In “Just Tech: Centering Community-Driven Innovation at the Margins,” Microsoft senior principal researcher Mary Gray explores how technology and community intertwine and the role technology may play in supporting community-driven innovation and community-based organizations. Gray and her team work to bring computer science, engineering, social science, and community together to boost societal resilience in ongoing work with Project Resolve. She connects with organizers, academics, technology leaders, and activists to understand how to develop tools and frameworks of support alongside members of these communities.

In this episode of the series, Gray talks with Columbia University social work professor and Data Science Institute associate director of diversity, equity, and inclusion Desmond Patton. His work at the intersection of social work, social media, and technology seeks to understand the root of aggression, grief, and trauma in ways that may help inform interventions for social workers and broader communities. Together, they explore Patton’s learnings about the challenges of using artificial intelligence in a field filled with nuance and how informed technology may make positive social impacts in partnership with local communities. Patton also shares how his work on gang violence has increased his understanding of how social media may influence and transform the narratives about people.

LISTEN: Just Tech: Centering Community-Driven Innovation at the Margins episode 1 with Desmond Patton and Mary Gray