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Comm(Unity) Weekly: Tech, Privacy, and Bias in the COVID Era

AUGUST 24, 2020

In this edition of Comm(Unity), we bring you a fantastic episode with Dr. Nicol Turner Lee on technology and privacy. We also update you on the political situation in Mali, suggest a new book by General John Allen (USMC, Ret.) and provide a delicious way to use those ripe tomatoes!

Weekly Episode

On our recent episode Dr. Nicol Turner Lee, Director, Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution joins us for a discussion on tech, privacy and bias. Recap the conversation as we tackle questions such as: How do we ensure both public safety and personal privacy in a time of crisis? How do we address the threats posed by biases inherent to these technologies?

Moderated by Megan Clark Torrey, CEO.

Stream Now.

Read Nicole Turner Lee’s recent article on what to expect from Biden-Harris on tech policy, platform regulation, and China.

Weekly Article Roundup

Follow along with the CTWAC staff on this week’s article roundup (with some special recommendations!):

A power vacuum opened after mutinous soldiers stormed Mali’s capital and arrested President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta last week
Militants loyal to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State may seek to fill this void

Iran continues to shift the focus of its foreign policy eastward, which might result in stronger ties with Moscow
Explore the potential results of closer relations between the two countries

Belarus appears to be on the brink of major change, which has many people wondering, how will Russia respond?
Belarus won’t be Ukraine 2.0

Conspiracy theories no longer roam solely in the corners of the Internet – see how Instagram influencers are repackaging QAnon for the masses
See how Instagram may become the next fake news battleground

Combating terrorism was once the fixation of the world – how will the pandemic change terrorism and counterterrorism responses?
New opportunities exist for both terrorists and policymakers going forward

Weekly Entertainment


Read about how artificial intelligence has the potential to lead to a utopia or dystopia, depending on future policies and governance


The Bomb

American journalist Emily Strasser grapples with her history due to her grandfather’s role in developing the bomb dropped on Hiroshima



Watch this semi-autobiographical take on Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón’s life growing up in Colonia Roma of Mexico City


World Rescue

Play this narrative game inspired by the SDGs of the United Nations as you meet and help five young global citizens solve global problems


Tomato Galette

We know you have plans for those juicy, ripe gems from your garden, but be sure to try this tomato galette recipe before the end of the season for a savory and decadent treat!

Global Good News

Finding beauty in ordinary things

The Japanese aesthetic mingei, which roughly translates to “folk art” or “popular craft” in English, strives to find beauty in the ordinary, everyday things. For some, this concept has provided consolation in the many months of quarantine.
Read More.

Weekly Cartoon

Check in next week for another CTWAC exclusive cartoon:

Courtesy of Caroline Schaefer

We are honored to be able to present Paul “Buddy” Bucha, Recipient of the Medal of Honor, with the 2020 Luminary Award. Paul embodies true leadership and service. As General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.) recently put it, “Paul’s one of my heroes…He is a true American hero and I’ve always treasured the friendship we have had.” We have a lot of surprises and announcements ahead for this year’s virtual celebration. I hope you can join us to celebrate Paul and the impact of his service on our community, country, and world.

Megan Clark Torrey

Image Credits:

[1] Nicol Turner Lee: The Brookings Institution
[2] Paul Bucha: Veteran’s Advantage
[3] Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta: Ctruongngoc via Wikimedia Commons
[4] The Bomb: cover image from BBC World Service
[5] Tomato galette: photo by Alex Lau; food styling by Susie Theodoru; prop styling by Aneta Florczyk via Bon Appetit
[6] Mingei: Bridgeman Images via The Economist
[7] Cartoon: Caroline Schaefer
[8] Megan Headshot: Caroline Schaefer

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