Social Impact

Cornell Summer School on Designing Technology for Social Impact

About our summer school

The social impact of technologies is typically thought about fairly late, if ever, in the design process. Indeed, it can be difficult at design time to predict what effects technologies will have. Nevertheless, design decisions can inadvertently "lock in" particular values early on. Moreover, the values and experiences incorporated in the development of new technology continue to be those of dominant social groups. In this workshop, we will draw on science & technology studies, technology design, and the arts to analyze the values embodied in technology design and to design technologies to promote alternative perspectives and positive social impact.

Rising seniors and graduate students at any stage from a variety of disciplines are invited to attend, including - but not restricted to - informatics, computer science, science and technology students, communication, product design, and visual arts. Our goal is to build a cohort of up-and-coming researchers, provide experience in this research area, and provide research and career building. This workshop draws from a legacy of workshops on values in design which have been transformative in this field.

The workshop will take place on June 18-22nd 2018 on the Ithaca Campus of Cornell University.

Travel, food, and lodging will be covered.

The workshop will be restricted to twenty (20) students. Read about our eligibility factors here.

The application will be available mid-January and the deadline is February 23rd, 2018. Application available here.

A link to our program flyer is available here.


Eligibility for this workshop will be evaluated using the following three factors:

  1. Our goal is to build a cohort in the area from ethnically underrepresented groups, understood as: African-American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, Native Alaskan, or foreign nationals of similar ethnic background. People outside these groups may apply and be considered, but they are not the primary target audience.
  2. Rising senior through all stages of graduate program; people who are or are considering being PhD-bound.
  3. International students are encouraged to apply; however, due to limits on travel funding available, applicants must be traveling to the workshop from the US (including Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) or Canada (since we are near the border).

Contact Social Impact

email us at cis-diversityprograms [at] cornell [dot] edu.