The Technology and Public Purpose Summit 2023 convenes experts and explorers to discuss how we can build a future where public purpose drives innovation.

Through a series of engaging talks and panels with TAPP fellows and other experts, the Summit brings to light important public purpose considerations for solar energy, web3, CHIPS and Science, digital platform governance, cures for neurodegenerative diseases, and more.

We hope to see you there!

    TAPP Summit 2023

    About the TAPP Project

    The Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project is a research-to-action project dedicated to building a future where technology serves humanity and public purpose drives innovation. TAPP works to ensure that emerging technologies are developed and managed in ways that serve the overall public good

    Our Beliefs

    • Technology's advance is inevitable, and it often brings with it much progress for some. Yet progress for all is not guaranteed. We have an obligation to foresee the dilemmas presented by emerging technology and to generate solutions to them.

    •  There is no silver bullet; effective solutions to technology-induced dilemmas require a mix of government regulation and tech-sector self-governance.

    • Ensuring a future where public purpose drives innovation requires the next generation of tech and policy leaders to act; we must support and inspire them to implement sustainable solutions and carry the torch.

    Our Approach

    1. Designing resources and practical solutions to the dilemmas of technological change in the digital domain, biotech, jobs and training sectors. 
    2. Engaging and convening leaders from research universities, tech industry CEOs and senior scientists, entrepreneurs, current and former policymakers, and experts in law, regulation, and ethics, in a non-political, analysis-based forum where they can meet, talk, and solve problems. 
    3. Training and inspiring a new generation of technology leaders and thinkers to make advancing public purpose a part of their life calling.

    TAPP Summit 2023 Agenda

    Time Stamp


    9:30-10:00 AM

    Summit Registration & Breakfast


    Opening & Welcome from TAPP Associate Director Amritha Jayanti

    10:10-10:25 AM

    Keynote Speaker – Stephanie Carter
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief at The Verse Media

    10:25-10:30 AM

    Video Presentation - Remembering Ash Carter’s Legacy

    10:30-11:15 AM

    The State of Technology and Public Purpose
    Bina Venkataraman, Columnist at The Washington Post
    Katie Rae, CEO & Managing Partner at The Engine
    Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media
    Mitch Weiss, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School
    Arjun Bisen, CEO of Overwatch Data

    11:15 AM-12:15 PM

    Tech and Public Policy to Save the Brain
    Luca Giani, TAPP Fellow
    Robert Langer, MIT Professor and Co-founder of Moderna

    12:15-1:15 PM

    Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) and Policymaking in the U.S.
    Sarah Hubbard, TAPP Fellow 

    Lunch will be served before the panel begins

    CHIPS and Science Act: A New Era of U.S. Industrial Policy
    Doug Calidas, Vice President and Policy Director of The Complete Agency
    Edlyn Levine, Chief Science Officer and co-founder of America’s Frontier Fund
    David Goldston, Director of the MIT Washington Office
    John Park, Director, Korea Project and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School
    Meg Rithmire, F. Warren McFarlan Associate Professor of Business of Administration in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School

    2:15-2:30 PM


    2:30-3:30 PM

    Decentralized Trust-Building Technologies for Democratic Governance: Bridging URL and IRL
    Helena Rong, TAPP Fellow

    3:30-4:30 PM

    Software-Enabled Solar: Building Tools to Streamline Solar Installations
    Conrad Kramer, TAPP Fellow

    4:30-4:45 PM

    Coffee Break

    4:45-5:15 PM

    The Future of Internet Governance
    Leisel Bogan, Director of the Senate Innovation and Modernization effort for TechCongress
    Jonathan Zittrain, Co-Founder of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

    5:15-5:30 PM

    Closing Remarks – Chris Lynch
    CEO of Rebellion Defense 

    6:00-8:00 PM

    Evening Reception
    (location to be shared with RSVPed attendees)

    The Charles Hotel | Harvard Square | One Bennett Street | Cambridge, MA 02138

    The Charles Hotel -Map, Parking, & Directions  

    Technology and Public Purpose Summit Speakers

    Keynote Speaker

    Stephanie Carter headshot

    Stephanie Carter
    Founder & Editor-In-Chief, The Verse Media

     Stephanie Carter’s next verse is The Verse. It’s a mashup of her decades of leadership in business, public service, advocacy and the arts. She is a storyteller, ideas person, mentor, connector, relentless seeker of results and all-around badass. When it came time for Stephanie to explore a new direction for her second half, she realized she was one in an army of grown-ups seeking reinvention and launched a platform designed to lead the way.

