The Engine Room in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Laura Guzman

We’re honored to share this profile of Alix, our Executive Director, and her work with The Engine Room and beyond. (Note: we apologise that it is behind a paywall for now, and will update if that changes!)

The piece traces the roots of The Engine Room starting in Cairo, where Alix worked for the Institute for Human Rights Studies. As the Arab Spring broke out, Alix found support for activists and their use of technology to be lacking. Together with Susannah Vila and Christopher Wilson, Alix co-founded The Engine Room to fill that gap.

In describing The Engine Room, the piece looks at our funders, feedback from partners (like what you see in our 2017 Retrospective) and our allergy to hype. It highlights our support of the Responsible Data community, including our work with Oxfam. Finally, the piece spotlights our focus on understanding failure, as seen in our posts on the Panic Button App, and in our internal practice of annual ‘failure reports’ that open up a conversation about what could have gone better.

“Small Group Has Big Influence on How Advocacy and Aid Groups Use Data”

Fresh out of graduate school, Alix Dunn found herself in Cairo, working for a human-rights organization as the Arab Spring broke out nearly eight years ago…


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