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Hello! I'm Soren, a political software worker and photographer in Chicago.

My day job focuses on making data-related tools available to activists and civic organizations in an inherently responsible fashion, taking care to reflect the needs, identities, and vulnerabilities of the people represented in that data. Currently, I work for The Movement Cooperative, a collective nonprofit governed by more than 50 progressive and leftist political organizations. I am also an independent data governance consultant for government and nonprofit clients. I advise organizations on how to do data-related work that is meaningful, impactful, and ethical. I write and speak occasionally on topics related to the societal ramifications of data collection and analysis methods.

My photographic work catalogs the relationships between public policy, socioeconomic divisions, and the built environment. I center the individual scale of community investment and disinvestment, expressed through architectural and infrastructural subjects. Those subjects carry with them individual histories that reflect larger histories around them, and the bulk of my photography is paired with storytelling about the places depicted within. Leave the Seat Empty, for instance, is a photo series which investigates the origins of individual building demolitions in Chicago and connects them to underlying drivers of geographically stratified housing vacancy and development patterns.

You can reach me at soren@spicknall.us. Before reaching out for a speaking engagement, please note that I only participate in multi-speaker events whose organizers show a commitment to diversity of speakers.