     Stephanie is not a friend of the status quo. In her previous life as a corporate titaness, she served as General Partner of the growth equity firm ABS Capital Partners, raising $1.6B for the firm’s funds in her 25-year tenure. Official resume stats aside, Stephanie also changed the firm for the better, establishing an investor relations function; evolving marketing, events and investment research; and serving as a go-to for managing partners’ gut checks. Sound advice is one of her superpowers. 

     Stephanie earned the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2017 for her outreach to military families and veterans during and following her husband Ash Carter’s years as Secretary of Defense. In 2022, Ash sadly passed away unexpectedly, leaving Stephanie to explore yet a new direction for her second half. 

     Stephanie seeks growth and evolution as their own ends, fueled by a relentless curiosity for all things arts, pop culture, sports, music, literature and beyond. She hopes by sharing her setbacks and wins—and now, her experience of loss and grief—she can help people to view their second half with optimism and anticipation.


    The State of Technology and Public Purpose

    Bina Venkataraman headshot

    Bina Venkataraman

    Columnist at The Washington Post

    Bina Venkataraman is an American journalist, author, and science & technology policy expert. She is currently a columnist at The Washington Post writing on the future, and a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

    From 2019 to 2022, she was the Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe, overseeing its editorial board and opinion coverage and shepherding two Pulitzer finalist editorial series. She formerly served as senior adviser for climate change innovation in the Obama White House, and directed global policy initiatives at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Since 2011, she has taught in the program on science, technology, and society at MIT.

    Venkataraman is an alumna of Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School.

    Katie Rae headshot

    Katie Rae

    CEO & Managing Partner of The Engine

    Katie is the CEO & Managing Partner of The Engine, which she spun up alongside MIT in 2017. She serves as a Board Member for The Engine Funds’ portfolio companies Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Boston Metal, Via Separations, and Sublime Systems. Katie is a founder and investor with over two decades of experience, including 15 years of investing in startups and fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boston.

    She has invested in nearly 100 companies and advised hundreds of founders from early-stage formation to scale-up. Key investments include Pillpack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion in 2018), Flywire, Moon, and GrabCAD.

    In her role at The Engine, Katie leads a team of investment and operations professionals who are committed to supporting and accelerating the growth of companies that are developing breakthrough technologies. Earlier in her career Katie founded Project 11, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage startups in the tech industry, and was the Managing Director for TechStars Boston for five of its first cohorts, investing in and developing programing to support promising startups.

    Katie is a frequent invited speaker at conferences and events focused on a range of topics including venture investing, the future of technology, and leadership development. She has received numerous awards and honors, including being named to the Forbes Midas List of top venture capitalists and being selected as one of the "Most Influential Women in Technology" by Fast Company. In addition to her extensive investing career, Katie has over 20 years of experience in product development, management & operations including holding management positions at Microsoft, Eons, AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2, and Mirror Worlds.

    She co-founded the Equity Summit, which convenes leading General Partners and Asset Managers of diversity across the venture capital industry. Katie holds an MBA from Yale and a BA in Biology from Oberlin College.

    Tim O'Reilly headshot

    Tim O’Reilly

    Founder, CEO & Chairman of O'Reilly Media

    Tim O’Reilly has a history of convening conversations that reshape the computer industry. If you’ve heard the term “open source software” or “web 2.0" or “the Maker movement” or “government as a platform” or “the WTF economy,” he’s had a hand in framing each of those big ideas. He is the founder, CEO, and Chairman of O’Reilly Media, and a partner at early-stage venture firm O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV). He is also on the boards of Code for America, PeerJ, Civis Analytics, and PopVox. His book, WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us, was released by Harper Collins in October 2017. He is a Visiting Professor of Practice at University College London’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, where he is researching a new approach to regulating big technology platforms by managing their ability to extract economic rents.

    Mitch Weiss headshot

    Mitch Weiss

    Richard L. Menschel Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School

    Mitch Weiss is the Richard L. Menschel Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School and the Chair of the school’s MBA Required Curriculum. He is the author of We the Possibility: Harnessing Public Entrepreneurship to Solve our Most Urgent Problems from Harvard Business Review Press (2021). 

