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Virginia Tech Public Interest Technology Initiative (VT-PIT)

PI: Shalini Misra, Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning

Co-PIs: Elinor Benami, Fernanda Rosa, Benjamin Katz, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Patrick Roberts, Shaddi Hasan, Sylvester Johnson

The VT-PIT project team will focus on building a long term, global research, education, and outreach program on Public Interest Technology at Virginia Tech. The team conceptualizes PIT as the governance, design, and deployment of technologies, policies, institutions, and organizations that put collective human interests, justice, equity, and accountability at the forefront.

The VT-PIT initiative takes a broad-gauged, social ecological approach to the design, implementation, and evaluation of technologies and technology policy. In practice this means:

  1. Building and deploying technologies in collaboration with community members, advocacy groups, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, researchers, policymakers, and other mission-driven organizations.
  2. Designing technologies that address societal problems, reflective of the needs of people, and developed for the cultural context.
  3. Advancing equity.
  4. Involving constituents directly, continuously, and iteratively in the design and implementation process.