A change theory for social impact at an industry level

Too often companies struggle to do the right thing because 1) they don’t know what right looks like, and 2) peer companies aren’t acting either, so there’s no competitive pressure to change.

Quorum mover advantage is a social impact strategy that addresses these issues. It’s a new change theory I’m currently developing that could potentially unlock social change in many sectors and contexts.

This post introduces quorum movements and their competitive advantage, elucidates their similarities and differences to first mover advantage, and offers an example of a quorum movement in action.

Defining quorum movement

Quorum movement occurs when an external advocate rallies a…

Consumer Reports became an authorized agent, submitted opt-out requests on behalf of California consumers — and learned a lot.

Image courtesy of Bronney Hui and OpenIDEO’s Cybersecurity Visuals Challenge

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is the nation’s first comprehensive commercial privacy law and it extends important new data rights to consumers. That said, it can take people an extraordinary amount of time to act on these new rights considering just how many companies have our data — many of which we’ve never even heard of. Who has the time and motivation to reach out to companies one by one?

Thankfully the CCPA says that an authorized agent can make…

Image courtesy of Rebecca Wang and OpenIDEO’s Cybersecurity Visuals Challenge

This fall, Consumer Reports’ reporting revealed that the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) isn’t yet working for consumers. Next, the Digital Lab started to explore if privacy rights granted by the CCPA would be easier to use if we did the legwork. We want consumers to have meaningful control over their data and believe that CR is uniquely positioned to make that possible. Our work in 2020 was just the beginning — making it simple for consumers to take control of their data is a big focus for the Digital Lab in 2021.

That’s why we’re seeking collaborators on two…

NOTE: This position has been filled. However, research positions pop up frequently at the Lab and we’re always interested in hearing from talented researchers! Reach out and introduce yourself digitallab@cr.consumer.org.

We’re seeking a researcher with great communication skills to join the Digital Lab team on a contract basis. This is a good opportunity for an early career technologist who wants to work on an experimental product, or a mid- or late- career professional looking to get experience in public interest technology for the first time.


  • You will be planning and supporting a set of experiments around the California Consumer Privacy…

U.S. consumers have little control over the collection and sale of their personal data, which leads to profiling, manipulation, price discrimination and other practices that cut against consumers’ best interests. Regulations such as California’s CCPA and Europe’s GDPR introduce new data rights that seek to restore power to individuals, but also depend on consumers’ practical ability and motivation to exercise these rights.

Meanwhile, technologists and researchers are pioneering new data governance models — such as data unions, data trusts, and data cooperatives — that create value for consumers by collectively pooling and analyzing their data. We are interested in better…

Consumer Reports wants to help consumers meaningfully exercise their data rights, which is why we’re exploring emergent, consumer-facing services now possible under the CCPA.

Image courtesy of Afsal CMK and OpenIDEO’s Cybersecurity Visuals Challenge

This year the nation’s first comprehensive commercial privacy law, The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect. For the first time, California residents have the legal right to (1) require that their personal information not be sold; (2) get a copy of information that certain companies have about them; and (3) request that companies delete their personal information. However, CR’s own reporting has revealed just how tough it can be for California consumers to use the new privacy rights the CCPA grants.

Fortunately, the authors of the CCPA anticipated how potentially time-consuming it could be for individuals to make…

If you’re fundraising, we’ve put together a policy gallery for D&I terms you can ask your VC for when you strike a deal.

As an entrepreneur, putting the right policies in place is a crucial fundraising exercise. What policies will smooth collaboration with investors and set you up to grow your business and working relationship?

While there’s no silver bullet, there are lots of innovative ideas from entrepreneurs who have been through it before. #MovingForward’s open source policy gallery pools examples of policies startup founders have implemented to enhance equity and fairness during fundraising. In this blog post, we’ve extended the policy concepts in the gallery with context, case studies, and steps to help you implement.

From term sheets to diligence requirements and…

Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

People frequently ask me for advice about how to get a book club off the ground and how to keep it going strong. I love the question, as I firmly believe that the world needs more killer book clubs.

Below you’ll find takeaways from my strange trait of continuously founding book clubs. These hard-won learnings come from six illustrious years of book club leading: 3 book club groups, 160+ combined members, and more than 56 books read together. I hope they can be of use.

Choose a theme

Themes attract the right members and help people understand what they’re committing to. Both general…

Last summer, I was part of the inaugural cohort of fellows at the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, an in-residence policy incubator that trains technologists to engage in policy.

The inaugural cohort of Fellows at the Aspen Tech Policy Hub.

The Hub recruits new fellows twice a year, and as soon as applications go out, my inbox gets flooded with questions about the program and my experience in it. To be fair and transparent to all applicants, those within my network and those who are not, I’ve published these questions and their answers here. The Aspen Tech Policy Hub changed my life and I hope you apply!

What drew you to the program? Did you have any prior experience in the policy process?

I studied American History in…

By Sam Taylor and Ginny Fahs

If you want to to move into technology or launch your tech career in a new part of the world, the first step is getting smart. In this post you’ll find the top sources of technology news and information for each world region. We’ve selected for English-language publications only, and limited the list to four to six sources per region, soliciting recommendations from tech veterans worldwide.

You can search#newsletter #podcast #free #paid to narrow down publications you want to read. Direct links have been provided to newsletter signup forms and podcasts where available.


Ginny Fahs

Tech Fellow @AspenPolicyHub & #MovingForward Executive Director. Ex- @UberEngineering .

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