    He created and teaches the school's course on Public Entrepreneurship—on public leaders and private entrepreneurs who invent a difference in the world. Prior to joining HBS in 2014, Mitch was Chief of Staff and a partner to Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino. Mitch helped shape New Urban Mechanics, Boston’s municipal innovation strategy, and make it a model for peer-produced government and change. Mitch has been named one of the 100 most influential academics in government.

    Arjun Bisen headshot

    Arjun Bisen

    CEO of Overwatch Data

    Arjun Bisen is the CEO of Overwatch Data, an AI company that helps organizations get ahead of risks and opportunities with an easy to use, open-source intel platform. Prior to founding Overwatch through Y Combinator, Arjun led policy and risk teams at Stripe and Google Search. At Google, he led policy efforts on information quality, user safety, and countering disinformation, particularly around significant events such as elections and COVID19. He has published on elections integrity, digital currencies, and the startup ecosystem.

    Prior to Google, he was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard Kennedy School, where he wrote his Master’s thesis on disinformation in India and designed a tech policy course taught at the Business, Engineering and Policy schools with Former SecDef Ash Carter. 

    He served as an Australian diplomat for eight years, helping draft Australia’s cyber strategy, focusing on geopolitics across the Indo-Pacific, negotiating trade agreements, and leading large UN aid programs on elections integrity, disability rights, and landmine clearance. He also undertook a diplomatic posting to Cambodia, reporting on human rights, elections, and China’s diplomatic influence in South-East Asia.


    Tech and Public Policy to Save the Brain

    Luca Giani headshot

    Luca Giani

    Technology and Public Purpose Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

    Luca Giani brings over a decade of experience at the intersection of business, government, and biotech with expertise in finance, management, and entrepreneurship. He began his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse, worked in Venture Capital and later joined Bain & Company, working as a management consultant on strategy projects. As the co-founder and CEO of Ilios Therapeutics, a biotech startup focused on neurodegenerative diseases, Luca is dedicated to advancing brain-related research. Luca used his TAPP fellowship year to research how to make neurodegenerative disease research more effective, and was mentored by Dr. Robert Langer, PhD. A Forbes Under 30 honoree, Luca holds an MPP from Harvard Kennedy School and a B.S. from Georgetown University.


    Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) and Policymaking in the U.S.

    Sarah Hubbard headshot

    Sarah Hubbard

    Technology and Public Purpose Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

    Sarah Hubbard is currently a Technology & Public Purpose Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Justice, Health, and Democracy Initiative Fellow at the Harvard Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics. She is a product leader and technologist who has led various cross-functional teams at both Apple and Microsoft building products centered around artificial intelligence, machine learning, and intelligent devices. Previously, Sarah worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and conducted research with the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab. She has a passion for human-computer interaction, building communities, and guiding the ethical and equitable deployment of technology in society.


    CHIPS and Science: A New Era of U.S. Industrial Policy

    Doug Calidas headshot

    Doug Calidas
    Vice President and Policy Director of The Complete Agency

    Doug serves as Vice President and Policy Director of The Complete Agency, a public policy consulting firm in Washington, DC. Doug joined The Complete Agency in January 2023 after serving as Chief of Staff to Senator Amy Klobuchar, a senior member of the Senate Democratic leadership team.

    As Chief of Staff to Senator Klobuchar, Doug managed a team of approximately 50 staffers and served as the Senator’s top strategist for policy initiatives, media relations, and constituent services. He led all staff in supporting the Senator’s work as Chair of the Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee and a senior member of the Commerce and Agriculture Committees. Doug spent five years with Senator Klobuchar, having previously served as the Senator’s Legislative Director, Deputy Legislative Director, and Senior Economic Adviser. Before advising Senator Klobuchar, Doug served as Chief Counsel for Senator Joe Manchin. He began his time in the Senate as a Fellow on the staff of the Senate Finance Committee under Senator Ron Wyden.

    Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Doug spent six years as an attorney in private practice at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Duke University School of Law – where he was an Editor of the Duke Law Journal and a member of the moot court board – and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where he studied finance, economics, and international relations. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Katie and their four young children.

    Edlyn Levine

    Dr. Edlyn Levine
    Chief Science Officer and co-founder of America’s Frontier Fund

    Dr. Edlyn V. Levine is the Chief Science Officer and co-founder of America’s Frontier Fund. She is responsible for leading all of the organization’s scientific and technical-focused efforts to accelerate advanced technologies critical to U.S. leadership.

