Stanford Social Innovation Review: Social Innovation Comes to Pennsylvania Avenue

By Monica Potts
Three weeks to the day after Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the US presidential election, David Wilkinson stood before an anxious audience of leaders in philanthropy, technology, and social policy to address the dramatic turn that the nation’s politics had taken.

Then director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, Wilkinson was serving as a sort of master of ceremonies. The White House was cohosting a “Summit on Technology and Opportunity” at Stanford University with the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. If Hillary Clinton had won, the attendees, many of whom were there because of their ties to the White House and its initiatives, could have expected continuing executive support for their ideas on how to address the country’s most pressing social problems.

“I wasn’t planning on doing this,” Wilkinson began, “but why don’t I quickly start with the elephant in the room—no pun intended.”


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