Kate Krontiris

Kate Krontiris

Joins us from Reboot as an expert on the use of technology to tackle social issues.

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Discussion Prompt: “What is a challenge to the women in your community and what solution have you found from within your own context and resources to address that challenge?”

Reboot is a service design firm that uses ethnographic approaches to help leading institutions develop solutions that improve lives and livelihoods.  Kate Krontiris serves as a Principal at the organization.

Prior to Reboot, Kate built a portfolio of work around judicial innovation at Google Ideas, a new think/do tank that explores the role that technology can play in tackling some of the toughest human challenges. In 2010, she led a team of US Department of State and NGO professionals to develop the concept of “mobile justice,” using connection technologies to link survivors of sexual violence to judicial systems. Most recently, Kate co-authored Tunisia: From Revolutions to Institutions, Reboot’s report on how technology is transforming post-revolutionary Tunisia.

  1. 447 days ago

    Dennis Scott

    Massive technology leads to greatness and success. I wish all the best on the sucess of this project and organization. Term Life Insurance.



  2. 755 days ago

    Lucas Akol

    In the community that I come from, the women are less informed, I wonder if other men are also concerned of this! I moved around some Sub Counties in my home district (Bukedea District in Eastern Uganda) it was so hurting for me to find out that 80% of young girls aged 15-17 years old are not with their parents! Most of them are already mother a child carrying a child! So disturbing in my mind, it’s in this respect that I am coming up with the idea of talking to other successful women, interview them, cover them in videos and audio then create information portal for these young women to access. The less educated communities I hope to have training for them where these videos and recording are played for them all the material will be translated to the local language that they understand. My big question goes to these parents and the community leaders, how can they leave their children to get married at that age?
    So the project is all about collecting video interviews of young women who want to share their experiences about being a girl. A set of questions will encourage young women to speak about their sexuality, rights and hopes in an open and positive way, presenting stories on how they overcome obstacles and what they feel needs to change. Testimonies describing experiences of being loved, being encouraged, being informed, inspired, being in peace with one’s body and gender, having space to discussing securities and gain support will emphasize the importance of all kinds of empowerment in order to make conscious and informed choices about relationships, sexual behavior and reproductive choices.
    Collecting testimonies will highlight experiences and thoughts in order for young women to feel good about them selves and their sexuality. The project aims to promote self esteem, a positive view on sexuality, equality and diversity. It is also important to recognize thes ocial pressure and contradicting messages that girls receive while growing up, recognizing the challenges that exist and that many of them are the result of mental constructions prejudices that still prevail.
    The project is not only about the young women in the testimonies. We hope that other girls watching the testimonies will be inspired and feel empowered, that after seeing the videos they will reflect on their own life, who they are, the choices they have made, and the fact that they have certain rights as a girl. We hope to encourage girls all over the world to respond with their own videos and comments.
    We believe that girls who are informed, life-skilled, aware and empowered will live a fulfilling life.



    • Kate Krontiris

      Lucas, this sounds like a really important project and I see from the OYAG website (http://oyaginaction.webs.com/) that you are well on your way to implementing this idea. A few things I like about it: 1) it solicits the stories of girls from the girls themselves – that may seem obvious, but often we don’t hear directly from the people who experience a challenge what their perspective is about that challenge. 2) You are thinking about sharing their experiences visually and virally — I think it’s a great idea to remember that we humans connect most to stories, and that you can get our attention most easily in a visual format. 3) this project demonstrates the role that men can and should play as allies to women in improving their life circumstances. If I might offer some feedback, maybe your videos could include some simple “Action steps” that young women can take to move toward the kind of empowerment you envision. If I were a young woman who had just seen these videos, what could you suggest that I do with my newfound reflections? Congrats to you and your team in Uganda for working on this important issue!

      754 days ago


    • Lucas Akol

      Thank you Kate; Including videos of simple actions will be showing some solutions as step/way forward. i believe if you saw these videos and you found that you are behind the reflection or your are a victim, you will have a choice to change or not; change will impact every one who have viewed these videos i think

      749 days ago


  3. 759 days ago

    Mollie Ruskin

    The imbalance of gender representation in public leadership and elected office in the US is astounding. In our country’s young history, only a fraction of those who have held office have been women. This challenge stems from social, economic and cultural dynamics: from media representation of women to classroom dynamics in children to the ways in which we pick apart the lives of those seeking public office to the lack existing role models. This is a complex challenge with deep implications for social progress across the US.

