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About Us & Leadership

MD4SG is a multi-institutional initiative bringing together researchers and practitioners from over 100 institutions in 20 countries. We take an interdisciplinary approach, using insights from computer science, social sciences, and humanistic studies to improve access to opportunity.

MD4SG was founded by Rediet Abebe and Kira Goldner in the fall of 2016 as a multi-institutional reading group of 12 members. The reading group, which ran from fall 2016 to spring 2018, predominantly comprised graduate students who were united by their interest to use an interdisciplinary approach to improve societal welfare. To this end, junior researchers in the group curated modules on housing, healthcare, inequality, and other related topics to provide examples of meaningful interventions and suggest directions for future research.

These efforts culminated in the first Workshop on Mechanism Design for Social Good held in the summer of 2017 at the ACM Economics and Computation Conference. Over 50 individuals participated in this workshop to share their work and discuss promising directions at this research interface. This workshop series is in its third iteration, nearly tripling in size and including participants from municipalities and nonprofits.

Since its inception, the group—currently co-organized by Rediet Abebe, Irene Lo, and Ana-Andreea Stoica—has also grown into a community of over 500 participants and involves activities including working groups, a colloquium series, and workshops and tutorials. We continue to be led by junior members and remain focused on the mission of improving access to opportunity for historically underserved and disadvantaged communities. In addition to being inspired by work in mechanism design, the group includes academics from across multiple disciplines as well as practitioners in policy and industry.

Join us if you are interested in helping address social problems and improving access to opportunity for disadvantaged communities!