David Axelrod, Institute Director

Dear Friend,

When Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, folks recognized that our campaign did something differently. By using digital media tools to communicate directly with the American people, the Obama campaign skillfully connected with its electorate. Revolutionary social media, web, and e-mail strategies gave voters ownership of a movement for change. And when President Obama entered the White House, those digital networks stayed intact. We now recognize that with a strong technical infrastructure and effective use of data, it is easier than ever for officials to reach the people they serve, and for their constituents to reach back.

TechTeam, a Student Civic Engagement project out of the Institute of Politics, works to develop such necessary digital toolsets within Chicago area community organizations, and state and local government. Oftentimes, public and social service organizations are behind the tech curve, lacking the tools to communicate and leverage data effectively. TechTeam confronts this resource gap by training students in the latest digital strategy skills, and then working with partner organizations to identify and implement digital improvements to boost their impacts.

By uniting the skills of students passionate about both public service and technological innovation, TechTeam commits itself to expanding outreach and impact in organizations that serve our local Chicago communities. For students, involvement with TechTeam means an opportunity to build valuable skills; for partner organizations, involvement with TechTeam means an opportunity to build valuable capacity. The TechTeam project embodies the spirit of meaningful service that guides our work at the Institute of Politics, and I hope you’ll get on board.


David Axelrod