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Tech for Good Research Fellow

Tech Matters

Tech Matters

Posted on Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Strategic technology skills are in short supply in the social sector, where technology adoption is 10-15 years behind the times, both in terms of the technology employed and the methods for creating solutions. Tech Matters is approached all the time for help in applying technology to social good generally, and our particular focus is technology for systems-wide change.
Beyond our Aselo and Terraso open source software platforms, we work to help everybody in the world use technology effectively for social change through a myriad of field building activities. We can’t imagine how society can take on major systems challenges affecting tens or hundreds of millions of people, without software and data playing at least some role.
Our organization is seeking a talented and passionate Tech for Good Research Fellow to work with us in advancing our mission of applying technology for social good. As a Research Fellow, you will be responsible for conducting research, analyzing data, and producing reports that contribute to our field-building efforts in the social sector. Specifically, you will be advancing the following projects:
1. An upcoming book by our founder/CEO, Jim Fruchterman, on how to launch, scale and exit nonprofit tech enterprises. There are more than a thousand books on how to do this for for-profit tech companies, but none that address the unique challenges of using tech for social good when the market fails and a nonprofit must fill the gap. Your role will be to do the research to support the book, with a particular focus on tech for good examples and case studies.
2. Building a coalition around a lightweight data stewardship agreement, something we dub “Creative Commons for data stewardship and sharing.” Heavy data governance structures like data trusts and data coops are impractical for most nonprofit organizations in the world. Your work will be to dive deep into the existing field and assist Jim in creating something that will address the essential needs with a far simpler solution, which will better fit 95% of nonprofits. We need to build an easy-to-use tool to ensure the protection of the data of individuals and communities, and use their data to advance their interests. At the same time, we need to ensure the protection of this data and keep it from being used for exploitation.
This position is remote, and for a fixed period suitable for a fellowship for 9 to 12 months. Over the years, our fellowships have often served as a transition into the nonprofit sector for tech/business professionals eager to move from “money to meaning.” We’re open to candidates around the world, and if the successful candidate happens to be based in the U.S., the position includes health and related insurance coverage.
Note - a cover letter and resume are required to apply. We really need to hear why you would like to get involved in tech for social good!

Summary of this Tech for Good Fellow duties:

  • Case study research on leading technology for social good organizations.
  • Research on a model data stewardship agreement.
  • Publication of essays, article, white papers, book chapters and case studies online in WordPress, both authored by Jim and Tech Matters colleagues, but also potentially bylined by you.
  • Research support on technology for social good in general, and specific projects which are relevant to Tech Matters nonprofit

You could be a great candidate for this role if you:

  • have a demonstrated interest and experience in the field of technology for social good, with knowledge of the latest trends and best practices
  • have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in a relevant field, such as computer science, data science, business (MBA) or social sciences
  • have five or more years’ experience in tech-enabled organizations
  • have a familiarity with how software-as-a-service platforms work
  • are happy working remotely
  • thrive in an early-stage team with light processes
  • can write clearly and kindly
  • align with the Tech Matters values of Impact, Empathy, and Collaboration

It would be great, but not necessary, if you:

  • knew a boatload about data governance and stewardship
  • understand open licenses (such as the GPL and/or Creative Commons)
  • speak languages in addition to English

What We Offer

  • Remote opportunity
  • A small, motivated and fun team
  • Responsibility and ownership from day one
  • Flexible working hours
  • Dates are flexible, with an approximate duration of 9-12 months
$60,000 to $80,000 for U.S. employees. Outside of the U.S., we will adjust for local circumstances. See more on our compensation strategy.
You should apply
Our users come from all kinds of communities, and so do we. We hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes our organization stronger in delivering social impact. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.
We know there are great candidates who might not check all of these boxes or who possess important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.
An important part of every application is a cover letter describing why this position and our mission particularly resonated with you.
About Tech Matters
Tech Matters is a nonprofit organization that leverages the power of tech to support social sector innovators and advance large-scale positive social change. As tech nerds for the social sector, we create common ground for systems change solutions, empowering progress on humanity’s most pressing social issues.