My work focuses on making actionable data available to activists and civic organizations in an inherently responsible fashion, taking care to reflect the needs, identities, and vulnerabilities of the people whose lives are 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 regularly on topics related to the societal ramifications of data collection and analysis methods.

Previously, I was the lead data scientist at Chicago-based AskWhai, translating new data science research into transparent, explainable real-world applications of AI for small businesses. Before that I worked as a Civic Technology Fellow at Microsoft, collaborating with community organizations, technologists, and governments to scope, build, and launch tech tools that confronted complex civic challenges. Prior to that, I was the lead developer of the Ethics Codes Collection project at the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, building systems that improved access to the world's largest publicly available collection of professional ethics codes.

Apart from my professional work, I am an active participant in (and former board member of) Chi Hack Night, an interdisciplinary civic tech nonprofit based in Chicago. Additionally, outside of the current pandemic I organize a weekly event called South Side Code & Coffee which seeks to create a meeting point for tech communities in areas of Chicago's South Side that aren't typically well served by software-related events. I am also a photographer, cataloging the relationships between public policy, socioeconomic divisions, and the built environment in my visual works.

I have been a member of the Chicago City Clerk's Civic Engagement Advisory Council and Congressman Danny Davis's Workforce Advisory Committee and Technology Advisory Committee. In an ad hoc capacity, I have advised a wide range of legislators, government agencies, and nonprofits on data-related issues.

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.