Technology has changed the way we engage with institutions and one another, and reshaped foundational elements that underpin civil society. Innovation can have immensely positive impact or create outsized destruction. Additionally, in a world that is increasingly connected through digital means, we need to develop a new understanding of what infrastructure is and what it can do for us.
We support work that advances physical, technological infrastructure, and helps individuals and institutions develop resiliency in order to adapt to ongoing cultural and technological upheaval.
Grantmaking in each of our interest areas is guided by a central framing question. Our aim is for our portfolio of grantees to drive answers to these guiding questions in the aggregate.
How do we invest in modern infrastructure to ensure that all people are able to participate, contribute to, and thrive in an evolving society?
Reorient the popular understanding of infrastructure
We aim to promote a new understanding of modern infrastructure, which includes reimagining physical infrastructure as built around the inclusion of human and social infrastructure as key elements.
Establish new ways of thinking about the built environment
We intend to interrogate the following questions: How can technology enable us to deliver better infrastructure? What is the infrastructure we need in the United States to support the continued growth of the digital economy? How can infrastructure development promote equitable opportunity to engage with the innovation economy?
Promote healthy social infrastructure in the digital space
We aim to better understand the ways individuals engage with each other and with social institutions online, the impacts of data collection, use and sharing, and the impacts of omnipresent technology.
We believe that technological fluency is the key to ensuring everyone can participate meaningfully in an innovation-driven world. The public interest technology movement is made up of individuals and organizations who are collaborating to achieve that goal by using new technologies to serve the public good.
SFE’s partners at the Ford Foundation, the New America Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation (among others) are each responsible for developing critical segments of this emerging field – from developing interdisciplinary university resources that will help established fields remain agile in the face of innovation, to building new technology training programs for public sector employees. At SFE, we’re working to make sure that everyone is conversant with new technologies, and understands the impacts and implications of technological change on all areas of their lives.
Click here to learn more about SFE’s work in the field of public interest technology.