What We Do
Team Impact takes the lead on Kensho’s community involvement and skills-based volunteer efforts.
The cross-functional team currently has three working groups – Data Journalism, Environmental Impact and Educational Equity. These working groups have tackled projects large and small with a range of external partners and an eye towards initiatives that allow Kenshins to use their in-demand skills in data science, machine learning and software engineering and more to have maximum positive impact in their communities.
Team Impact is passionate about solving problems in arenas where there are opportunities to make meaningful contributions with our skills. The current working groups are Data Journalism, Climate Impact and Education Equity.
Team Data Journalism
The Data Journalism working group focuses on projects related to data and the media.
Their projects have included a Wikipedia suggestion engine that offers context to online readers, producing publicly available Wikimedia datasets for natural language processing, analyzing census and voter registration data to monitor for voter purges, and looking into how programmatic advertising allows companies to inadvertently fund online misinformation. Their partnerships include:
- Credibility Coalition
- Economics of Misinformation Working Group Update - MozFest March 2021
- Part I & Part II: Using Market Forces to Combat… Disinformation - Misinfocon Blog
- Examining Opaque Programmatic Markets - Credibility Coalition AdSellers Dataset
- Wiki Cred
- WikiWhatsThis - Github
- WikiWhatsThis Demo Hour by Minhvy Van - YouTube
- WikiWhatsThis: Initial Open Sourcing and Next Steps - Misinfocon Blog
- …Grounding Online Stories with Wikipedia - Misinfocon Blog
Team Climate Impact
The Climate Impact working group focuses on projects related to climate change and protecting the environment.
The team’s efforts have included work to bring awareness to the climate impacts of behavior, research, analysis and education related to honeybee habitat data, analysis of the future tree canopy in Boston and building a tool to help people make sustainable choices in their diet. More on the team’s partnerships and projects:
Team Education Equity
The Educational Equity team focuses on projects to improve opportunities at schools for underserved communities.
Their projects have included mentoring and coaching, speaking to classes about career opportunities, and analyzing data about colleges and universities. Some of their partnerships include:
John D O‘Bryant School
- FIRST Robotics Team
How to get involved?
Partner organizations: Are you a non-profit organization with a problem you think Kensho’s Team Impact could help solve? We are always interested to hear ideas or proposals from you, but please bear in mind this is a volunteer project. Reach out to the team at email@example.com.
Pitch in on one of our projects! Are you a developer, engineer, data scientist, or other professional looking to help make the world better in some of your free time? Some of our projects can use extra help. Contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of Team Impact
Kensho’s Team Impact was founded in 2019 based on employee feedback in our annual company survey. The message was clear: Kenshins wanted to do more and have a bigger impact in their communities. Contributing to holiday gift drives or helping to build houses was great but didn’t really use our skills. Kensho has one of the best teams in the worlds of data, ML and software engineering, and it was clear that we could have a much larger impact by putting down the hammers and picking up our keyboards. Our executive team listened to what employees were saying and supported the efforts whole-heartedly.
Since its founding, Team Impact has worked on a wide range of projects, from targeted, one-day projects to longer-term, ongoing partnerships and initiatives. The team has hosted biannual Impactathon days, where employees from across the company contribute a day of their time to a community project.
The team takes a grassroots approach. All of our projects originate from employees seeing an opportunity in their communities and finding a way to help—with support from other Kenshins.
Today, the three working groups meet regularly to discuss plans and cowork on projects, and “help wanted” notices are posted in the company newsletter and Slack channels when projects need a volunteer.