Join Knight via live stream for civic life conference and News Challenge: Elections winners

Technology / Article

Knight Foundation is headed back to Austin, and this time we’re announcing the winners of the Knight News Challenge on Elections.

We’ll deliver the news on Wednesday, July 22, during a one-day conference hosted by the Annette Strauss Institute of Civic Life at the Moody College of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin. “Breaking Through: Increasing Civic Participation Before, During and After Elections will feature an impressive lineup of technologists, journalists, government officials and academics who will share experiences and discuss trends surrounding political civic engagement. We will live-stream the invitation-only event at

We will kick off the programming with the News Challenge: Elections announcement at 9:30 a.m. CDT, followed by project presentations from each winner. We received more than 1,000 submissions, which were narrowed to 46 finalists. The winners will receive a share of more than $3 million to research and develop new approaches and methods for better informing voters and increasing civic participation throughout the elections process.

The challenge opened in February as a collaboration between Knight, the Democracy Fund and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which each contributed $250,000, and the Rita Allen Foundation, which contributed $150,000. They will be with us in Austin.

The conference will continue with the following keynote speeches and ignite talks:

11:15 a.m. | “Engagement Voters: How Do People Really Think?”

  • Kate Krontiris, civic researcher and strategist
  • Moderator: Kelly Born, program officer for The Madison Initiative, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

11:45 a.m. | “How Can Technology Re-engage Citizens With Government and Civic Life?”

1:30 p.m. | “What Does the Digital and Mobile Future Mean for Voters?

  • Kathryn Peters, co-founder and COO, Democracy Works
  • Dana DeBeauvoir, clerk, Travis County, Texas
  • Tammy Patrick, Presidential Commission on Election Administration, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Ashley Spillane, president, Rock the Vote
  • Moderator: Adam Ambrogi, program director, responsive politics at the Democracy Fund

2:15 p.m. | “Civic Renewal: Can We Create Better Citizens?”

  • Peter Levine, associate dean for research and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Tufts University Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
  • Moderator: Sharon Jarvis, associate professor of communication studies at the Moody College of Communication and associate director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin

3:15 p.m. | “Money and Politics: What Does the Public Need to Know, and How Can We Make Sure They Do?”

4 p.m. | “How can news organizations innovate to improve public engagement?”

  • Trei Brundett, VP of product and technology, Vox Media
  • Becca Aaronson, news apps, The Texas Tribune
  • Talia Stroud, associate professor of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and director of the Engaging News Project at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life
  • Suman Deb Roy, digg & data team at betaworks
  • Moderator: Shazna Nessa, director of journalism, Knight Foundation

Remember to tune into the live stream, which can be viewed here will begin with a brief welcome from the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life and the Moody College of Communications at 9 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 22.

For the latest, visit the conference website, follow @knightfdn on Twitter and check out Knight Blog for reports from the panels and events.

Nina Zenni is a media innovation associate for Knight Foundation. Email her at [email protected].