Building stronger societes
View this email in a browser April 2019
News from Luminate
Does increased participation equal a new-found enthusiasm for democracy?
While we see enhanced participation as crucial to just and fair societies, it alone will not be the silver bullet that saves democracy. CEO Stephen King and Senior Manager Paige Nicol ask, ‘Is this trend a cause for hope or concern?'
Our shift from Civic Tech to Civic Empowerment
Managing Director Stacy Donohue reflects on 10 years of investing in civic tech and shares what we've learned, shifts in our operating context, and why we're broadening our focus to civic empowerment.
What's next in the fight against abuses of public resources
Managing Director Ory Okolloh highlights three lessons from investing in Financial Transparency and how we're adjusting our strategy in response.
Reflections on Global Philanthropy Forum
Amidst the current challenges to democracy, Stephen King, CEO, reflects on this month's Global Philanthropy Forum and reasons he sees for optimism.
Supporting groundbreaking journalism
At a time when press freedom is under attack around the world, Director Nishant Lalwani shares more on Luminate's independent media strategy.
A day of unreasonable conversation: power through storytelling
Cultural change is a key to creating positive social change, and Hollywood has a significant role to play in building stronger societies with us. Director, Alissa Black shares highlights from A Day of Unreasonable Conversation, which brought together content creators and change makers to unlock progress through the power of stories.
Luminate: Unconventional approaches for challenging times
Stephen King, CEO, talked with The Chronicle of Philanthropy about our spin-out, what we're doing differently as an independent organisation, and what we're focused on in 2019. 
Civic Empowerment
Wendy Trott, Associate, shares how the Big Debate stimulates difficult, uncomfortable, nuanced, and absolutely critical conversations about how to build a more just, fair, and inclusive South Africa.

How can we better engage with young people on governance-related issues? Stan Getui, Principal, reflects on a new report from Well Told Story aimed at interrogating the shifting trends in the lives and prospects of Kenyan youth.

What if applying for food benefits were as simple as ordering an Uber? Alissa Black, Director, shares how
Code for America is working to ensure government works for the people, by the people, in the digital age.
Data & Digital Rights
Martin Tisné, Managing Director, joined The Economist’s Kenneth Cukier to discuss the need for a Bill of Data Rights on the Babbage podcast.

More than ever, it’s critical that we stand by the courageous people working to protect digital rights and strengthen communities. Gabriela Hadid, Principal, tells how Luminate is joining forces with Avina Foundation and the Open Society Foundations to launch Indela, a new fund focused on digital right projects in Latin America.

Salmana Ahmed, Associate, highlights our recent core funding to Upturn, which is working to secure and uphold the rights of people and communities and advocate for more empowering, equitable, and just outcomes.
Financial Transparency 
Wendy Trott, Associate, shares more on our recent investment in Open Secrets, which works to expose private sector economic crimes and to build accountability for those responsible in South Africa.

Director Olena Boytsun shares how IDFI is developing its Good Governance for Georgia project, which will help the country’s institutions and rule of law become more effective.

Global Witness’s investigations reveal who's making money, where they're hiding it, and how they're spending it. Andrew Clarke, Principal, reflects on their work fighting global corruption.

Laura Bacon, Principal, highlights the work of Finance Uncovered, which specialises in helping journalists to piece together complex financial investigations and to tell illicit finance stories in a compelling way.
Independent Media
Director Felipe Estefan highlights the launch of Velocidad, a first-of-its-kind Latin American independent media accelerator which will be led by ICFJ and SembraMedia and will provide over $1.5M in resources to media outlets in the region. Velocidad will also provide non-financial support through more than 1,600 hours of consulting services for the selected organisations in areas such as business development and audience engagement.

Our recent investment in The Bureau of Investigative Journalism will enable the organisation to undertake even more investigations and produce stories with wide reach and impact. Kitty von Bertele, Associate, shares more about the Bureau’s in-depth investigative journalism, with no corporate or political agenda.
News from Investees
Congratulations to Noko Makgato, who was recently appointed Director of Africa Check!

A new report from AI Now highlights how flawed data may be being used in predictive policing.

SERAP's new report, Nigeria: Corruption Perception Survey, found that of five public institutions researched, the police are the most corrupt. The survey reports that a bribe is paid in 54% of interactions with the police in Nigeria.

National Resources Governance Institute released a report on tax evasion in Myanmar’s jade and gemstones industry. It’s possible that up to two-thirds of the country’s production is not subjected to tax, costing the country billions.

The Global Investigative Journalism Network highlighted media organisations that are learning from and designing for their audiences, including investees The Correspondent, The Ferret, Bristol Cable, Correctiv, and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Code for America partnered with San Francisco County to expunge over 8,000 marijuana convictions using its Clear My Record tool. The New York Times also highlighted Clear My Record and GetCalFresh, which signs up eligible Californians for the state’s food assistance program.

Where you can find us
World Press Freedom Day (1-3 May)
Stephen King will participate in World Press Freedom Day in Addis Ababa and speak on a panel on the role of media in democratic society. 
The Future of Ukrainian Democracy After Elections (10 May)
Olena Boytsun will be speaking on the Tech and Innovation panel at The Future of Ukrainan Democracy After Elections event, hosted by the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program at the Stanford University Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. 
Open Government Partnership Summit (29-31 May)
We're looking forward to seeing many investees and partners at the OGP Global Summit in Ottawa. The Summit brings together members of governments, civil society groups, and academia to share knowledge and create solutions for more open and transparent governments.
Code for America Summit (29-31 May)
Alissa Black, Jackie Mahendra, and McKenzie Smith will be at the Code for America Summit, and McKenzie will lead a panel on lessons from the past 10 years of civic tech investing and movement building that the field can use to inform its work going forward. 
Personal Democracy Forum (6 June)
We'll be at this year's Personal Democracy Forum, which convenes to discuss technology’s impact on government, politics, media, and democratic societies.
CogX (10-12 June)
Martin Tisné will attend CogX alongside other speakers from industry, academia, government, and technology to discuss how tech can solve the world’s most intractable problems. 
RightsCon (11-14 June)
A number of Luminate team members will be attending RightsCon in Tunis, including Martin Tisné who will be speaking on the need for a bill of data rights.
Luminate Jobs
Finance Director | London

Principal | Paris, London, or Brussels

Portfolio Support Consultant | Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Summer Associate, Investment Management | London or Washington, DC
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