[hcs-d] Reps+Dems+HCS event

Hanzi Zhang zhang9 at fas.harvard.edu
Sat Sep 12 20:10:10 EDT 2009

Great suggestions - thank you so much! They really seem like they'd make
engaging and interesting panelists, as well as approachable ones :).

The original idea focused on technology affecting politics, if only because
it seemed like the broader topic at the time. However, the event is a
panelists' event, so they really determine the direction. To that end, we've
not really set a topic in stone, and are waiting to see what panelists we
can get. Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem, but at this point, any
brainstorming on either people or topics is greatly appreciated!


On Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 12:08 PM, Andy Brody <abrody at hcs.harvard.edu> wrote:

> We could also try to get someone from the Voter Activation Network, which
> is the tech company in Somerville that provided the DNC/OFA with much of
> their important campaign database software.
> I know an Obama campaign alum who works there, and we could potentially get
> him or someone else from VAN to speak.
> -Andy
> Greg Price wrote:
>> Sounds interesting.  Can you elaborate on what you imagine the event
>> as / what the interaction you'll be focusing on between what the
>> Dems/GOP do and what HCS does?  E.g., are you thinking more about
>> technology affecting politics or politics affecting technology?
>> One good panelist would be Ben Rahn, cofounder of ActBlue and a tutor
>> in Pfoho, or alternatively his cofounder Matt Debergalis, who's also
>> local to Cambridge.  Either of them could speak well about how they
>> made technology change politics -- they're basically tech
>> entrepreneurs who went in it for politics rather than for money.  Up
>> to you whether they'd count against the quotas for "technological
>> people", "Democrats", or both. =)
>> Greg
>> On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 19:57, Hanzi Zhang <zhang9 at fas.harvard.edu>
>> wrote:
>>> Oh...in my excitement, I forgot to give the context for this event
>>> (which Greg informs me has appeared on hcs-discuss before).
>>> Over the summer, Luis (the head of Speakers and Political Discourse
>>> Committee at the Harvard Republicans), Greg and I brainstormed about
>>> an event that Harvard's two main political groups and HCS could do
>>> together. Today's meeting was our first physical meeting regarding
>>> this project, and the Harvard Republicans, Democrats (represented by
>>> William F. Weingarten, their Legislative Director) and Computer
>>> Society still feel strongly that it is an event worth planning and
>>> working toward. Luis also said that he just found out that there is a
>>> potential for IOP collaboration, but we felt that it would be better
>>> to have a smaller, successful event first to prove that this could
>>> work out before entrenching ourselves in the long processes of the
>>> IOP.
>>> So, to ensure that it is a successful event, we would really
>>> appreciate any suggestions you might have on potential panelists (feel
>>> free to suggest topics other than polling/advertising)!
>>> -Hanzi
>>> On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 7:36 PM, Hanzi Zhang <zhang9 at fas.harvard.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hi Everyone!
>>>> Luis and I finally met up today, and it was a very productive talk. We
>>>> thought that it would be a good idea to set some goals for how to plan this
>>>> event. The short-term goal is to come up with a list of potential speakers
>>>> (who can speak on technological changes and advances in polling and
>>>> advertising) and their contacts by next week Friday. I can ask a couple of
>>>> people, but I really need help figuring out any contacts who can speak on
>>>> these topics.
>>>> The long-term plan has the event on Monday, November 16, 2009 in Emerson
>>>> 105 (need to check on this) with 1 Democrat panelist, 1 Republican panelist
>>>> and 2 technological people with a target audience size of 100~300 people.
>>>> So, if anyone has an idea of who would be a good panelist, please make
>>>> the suggestion!
>>>> -Hanzi
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