We know how data can be used (and misused) to inform funding strategies, conduct research, and evaluate impact — but is this where it can have the greatest impact? This talk will explore data’s power to organize: enabling different stakeholders to work more effectively toward a common goal — and hold us accountable to the communities we are responsible to serve while doing so.
Paul Sorenson, co-director of UMSL’s Community Innovation and Action Center, leads the collaborative St. Louis Regional Data Alliance (RDA) to support local governments, nonprofits, funders, and universities in using data for community benefit. The RDA is actively involved in building public health data infrastructure to address COVID-19 and beyond, and works closely with United Way 2-1-1 and its partners on establishing the St. Louis Community Information Exchange to share referrals across health and social service providers. Paul previously founded and ran GoodMap, an online tool for nonprofits to organize information about the services they provided to their communities, and served as the Director of Strategic Planning at Grace Hill Settlement House. Paul graduated from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis in 2012 and is slowly pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science from UMSL. He was named one of the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30 in 2014 and was a FOCUS St. Louis Impact Fellow as part of its 2016 inaugural cohort focused on racial equity.