The McCourt Institute was established in 2021. The Institute aims to enhance digital governance by supporting timely, actionable research on ethical technology and serving as a meeting ground for technologists, social scientists, policymakers and governance experts, and leaders from the public and private sector. Together, these interdisciplinary partners will create a framework for online activity and growth that supports innovation and focuses on technology for the common good.
Through the McCourt Institute, founding partners Sciences Po and Georgetown University receive grants to support the development of new scientific work conducted by their community of researchers.
The Institute supports the goals of Project Liberty, a visionary initiative to transform how the internet works, create a more equitable digital economy, and develop a new civic architecture for the digital world.
The technologies that shape our society should be consistent with our shared values.
Today, the consequences of developing tech without putting people first are clear. Despite the internet’s many benefits, its current model is fueling inequity, eroding trust, and threatening democracies worldwide. Fixing today’s problems will require a bold, multifaceted effort.
As the next generation of the web approaches, we see exciting opportunities to embed ethics and governance principles into new technology while accelerating problem solving and encouraging innovation.
An international effort
Located in Paris and Washington, D.C., the Institute’s international structure reflects our approach to problem solving. We recognize the importance of global partnerships and perspectives in developing an effective framework to guide technology that functions across borders.
We are committed to building a clearinghouse of information for entrepreneurs, social innovators, and civil society leaders. In addition to supporting research, the Institute will play a convening role for interdisciplinary experts focused on advancing technology for the common good.
A collaborative method
We believe that pursuing more ethical and inclusive ways to build technology is a collective effort. The Institute will bring together experts and innovators from a broad range of backgrounds and communities to positively shape the next digital era.
“It’s time to reset how technology is designed, developed, and leveraged – not as a vehicle to benefit a select few, but as a tool for the common good. Through this Institute, we have a critical opportunity to research and redefine the standards for creating technology that better serves society.”
Frank H. McCourt, Jr.
Founder, Project Liberty
“We have a finite window of opportunity to positively shape the next generation of the internet, and the McCourt Institute’s vital role is clear. The Institute, and the entire Project Liberty team, is committed to harnessing the power of breakthrough technology and research, effective governance principles and engaged citizens to put us on a better path.”
Constance Bommelaer de Leusse
“The McCourt Institute’s work on digital governance could not come at a more crucial time: Democracy itself is on the line not only in the United States, but globally. Through our scholarship, partnerships, and convening, we will meet our urgent obligation to forge a digital and social foundation that works for everyone.”
Head of Americas, McCourt Institute
To build equitable and ethical technology with the ability to adapt and advance change, the McCourt Institute is bringing together expert partners across a variety of disciplines from two leading academic institutions, Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and Sciences Po in Paris. Together, these interdisciplinary partners aim to grow a network of collaborators and will develop a framework for online activity and growth that focuses on technology for the common good.
"The McCourt Institute is poised to make a tremendous global impact in digital governance and beyond. Georgetown is honored to partner with the McCourt Institute in the important work of discovering more ethical and inclusive ways to build technology. We look forward to bringing together civic institutions, interdisciplinary perspectives, and diverse community voices to tackle big societal problems."
"Digital issues are at the heart of research in the Humanities and Social Sciences and are fundamental to the future of our democracies. The partnership with the McCourt Institute will foster the growth of research in this field and the emergence of innovative solutions for the common good.”
The Steering Committee ensures all partners and projects contribute toward the overall strategy of the McCourt Institute. Its missions include the management of the selection procedure for funded projects as well as the monitoring of the execution of selected projects, the appointment of dedicated “liaison officers,” the coordination with different internal and external networks, and elaborating communication strategy of partnerships.