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Episode 8: Tech Philanthropy
Episode 88th June 2020 • Philanthropy and Social Movements • Students from Harvard Kennedy School
00:00:00 00:27:48

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About This Episode

Lowell, MA; Hershey, PA, and… the Bay Area? Company towns don’t look like they used to, and tech hot spots are the company towns for today’s digital age. Heavyweights in philanthropy look a little different these days, too: tech phenoms unafraid of risk and hungry to problem solve, at times to a fault. Taking a historical lens to American company towns, we consider whether tech philanthropists can adopt and scale the blueprint a foundation used to innovatively revitalize a rural company town. From urban housing shortages to COVID-19, philanthropy’s human stakes have never been higher. In this podcast, we examine how the tech industry can get better at doing good.


Amaya Bravo-France, MUP2020

is an urban planner focusing on housing and neighborhood development, and has worked on environmental and housing issues at nonprofit organizations in California.

Evita Chavez, MUP2 2020

comes to Harvard after working as a Legislative Assistant in the California State Senate, where she staffed the state’s groundbreaking accessory dwelling unit law in 2016 and advised on various housing legislation for Senator Bob Wieckowski.

Sophie Dover, MPA 2020

split her early career between both U.S. coasts in roles which spanned technology, communications, government, and the arts. She is a concurrent Dartmouth MBA.

John Joanino, MPP 2021

began his career in tech philanthropy managing charitable crowdfunding partnerships with celebrities at and most recently led digital communications at a racial equity policy advocacy organization in Los Angeles, California.

Learn More

America’s Company Towns-Smithsonian Magazine

Blue Sky Center (New Cuyama, CA)

Partnership for the Bay’s Future (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)

PICO California