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Tech & Society: Building Digital Capacity in Government



This Tech & Society webinar aimed to help the Humanity in Action community learn more about the government technology space and the potential for technology to improve the way government delivers important services.

Through better use of technology, governments – local, state and federal – have the potential to become more efficient, responsive and better able to serve society. Technology can help governments deliver better services to millions of people and even change the way that governments engage with its citizens. However, technology innovation in the public sector also comes with its own unique challenges. Technology is not a panacea for fixing systematic problems that are limiting public services, and meaningful change also requires a high investment – not just in the technology, but also in the people who work in government.

Guest speakers for this webinar were:

  • Crystal Yan is a Product Manager and UX Designer with the United States Digital Service, a startup within the federal government using design and technology to deliver better government services to the American people. At the USDS, her work focuses on using human-centered design to deliver better policy for healthcare providers and better services for asylum seekers.
  • Haiyan Sui is the Director of Technology Development at the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity). She leads the infrastructure team that provides robust platform support for data application and digital products NYC Opportunity builds. Haiyan also serves as a liaison between NYC Opportunity and DoITT, which has initiatives in broadband, open data, and telecommunications resilience needs in case of natural disasters.

The Tech & Society webinar series is pioneered by Bertelsmann-Humanity in Action Professional Fellow Nicole Chi (2015 Paris Fellowship).