When we launched, we had a hunch that people were craving news from the tech-for-good, government innovation, making things generally better spaces, but we weren’t sure what the reaction from the field would be. Would people have time to read one more thing? Would we have enough interesting stories to share? Would people like us? Really, really like us?
The answer to all of these has been an emphatic yes, and so much more. One question we’ve received a lot of recently is “How can I write for The Commons?” We are so very pleased you asked. We are interested in featuring writing, interviews, and opinions from a diverse range of practitioners and thinkers, so if you have an interesting idea, please simply write up your idea in a few sentences and send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help spark your thinking, here’s some basic information on the types of stories we’d love to get pitches on:
These are typically first-person essays from a subject matter expert that express a specific opinion or argue a point. Past opinion pieces have included an essay on navigating the LA civil service and one on why co-procurement is an interesting option for cities.
We’re always interested in telling great stories from across the country. If you have a great story to tell but don’t want to write it yourself, we can assign a journalist to report it. Most recently we reported a story on how Seattle has tried to tackle homelessness via procurement changes.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is let people talk. We’d like to hear from people with innovative, unusual, or just plain interesting ideas. We’re especially interesting in interviewing the underserved and underrepresented, who may not have access to public platforms. In addition, if you’re a leader, or you want to nominate a great leader who we should speak with, we want to hear your PIT-related thoughts, too.
Our issues always have a theme. Some upcoming themes:
- The History issue: Looking at how Black, brown, and underrepresented people have shaped public interest tech — and what comes next for their work.
- The Environmental Justice issue: How we can — and are — using PIT to reduce and eliminate environmental problems in predominantly Black, brown, and poor communities.
- The Transportation issue: Planes, trains, and automobiles. How PIT will shape the future of transportation.
- The Whistle Blower issue: Inspired by Rebekah Jones, the data scientist from Florida, we’ll look at the ethical argument that technologists should use their positions for good — even if those in power don’t want them to.
- The Transition issue: How PIT will impact the incoming administration’s job and how the incoming administration will impact PIT.
- The Safety Net issue: Looking at how our public safety nets are broken and the PIT fixes that are emerging.
- The Mental Health Issue: Technology provides a fix for counseling during the pandemic, but that’s only one way PIT can shape America’s mental health crisis. There’s so much more, and we’d like to dissect.
Have an idea that doesn’t fit into any of these categories or need help fleshing something out? We’re happy to work with you – email us at email@example.com!
The Commons Team