From how we work to how we communicate, technology is rapidly changing our society. But new advancements aren’t necessarily positive for everyone, and innovations can exacerbate the economic and racial inequities plaguing many US communities. We know little about how technological changes affect those inequities and cities’ goals of improving inclusion.

Researchers and practitioners are starting to fill these knowledge gaps. With that goal in mind, the Urban Institute and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth hosted a summit on June 27 where city leaders, technology innovators, equity advocates, and researchers came together to discuss how we can harness technology to be a positive force for opportunity and inclusion.

“We need to better understand a broad range of technological innovations and their consequences for the well-being of people and places,” said Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute. “We need to find promising solutions, measure their impact rigorously, and help accelerate ideas that work.”

She noted that technology is changing the way the Urban Institute works (through advancements in its Office of Technology and Data Science) and changing what the organization studies (from the future of work to access to opportunity). And discussions like the June 27 summit are adding to the conversation by offering real examples and diverse perspectives.

“Something all these panelists have in common is a focus on innovative solutions to one of the greatest challenges of our day — rising inequalities along lines of race and class in our communities,” Wartell said.

Read the full article about equity in innovation by Emily Peiffer at Urban Institute.