps Officials Prepare People to #VoteSafe

by Elizabeth Weingarten & Omar Parbhoo

In May 2020, we began hearing a pattern of concerns from Secretary of State offices across the country. One office told us they were worried about voters completing and signing their mail-in ballots incorrectly. Other offices agonized about how a steep decline in poll worker volunteers, many of whom were in populations most vulnerable to […]

Ethical Machine Learning

by ideas42

  Applied together, it is fair to say that machine learning and behavioral science have the potential to significantly magnify social impact. Yet, as machine learning algorithms become more prevalent in the systems people use to make important decisions, there is deep, and not unfounded, concern that algorithms – even those designed with social impact […]

ideas42 Stands for Racial Justice

by ideas42

We are disgusted by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We are angry about the ongoing racism faced by Black people. This anger is not new in the US, as Black Americans have faced a long history of racist violence driven not by a few bad actors, but by systemic racism […]

COVID-19 Is Different—Charitable Giving Should Be Too

by Sarah Welch, Cecilia Shang, Katy Davis, & Piyush Tantia

The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we’ve seen, but our urge to help others in crisis is familiar. When disaster strikes, a common arc unfolds: Media coverage and stories abound, non-profit organizations spearhead relief efforts, solicitations to donate are shared, and dollars come pouring in. These one-time, urgent campaigns are important and play a critical […]

How Expert-Curated Guidance Helps Donors Follow Through

by Omar Parbhoo

The tragic impact of COVID-19 is being felt in every corner of the globe. But amid this crisis, millions of people are stepping up in inspiring ways to help one another. New emergency response funds have been created and existing charities are being retooled to meet the immense needs of the moment. While the scale […]

Inoculating Democracy from COVID-19

by Omar Parbhoo

This is part of a series of posts about behavioral science and COVID-19. Click here to read about some of the most important behaviors during this pandemic—like seeking medical help, responding to humanitarian crises, and adapting to remote work in a global outbreak. The coronavirus outbreak is upending core functions of our democracy, forcing Americans […]

Behavioral Science and the Census: Getting out the Count in NYC

by Julia Anderson and Laura Wolff

Each decade, the government makes an effort to count every person living in the United States. The census is absolutely essential to making government programs and services work as effectively as possible. For example, census data are used to determine the amount of federal funding for hundreds of programs – from Medicaid and student loans […]

13 Ways Behavioral Science Improved Lives in 2019

by ideas42

  Each year, the behavioral science community expands our knowledge about humans and decision-making and builds evidence for how to use behavioral science to improve lives. This rapidly growing community is made up of brilliant researchers, dedicated practitioners who apply behavioral science in their work solving problems, pioneering organizations that fund behavioral innovation around the […]

Nonvoter Innovation Lab: Leveraging 2018 Midterm Success to GOTV in 2020

by Moises Roman-Mendoza, Antonia Violante, & Maya Alper

It would be an understatement to anyone who reads the news or logs on to social media platforms to say that the 2020 presidential election is top of mind for many Americans. What isn’t so clear, however, is whether or not people will channel that energy into turning out to vote next November. With nearly […]

Pay What You Wish: Making Public Spaces More Inclusive

by Rosii Floreak

Throughout the summer new stories abound with conflicts over the proper way to use public space in cities. In the Bay Area alone, Barbecue Becky, Permit Patty and a tech company sport’s team arguing with teenagers over use of a soccer field in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood led to viral conversations about who can use […]

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