    Edlyn was formerly Chief Technologist for the MITRE Corporation’s Acceleration Office. At MITRE, Edlyn built and led a portfolio of pioneering research, programs, and consortia to drive foundational technology advancements in semiconductors, 5G telecommunications, quantum information science, remote sensing, ionospheric plasma modification, and nuclear effects. Edlyn founded and led MITRE Engenuity’s semiconductor industry effort and architected MITRE’s November 2021 semiconductor strategy, “American Innovation, American Growth: A Vision for the National Semiconductor Technology Center.” Edlyn also established MITRE's 5G consortium and a national labs consortium to study the impact of high-altitude nuclear detonations. Her research has led to technology transfer to the U.S. government and multiple peer-reviewed publications and patents.

    David Goldston headshot

    David Goldston
    Director of the MIT Washington Office

    David Goldston became Director of the MIT Washington Office in May, 2017.  In that role, he directs MIT’s federal relations and works with faculty and students who want to help shape federal policy.  For the eight years prior to joining MIT, he was the Director of Government Affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a leading environmental group, where he helped shape NRDC’s federal political strategy, policies and communications. 

    He came to NRDC after spending more than 20 years on Capitol Hill in Washington, working primarily on science policy and environmental policy.  He was Chief of Staff of the House Committee on Science from 2001 through 2006.  After retiring from government service, Goldston was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 2007 and at the Harvard University Center for the Environment in 2008 and 2009.  He is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  From 2007 through November 2009, he wrote a monthly column for Nature on science policy titled “Party of One.” 

    Goldston also was the project director for the Bipartisan Policy Center report “Improving the Use of Science in Regulatory Policy,” which was released in August 2009.  He authored a chapter in The Science of Science Policy: A Handbook (Stanford University Press, 2011).  He has served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Academy of Sciences’ Division of Environment and Life Sciences, and of the Academy’s Aerospace and Space Engineering Board, among other panels.  He is currently a member of the Academy’s advisory committee for its Climate Communications Initiative.  He holds a B.A. (1978) from Cornell University and completed the course work for a Ph.D. in American history at the University of Pennsylvania.  

    John Park headshot

    John Park 

    Director of Belfer Center's Korea Project and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School

    Dr. John Park is Director of the Korea Project and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center. He is also a Faculty Affiliate with the Project on Managing the Atom. Dr. Park’s core research projects focus on the political economy of the Korean Peninsula, nuclear proliferation, economic statecraft, Asian trade negotiations, and North Korean cyber activities.

    Dr. Park was the 2012–2013 Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at MIT's Security Studies Program. He previously directed Northeast Asia Track 1.5 dialogues at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. He advises Northeast Asia policy-focused officials in the U.S. government.

    His current research focuses on the North Korean regime's accumulated learning in evading sanctions. Dr. Park received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He completed his pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center. Dr. Park has testified on North Korea before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.

    Meg Rithmire headshot

    Meg Rithmire
    F. Warren McFarlan Associate Professor of Business of Administration in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School

    Meg Rithmire is a F. Warren McFarlan Associate Professor of Business of Administration in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Rithmire holds a PhD in Government from Harvard University, and her primary expertise is in the comparative political economy of development with a focus on China and Asia. Her first book, Land Bargains and Chinese Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2015), examines the role of land politics, urban governments, and local property rights regimes in the Chinese economic reforms. A second book to be published in late summer 2023, Precarious Ties: Business and the State in Authoritarian Asia, investigates the relationship between capital and the state and globalization in Asia. The book compares China, Malaysia, and Indonesia from founding to the present, focusing on why business and regime relations began with mutual efforts and growth and dissolved. Related work concerns the role of the Chinese Communist Party in China’s political economy, and trade and investment conflict between China and the United States. She has testified at the US-China Congressional Commission on China’s financial sector and teaches and speaks on China’s industrial policy and more. Her work has been published in International Security, World Politics, the China Quarterly, and Politics & Society, among other scholarly journals, and her commentary has appeared in The Atlantic and the Washington Post. 


    Decentralized Trust-Building Technologies for Democratic Governance: Bridging URL and IRL

    Helena Rong headshot

    Helena Rong

    Technology and Public Purpose Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

    Helena Rong is an interdisciplinary designer, technologist, and urbanist. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Planning at Columbia University and faculty instructor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she teaches a master-level course on Technology, Trust and Governance. Rong’s work focuses on the use of emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain for the design and governance of the built environment. She received her Master of Science in Architecture and Urbanism from the MIT and Planning and her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. Rong is the founder of CIVIS Design and Advisory, a design and research practice based in Boston and Shanghai that engages in multi-scalar and interdisciplinary architectural and urban projects. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture, World Real Estate Forum, Future of Architecture Platform, among others.


