April 17, 2019
NYU Washington, DC and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) co-sponsored an evening Salon Series conversation featuring Ann Mei Chang, Author of, LEAN IMPACT: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good. Ann Mei also serves as Executive Director of LEAN IMPACT. Marty Colburn, Chief Information Officer, NDI, introduced Ann Mei and Chris Doten, Chief Innovation Officer, NDI, joined her for the evening's discussion.
Ann Mei Chang is a leading advocate for social innovation. As Chief Innovation Officer at USAID, Ann Mei served as the first Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab, engaging the best practices for innovation from Silicon Valley to accelerate the impact and scale of solutions to the world’s most intractable challenges. She was previously the Chief Innovation Officer at Mercy Corps and served the US Department of State as Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
Prior to her pivot to the public and social sector, Ann Mei was a seasoned technology executive, with more than 20 years’ experience at such leading companies as Google, Apple, and Intuit, as well as at a range of startups. As Senior Engineering Director at Google, she led worldwide engineering for mobile applications and services, delivering 20x growth to $1 billion in annual revenues in just three years.
Ann Mei currently serves on the boards of BRAC USA and IREX, is a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution, and is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Stanford University, is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellows’ class of 2011, and was recognized as one of the “Women In the World: 125 Women of Impact” by Newsweek/The Daily Beast in 2013.
Marty Colburn serves as NDI's Chief Information Officer. With 30 years of strategy, technical, operational and risk management experience, Mr. Colburn is trusted and proven technology leader. His technical experience has encompassed assessing, designing, building and operating large scale and cutting edge platforms in complex and fast paced environments. As a manager, he has formed and guided highly efficient, cohesive and global teams in both start-ups and mature organizations.
Chris Doten is the Chief Innovation Officer at NDI and leads the NDItech team. Chris has designed and implemented programs in dozens of countries which apply integrated, context-appropriate technology to reach more citizens, track political processes, improve organizing capabilities, and open data. Chris specializes in the challenges of internet freedom and cybersecurity in closed societies and has worked with at-risk digital activists from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. Having previously worked for the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Chris is skilled at the pragmatic application of cutting-edge digital communications, big data and organizing tools in political campaigns. Chris earned a BA in Computer Science and History from Carleton College and a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Around the world, a new generation is looking beyond greater profits, for meaningful purpose. But, unlike business, few social interventions have achieved significant impact at scale. Inspired by the modern innovation practices popularized by bestseller The Lean Startup that have fueled technology breakthroughs touching every aspect of life, LEAN IMPACT turns one's attention to a new goal--achieving radically greater social good. Social change is far more complicated than building a new app. It requires more listening, more care, and more stakeholders. To make a lasting difference, solutions must be embraced by beneficiaries, address root causes, and include an engine that can accelerate growth to reach the scale of the needs. LEAN IMPACT offers bold ideas to reach audacious goals through customer insight, rapid experimentation and iteration, and a relentless pursuit of impact.
The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that has supported democratic institutions and practices in every region of the world for more than three decades.
Since its founding in 1983, NDI and its local partners have worked to establish and strengthen political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.
The NYU Washington, DC Salon Series: Conversations with Writers & Artists presents an opportunity for the NYU and Washington, DC community to meet and engage in dialogue with acclaimed writers and artists as they reflect on their craft. This program provides facilitated conversations that aim to illuminate the guests’ creative processes, discuss their current works, and explain the impact of their work on the world around us. The Salon Series is made possible by NYU Washington, DC through the collaboration of NYU schools, departments and centers, as well as through special relationships with selected external organizations.