Fellow, Open Technology Institute, New America
Laurenellen McCann is an organizer, artist, and tech policy expert dedicated to equitable stewardship and activation of public commons.
Currently, she works to refocus the innovation sector on the “civic” in “civic tech” as a fellow at the Open Technology Institute at New America and a consultant with the Smart Chicago Collaborative. Laurenellen writes and speaks often on public engagement strategies and co-design, including best practices for building social impact tools “with, not for” the communities they’re intended to serve. She also sits on the Advisory Board of the DC Funk Parade and runs offbeat experiments in public participation (sometimes with dinosaurs) through her culture lab, The Curious Citizens Project.
In a past life, Laurenellen was the founding National Policy Manager of the Sunlight Foundation. In addition to leading Sunlight’s work on state and local issues, she co-authored Sunlight’s open data policy platform, helped dozens of cities, counties, and states write their first open data policies, and directed the one of the largest annual #opengov community gatherings in the world, TransparencyCamp. She cut her teeth as a journalist and producer with NPR and affiliate stations and as a youth member of her hometown school board. At the end of 2013, TIME Magazine named her one of 30 People Under 30 Changing the World.