    Software-Enabled Solar: building Tools to Streamline Solar Installations

    Conrad Kramer

    Conrad Kramer

    Technology and Public Purpose Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

    Conrad Kramer is an engineer who builds software to improve people’s lives. Before coming to the Belfer Center, Conrad sold a company to Apple where he led engineering for the Shortcuts app, a productivity tool built into every iPhone, iPad and Mac. Conrad left Apple in 2021 and started researching how software can be used to address climate change. He is interested in open-source software, interoperability, privacy, cybersecurity, tech policy and copyright law.


    The Future of Internet Governance: A Fireside Chat w/ Jonathan Zittrain

    Leisel Bogan headshot

    Leisel Bogan 

    Director of the Senate Innovation and Modernization effort for TechCongress

    Leisel Bogan is the Director of the Senate Innovation and Modernization effort for TechCongress and an information technology and international policy leader whose work has focused on ensuring technology and policy promotes human rights, security, and innovation. 

    Prior to her current role, Leisel was a Research Fellow in the Technology and Public Purpose program at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, where she focused on policy impact and disinformation, and, with Secretary Carter, explored how the U.S. government might mitigate digital harms. Before joining the TAPP Fellowship, she led the first Congressional Digital Service pilot fellowship for TechCongress with the House Select Committee on Modernization, which resulted in the creation of a permanent House Digital Services organization. In 2019-2020, she served as the Senior Fellow for Cybersecurity, Technology and National Security in the office of Senator Mark Warner. 

    Before her work in Congress, Leisel focused on global strategy for cybersecurity and technology transformation at the professional services firm, PwC. She has held two academic appointments at Stanford University as a Research Fellow where she researched cybersecurity and emerging technologies, international law, and national security, and exhibited work at the International Criminal Court. Previously, Leisel worked with senior advisors, engineering teams, and on special projects at Palantir Technologies, and at Warner Bros. Entertainment Leisel focused on new media technologies. 

    Leisel also served as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Chief of Staff and her Director of Research at Stanford University, and at the geopolitical consulting firm, RiceHadleyGates, LLC, she advised clients on technology, strategy, and emerging markets, with a particular focus on China, the EU and Russia. She has written for various publications, collaborated on two bestselling books, and has spoken at a DEFCON village, for the National Academy of Sciences, and has guest lectured at the Harvard Kennedy School for TAPP, Pepperdine University, Penn State Law, and Georgetown University. She holds a graduate degree from Pepperdine University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University. She was a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a 2016 Gabr Foundation Fellow. She began her career in television and print advertising at age five.

    Jonathan Zittrain headshot

    Jonathan Zittrain

    George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School, Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Director of the Harvard Law School Library, and Co-Founder of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

    Jonathan Zittrain is the George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School, Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Director of the Harvard Law School Library, and Co-Founder of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. His research interests include the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence; battles for control of digital property; the regulation of cryptography; new privacy frameworks for loyalty to users of online services; the roles of intermediaries with in Internet architecture; and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education. He is currently focused on the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence and teaches a course on the topic. His book, The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It, predicted the end of general purpose client computing and the corresponding rise of new gatekeepers.  That and other works may be found at <>.


    Closing Speaker

    Chris Lynch headshot

    Chris Lynch

    CEO at Rebellion Defense

    Chris Lynch is the chief executive officer at Rebellion Defense, the software company building the modern mission stack to detect and deter adversaries at scale. Previously, he was founding director at Defense Digital Service. His team launched high-impact programs, including JEDI Cloud and Hack the Pentagon, and provided technical expertise on the DoD’s most critical technology challenges, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Next Generation GPS OCX.

    Chris is a serial entrepreneur from Seattle, where he founded venture-backed startups and led engineering teams at enterprise companies. He is a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center and lecturer at Stanford’s computer science department, where he encourages nerds to serve in government.

    Featured Publications & Events by Fellows


    Additional TAPP Work

    The 2023 TAPP Summit was an incredible time for the entire TAPP community to share, learn, and connect. A huge thank you to the Belfer Communications Team for covering the event. 

    Enjoy the photos!