The American Bar Association started the National Celebration of Pro Bono in 2009 to address the increased need for pro bono legal services during the economic crisis. Other industries, whose pro bono initiatives have similarly grown in scale and demand, joined the celebration and since 2013, Global Pro Bono Week has been a key opportunity to raise awareness about pro bono work across sectors.
This Pro Bono Week, Data Clinic would like to take a moment to reflect back on our first 7+ years as Two Sigma’s pro bono data- and tech-for-good initiative, and give thanks to the hundreds of mission-driven partners who have entrusted us with their data and tech needs and committed to meaningful collaborations and conversations, all the way from early introductory chats to engaging in official projects. Together, we have worked toward purposeful impact through the skills and experience that make all our organizations unique.
We would be remiss if we didn’t call out in particular the substantial impact our partners have had on all of our volunteers and all of us at Data Clinic. In every partnership, we receive and learn every bit as much as we give in technical support and capacity building. Our partners go the extra mile to share their wealth of knowledge on the social issues they tackle day-in and day-out, their nuanced understanding of the community members they seek to support, and their thoughtful approach to their programming, services, and operations.
To share just a few examples of this generosity of spirit, time, and knowledge:
- We partnered with the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) to analyze data from their Connected Worlds exhibit in order to provide actionable insights to guide visitors on the impact of their actions on the health of the ecosystems. NYSCI’s took the time to walk us through the exhibit in person so we could truly understand the immensity and richness of the experience they designed, and the impact this analysis could have on visitors.
- We partnered with the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) to analyze data on their Global Stem Cell Array in order to help optimize the process of creating induced pluripotent stem cells that are crucial to their research on disease treatments. NYSCF brought us to their lab and walked us through the extraordinary machinery and automated process they developed so we could incorporate a nuanced appreciation of their groundbreaking work into our collaboration.
- We had the honor of working with Vera Institute of Justice on two different and fascinating projects: one analyzing the disparity of jail incarceration rates between rural and urban areas, and one cleaning, compiling, and analyzing open 911 data across several cities. Vera put a lot of time into collaborating with us across these two projects, ensuring that the insights could lead to valuable actions and research in their advocacy for a fair criminal justice system. In kind, our awareness of the interplay of issues in criminal justice has grown immensely.
- Thanks to experiences like these with our partners, our grasp of the complexity of social issues and the challenges of operating mission-driven organizations never ceases to grow, and in kind, our pro bono data and tech support will never cease to evolve. We look forward to countless years ahead of building thoughtful and innovative pro bono collaborations to respond to our communities’ social impact needs.
Interested in partnering with us? Fill out our contact form!