Agenda Overview
The virtual WiDS NYC conference will take place over the course of two weeks in the beginning of August.

There are four sessions in total - each with a different focus. 


Date Topic

Tuesday, August 4

2:30 - 4:00PM EDT

Inclusive & Equitable Data Science

Thursday, August 6

1:30 - 3:00PM EDT

Data Science Innovators

Tuesday, August 11

1:30 - 3:00PM EDT

From Data Science Research to Economic Impact

Thursday, August 13

1:30 - 3:00PM EDT

Ethics in Data Science


Tuesday, August 4
2:30 - 4:00PM

Inclusive & Equitable Data Science
Keynote: Roles for Computing in Social Justice

Recent scholarship in AI ethics warns that computing work has treated problematic features of the status quo as fixed, failing to address and even exacerbate deep patterns of injustice and inequality. Acknowledging these critiques, we ask: what roles, if any, can computing play to support and advance fundamental social change? We articulate four such roles - computing as a diagnosticformalizerrebuttal, and synecdoche - through an analysis that considers the opportunities as well as the significant risks inherent in such work. We then discuss how these insights may be used to support advocacy work aimed at fostering more equitable and just systems.

Rediet Abebe
Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows
Co-founder, Black in AI
Panel: Building a holistic and inclusive data science ecosystem

Technical expertise is clearly important for building successful data teams, but what are the other components needed to create a well-functioning data science ecosystem? In this panel, we consider the less tangible factors often not discussed, such as the importance of cross-functional communication and what it means to foster a welcoming, cooperative data team environment. To truly make an impact with data, we must build holistic and inclusive data science ecosystems so that our teams--and our organizations--can reach their full potential.

Barbara Cvenic
Senior Podcast Content Analyst
Dr. Adrianne Pettiford
Director of Client Insights and Analytics
Caitlin Augustin
Senior Director of Product
Nancy Fessatidis
VP - Analytics
Chelsea Donaldson (Moderator)
Head of Data & Insights


Thursday, August 6
1:30 - 3:00PM

Data Science Innovators
Keynote: Pragmatic Data in a Chaotic World

Data science as a profession is maturing, and is now at least a decade old! Much of our attention, even ten years in, is spent on technical topics. In this talk, we'll explore new technical capabilities from a perspective of the opportunities of data science in organizations and society, and imagine what data science might look like in 2030.

Hilary Mason
Hidden Door
Panel: Data Science for Innovation Impact and Activism

Data science is fundamentally changing society, from its use to forecast COVID-19 cases for government and health officials to formulate public health actions to healthcare data to drive better patient outcomes. This panel of founders will provide insight into what it takes to build and grow products and services for societal impact, how to navigate the challenges and complexities, and what someone should think about before launching a social venture. 

Elena Grewal
Data 2 the People
Debra McGrory
Co-Founder at Sonify
Rita Ko
The Hive (Innovation Lab at USA for UNHCR)
Tasha Nagamine
Chief AI Officer
Droice Labs
Amanda DeSantis (Moderator)
Tech Entrepreneur and Advisor


Tuesday, August 11
1:30 - 3:00PM

From Research to Economic Impact
Keynote: Ten Research Challenges in Data Science

Data is driving new ways of making new discoveries and gaining knowledge. Interest in data science is exploding, primarily because of its potential applicability to every other field. But what of data science itself? What are the research challenges in this new, emerging area of study? This talk will outline ten research areas in data science, pointing out what we do not yet know how to do and laying down foundations for continued impact for the future of data science on science and society.

Jeannette M. Wing
Avanessians Director of the Data Science Institute and Professor of Computer Science
Columbia University
Panel: Data Driven Solutions through the Lens of Economic Development

The events of the past few months, including COVID-19 and incidents concerning racial justice, have shed light on the significant inequities we face as a society. Meanwhile, the exponential growth of data promises smarter decisions, more equitable outcomes and greater efficiencies. This provides an opportunity to harness data for economic development and the public good, such as improving healthcare outcomes, reducing poverty and combatting cybersecurity threats. This panel will explore: 1) ways in which organizations are tackling recent events and using a data driven approach to explore solutions, 2) the real risks of data, including privacy, security, and issues of bias, and 3) the role of various stakeholders including government, the private sector, the public and academia throughout the process of leveraging data for equitable economic development.

Ru-fong Cheng, MD
Senior Director, Women’s Health
Johnson & Johnson
Rachel Rosenberg
Behavioral Scientist
Indeed Hire
Claire Le Gal
Senior Vice President for Fraud Intelligence and Strategy
Karen Bhatia (Moderator)
Senior Vice President
New York City Economic Development Corporation


Thursday, August 13
1:30 - 3:00PM

Ethics in Data Science
Keynote: Responsible Data Science

Data science technology promises to improve people's lives, accelerate scientific discovery and innovation, and bring about positive societal change. Yet, if not used responsibly, this same technology can reinforce inequity, limit accountability, and infringe on the privacy of individuals. The "Data, Responsibly" aims to operationalize ethics and legal compliance in data science systems. Learn about efforts to regulate the use of data science and AI, and about the imperative to establish a broad and inclusive educational agenda around responsible data science.

Julia Stoyanovich
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Center for Data Science |
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering New York University
Panel: Ethics by Design

How do you design software and technology – and underlying process and organizational structures – to ensure data science work and impact is ethical? We will show how this ethics by design approach has evolved over the past 5-10 years, how governance and new kinds of measurements help organizations establish ethical principles, and why data scientists are increasingly crucial to shaping policy issues in business and in government.

Kelly Jin
Chief Analytics Officer and Director, Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics
City of New York
Dr. Katharina Weghmann
Partner, Forensic & Integrity Services
Pamela Pavliscak
Pratt Institute
Cathy Cooper (Moderator)
Senior Director, Performance and Insights
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