Data on Purpose 2021

"Democracy, Civil Society, and Digital Technology"

February 17-18, 2021


Digital technology and data shape both organizational operations and individual interactions, not only in our personal lives, but more and more in civil society, where it is increasingly used by nonprofit organizations and social movements to coordinate action, empower constituencies, elevate issues, and mobilize support.

But the same mechanisms can just as easily operate to undermine democracy and civil society—for example when social media and targeted messaging is used to disinform and foment polarization. Digital engagement has its own technical, ethical, and security limitations, and its widespread use has tested our social and political structures.

What are the trends and technologies heightening concerns over the use of data and digital tools? How are different actors – movement builders, platforms, elected officials – working to improve upon or leverage these tools and processes to be better applied for the benefit of all? What steps are being taken to address crucial issues of equity and justice that are part of our social fabric? How can we build alternative approaches that recognize that people are more than analytics and metrics in service to the latest automated solution?

Join Stanford Social Innovation Review for our 6th Data on Purpose conference, "Democracy, Civil Society, and Digital Technology." This year’s convening is designed to help nonprofit leaders and their teams (technical or not) identify and operationalize digital solutions to critical issues related to our democracy and civil society. With a focus on issues of equity, privacy & security, polarization, and the curtailing of misinformation, Data on Purpose will address the latest research- and practice-based insights from data scientists and researchers, nonprofit, foundation and for-profit leaders, policymakers, and other experts. Our goal is to help identify digital technologies that can strengthen our democracy and civil society, reduce inequities, improve the operation of nonprofit organizations, and empower the kind of informed, democratic participation which is a vital underpinning of civil society.

Participants in Data on Purpose 2021 will come away with:

  • • Knowledge of the tools and processes that can help organizations benefit from artificial intelligence and machine learning to reduce inequity and provide for their constituents, while avoiding the ethical and security concerns AI presents

  • • Insights into how nonprofit organizations, labor unions, and social movements are using digital technologies and platforms to organize and empower their constituencies

  • • A better understanding of the current state of the digital divide, the ways in which challenges can be overcome, and where we still need to focus our efforts, with a special focus on maintaining human connections with those we serve in a world dominated by data

  • • Examples of how digital technologies are being used to strengthen civil society institutions and the social connections between people

  • • Knowledge of ways to support digital democracy and combat the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation, weaponization of information, and hacking

Like many of you in the sector, we at SSIR are adapting our approaches and operations in response to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In that spirit, we are pleased to announce that, this year, the 6th Data on Purpose will be an entirely virtual convening.

Although virtual experiences are radically different from those presented in-person, we are committed to delivering a program that is just as informative, insightful, and engaging as that of any prior Data on Purpose event. Over the next several weeks, we will be busy confirming our speakers and sessions, and developing other elements – including ways to network with your fellow social innovators – in order to provide you with an experience on par with what you have come to expect from SSIR convenings.

We hope you will join us February 17-18, 2021



Save $96 over the Regular Rate! Early Registration Rate valid through January 15, 2021.



Regular Rate valid January 16, 2021 through February 16, 2021 (12 pm/Pacific Time).



Data on Purpose 2021


Send a message to the SSIR Events help line below, or call (650) 721-2344