By Maria Iacobo
When it comes to his career, his ideas, and even his location at any point in time, you might say Matt Stempeck SM ’13 is hard to pin down. But he stays put when it comes to his conviction that technology and social good can—and should—go hand-in-hand. “The core tension for me throughout my life has been wanting to do fun, creative, tech projects, but applying them to meaningful things,” Stempeck says. “The common theme in my career has been using tech for good.”
As a freelance civic technologist, his work takes him anywhere he can enhance decision making, communications, and the political process. For example, as a technologist-in-residence at Cornell Tech in New York City, he recently helped to design a Public Interest Tech Fellowship—which embedded its first cohort of technical PhD students with public interest organizations this summer —and coauthored a report released in May, Rebooting NYC, that identifies an urban tech agenda for the city’s next administration, including ways to boost public engagement with city government.