Virginia Carlson

Virginia Carlson
Principal, Urban Rubrics

Website | @VL_Carlson

A data and information expert, Virginia has more than 25 years of experience leading fast-paced, creative environments where data are used to make decisions, tell stories and illuminate trends. Before taking the helm at MCIC in January 2009, Virginia was a professor of Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee. She’s also been Deputy Director for Data Policy at the Brookings Institution and was the founding Research Director at World Business Chicago. She holds a Doctorate in Political Science from Northwestern University. As a Board member of the Association of Public Data Users, Virginia believes that even the smallest non-profit organizations should have access to the best data available.


Office Hour, Exhibit Hall (Office Hours C)
Virginia Carlson (Urban Rubrics), Jake Porway (DataKind)
* What are the big data problems the social sector has (both in terms of broad spectrum problems like data collection and specific data science needs like mapping)? * How do you keep data scientists and social orgs involved in the process? Read more.
Policy & Privacy, Ballroom E
Virginia Carlson (Urban Rubrics), Jake Porway (DataKind)
The “common good” challenge for Big Data is to deliver actionable information that can be used by nonprofits and civic orgs. But that challenge isn’t new. Existing data intermediaries for NGOs have a rich history of working in common-good territory. Let’s discuss. What is this history? What can we take away from it to inform new, perhaps disruptive, approaches to meet this challenge? Read more.


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