The Future Society at Harvard Kennedy School

About Us

Harvard-Kennedey-School-Scholarship
TFS@HKS connects Harvard and MIT students, Faculty, and members of the greater Boston community who want to understand, and shape, our future. Based at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, TFS@HKS pays particular attention to the policy dimensions of technological change. However, we strive to be truly multidisciplinary. TFS@HKS believes that by building understanding and relationships between future tech, science, law, business, and policy leaders, we will be able to help shape the future that we want.

Our Activities

The Trek is TFS@HKS’s flagship initiative for opening understanding and communication between the policy hubs of the East Coast, and the tech and innovation leaders on the West Coast. We meet with advocacy platforms, technical experts, and companies throughout the Bay Area– from startups to big firms. Our goal is to better understand the trends that will shape our future—in finance, aerospace, healthcare, digital government, cyber security, finance, and education.

Taking inspiration from the philosophers of France, and coffeehouse gatherings throughout history, the Future Society @ HKS regularly comes together over snacks and drinks to discuss the future of today’s cutting-edge issues. In Fall 2018 we held three Sunday Salons in bars and other nooks around Cambridge, exploring “The Future of Privacy”, “The Future of Medicine,” and finally, “The Future of Capitalism.”

TFS@HKS meets every Friday. This is an opportunity for networking, cross-pollination of ideas, and planning events. All students and visitors to Cambridge are welcome.  We also host many ad hoc events throughout the academic semester—from informal get-to-gethers and film screenings, to discussion evenings with distinguished speakers.

Guiding Questions

  • How is the digital revolution disrupting the policy-making process?
  • How can policy-makers and technologists better communicate?
  • What might the future of transport, healthcare, education, and finance look like?
  • How can tech companies help address market failures, and policy gaps?
  • How can governments foster growth and innovation clusters?
  • How is technology interacting with privacy, security, and equality?
  • What impact will “frontier tech”—like artificial intelligence, genomics, and things we haven’t even yet thought of—have?

Previous Treks

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January 2018 Trek:  27 Harvard and MIT students met with 20+ organizations & innovation leaders. Generously hosted for a day of meetings at Mozilla, we met with representatives from Wikimedia, Github, Freedom of the Press, Urban Innovation Fund, Mozilla, and more!  We visited Facebook, Google, and the NASA Ames Research Center in the Valley. We were also privileged to meet with venture capitalists at 8VC, the world’s largest provider of custom online maps, Mapbox, free internet advocates at the Internet Archive, and transport disruptors, Uber.

January 2017 Trek: 25 students met with 30+ companies and organization—including Google, Benetech Human Rights, Method, Earnest, Clover, LinkedIn, Lyft, Microsoft, Quora, Planet, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, Palantir—and engaged with  200+ alumni over 5 days.

January 2016 Trek:  20 students met with 20+ companies and organizations—including Google, KPCB, the City of San Francisco Mayor’s Office, MBTA, Earnest, Square, Made-in-Space, Solar City, Planet Labs, The Institute for the Future, Uber, and Lyft—and engaged with 200+ alumni over 4 days.

Silicon Valley Trek Organizing Committee

Katherine Mansted
Katherine Mansted
Ira Guha
Ira Guha
Adam Murray
Adam Murray
Annie Donolo
Annie Donolo
Arjun Bisen
Arjun Bisen
Daniel Alphonsus
Daniel Alphonsus
Korey Te Hira
Korey Te Hira
Sasha Ramani
Sasha Ramani
Ihsaan Patel
Ihsaan Patel