Data for Good – Joining a Team Effort

| Elizabeth Grossman


“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

I was never much for team sports (I have lousy eyesight and scars from high school field hockey). But even football-obsessed coaches know that the world is better off when smart people with very different areas of expertise come together to tackle important problems. So I’m beyond thrilled to be joining the Board of DataKind because:

  • The DataKind staff are visionary about a new model to bring together different kinds of expertise to harness data science in the service of humanity, and they are creative and driven in refining and executing that model (see above image).  
  • The other Board members are smart, thoughtful people invested in helping a new organization innovate, succeed, and grow.  
  • The non-profits collaborating with DataKind on projects are dedicated to their missions and open to novel approaches to assessing challenges and interventions.  
  • The ecosystem of DataKind funders and subject matter experts bring a larger context on the systems, policies, institutions, tools, and research that shape where and how data science can contribute and how to integrate and scale the impact of DataKind projects.  
  • The DataKind volunteer network is a globally-distributed network of amazing, motivated individuals.  

DataKind’s website provides examples of what happens when DataKind catalyzes these elements into projects – from forecasting water demand during a drought to reducing injuries and deaths from traffic incidents or house fires to tailoring care for people with mental illnesses.  Learn about ways to get involved here.

This new year, I am grateful for the opportunity to become more deeply integrated into this ecosystem (team) and provide my perspective and skills however I can to help these organizations and individuals work together to make the world a better place.

Read more about Elizabeth’s board membership via DataKind.

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Elizabeth Grossman

As Director of Civic Projects in the Tech & Civic Engagement Group at Microsoft, Elizabeth works with teams in Boston, New York, Chicago, Seattle and the Bay Area, to build long-term partnerships in local communities and leverage Microsoft expertise and resources to make a sustainable and scalable impact on the pressing issues and challenges in these cities. Areas of focus include economic development and innovation, smarter and more sustainable cities, data and openness, and 21st century education and opportunities. Elizabeth is based in Washington, DC. Before this job, she worked on science and tech policy for universities, associations, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Her education balanced a Ph.D. in computational physics from the University of Chicago with a liberal arts undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College. Now she reads a lot of novels.