Georgetown University photographed from the Potomac River
Category: Discovery & Impact, General News, University News

Title: Georgetown Joins New Global Partnership to Advance Equitable and Inclusive Technology

Date Published: June 21, 2021

Building on Georgetown’s work at the intersection of technology, ethics, public policy, and governance, the University will serve as a founding academic partner in the new McCourt Institute, an organization focused on advancing technology solutions that serve the common good.

As announced in March of 2021, Georgetown and the University’s McCourt School of Public Policy has received $25M from civic entrepreneur and Georgetown alumnus Frank H. McCourt Jr. (C’75) to support research and initiatives in partnership with the McCourt Institute that address critical questions on the impact of technological innovation on society, with a particular focus on related public policy. 

“Georgetown is honored to partner with our distinguished alumnus, Frank McCourt, and the McCourt Institute in the important work of discovering more ethical and inclusive ways to build technology,” said John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University. “Frank has long understood the power of bringing together civic institutions, interdisciplinary perspectives and diverse community voices to tackle big societal problems. With his commitment and vision guiding us, the McCourt Institute is poised to make a tremendous global impact.”

“The McCourt Institute, with Georgetown University in the United States and Sciences-Po in Europe as the founding academic partners, represents a critical step forward in harnessing the power of technology to improve our society and revolutionize social media,” said Frank McCourt.

The McCourt Institute is part of Project Liberty, a transformational new initiative conceived by Frank McCourt to enable more equitable technology infrastructure for the internet. Georgetown joins the McCourt Institute along with Sciences Po of Paris, another founding academic partner.

Shaping Technology for a Better World

Georgetown and McCourt School’s partnership with the McCourt Institute and Sciences Po builds upon the work of Georgetown’s Tech & Society Initiative, a dynamic and cross-disciplinary collaboration bringing together scholars and practitioners from across Georgetown to reimagine ethics, policy, and governance for the digital age.

“We share a commitment to better understand and respond to technology’s complex impact on society,” said Georgetown University Provost Robert Groves. “We look forward to building dynamic and cross-disciplinary teams of scholars with our partners in the McCourt Institute and Sciences Po.”

This new funding will support research and initiatives that address critical questions on the impact of technological innovation on society, with a particular focus on related public policy.

The McCourt School of Public Policy’s researchers, and the school’s Massive Data Institute, are developing innovative, evidence-based approaches to using technology as an essential tool to scale positive change, like using social media to better understand and respond to critical social, political, and economic challenges, like the predictors of mass migration, the spread of Covid-19 misinformation, and the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We remain deeply grateful to Frank for his critical investments in scholarships, faculty, and research,” said McCourt School Dean Maria Cancian. “Our partnership with the McCourt Institute will expand and enhance the McCourt School’s impact in shaping technology for a better world.”