    There are a number of successful federal and state-level organizations working to remedy this disparity by creating programs that foster leadership among women and encourage young women to pursue political careers — such as EmergeUSA (www.emergeusa.org) and Emily’s List (http://emilyslist.org). Groundbreaking documentaries like MissRepresentation (www.missrepresentation.org) seek to tackle the role of pop culture in shaping our culture’s treatment of women. Non-profits such as Girls Inc. (www.girlsinc.org) are working to cultivate confidence and strength in girls at a young age.

    It is inspiring to see the success of these projects, though it is clear we still have great strides before us before women have access to and are fully welcomed as political leaders in the US.

    That said, I wish there were more of a forum for addressing the intersections of the dynamics at play. We have such a tendency to silo these issues — I would love to learn about those trying to bring more nuance to the ways in which we can address women’s leadership in the US.



    • Kate Krontiris

      Mollie, this is an issue that I find core to our democracy – thank you for raising it. I found the research from this article (http://goo.gl/Yp8LN) really interesting, related to the reasons why women do and do not run for office. As the article says: ‘Research points to a substantial gender gap in the way women and men approach running for office. Women have different reasons for running, are more reluctant to do so and, because there are so few of them in politics, are acutely aware of the scrutiny they draw — all of which seems to lead to differences in the way they handle their jobs once elected. “The shorthand of it is that women run for office to do something, and men run for office to be somebody,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. “Women run because there is some public issue that they care about, some change they want to make, some issue that is a priority for them, and men tend to run for office because they see this as a career path.”’ Of course, I can think of male elected officials who don’t fit this general trend, but the evidence is striking. One suggestion for you: CREATE the forum you seek for addressing these issues! Perhaps you might help the organizations you listed to band together in new ways. One other thing: please consider running for office yourself!

      757 days ago


  4. 759 days ago

    SkyAngela Leonor

    The biggest challenge I encounter is how to break the notion that women are the weaker sex compared to men.I wanted to form an organization that seeks to protect women and Persons with Disabilities eliminating all sorts of barriers but sometimes too much politicking is hindering such move .Instead of spending money on entertainment it would be best to channel the funds in a more specific project like providing new canes for the blind or more.



    • Kate Krontiris

      SkyAngela, I think your idea to set a specific goal, with a clear target outcome, and tangible activities to accomplish the goal is a good one. While we will always have the challenge of politics, they need not constrain us completely. Providing new canes for people with visual disabilities is an important start! It solves a clear problem, you can measure your success, and most importantly, you will be helping people in need. I would encourage you to get started! And let us know about the impact of your actions.

      757 days ago


  5. 760 days ago

    Marzena Zukowska

    I currently live in a neighborhood of Northwest Washington DC, and one example I can think of is Connect.DC, which aims to equip everyone in the district with tech tools: connect.dc.gov/page/our-story

    Now if you know anything about DC, it’s a fairly segregated city and has one of the poorest public school systems in the country. What Connect.DC is trying to do is ensure that all schools and all kids (and above all young girls) have access to the internet. In this day and age, if you’re not connected, you get left out of countless opportunities. Knowledge is power, and today, the web offers everything from learning modules to insider news on local/world events. More connection = less segregation



    • Kate Krontiris

      Marzena, you are right that the digital divide is a persistent issue we need to confront. Part of this has to do with regulatory aspects of our telecommunications industry. One woman I admire who is speaking out about this issue in a really smart way is Susan Crawford. Check out her thoughts here: http://scrawford.net/blog/

      759 days ago


  6. 761 days ago

    Leah KingMusic

    I am currently working with many female musicians here in Berlin, most of whom tell me about constant discrimination from men. It seems that on the surface, the ‘scene’ is all about promoting women in music – DJs, producers, and event managers as well as musicians – though it is a male-dominated industry which means subtle sexism – most often in the form of professional discouragement – at every turn. They have trouble working in bands with ego-heavy men, booking gigs with dude club owners asking what they will wear, being belittled by male DJs during gigs, always billed as a girl DJ rather than a DJ.. etc. (I was told that my band wasn’t any good because, ‘I’ve seen that before. You know, chicks with instruments. Whatever.’) Working with a feminist music camp/school has helped me understand how much women benefit from a group-model of collective education to move past all that negative cultural stereotyping around women in music, and women leaders. Countless women have told me that male-dominated spaces here are full of competitive leadership, which hinders every aspect of women participants. I see it in our classes – when women and girls arrive for free education courses, they start off reserved, somewhat shy, slow to contribute, but palpably excited. After a few hours of group talking, group presentations, writing assignments, instrument lessons, and encouraging them to choose how/when/where/what music they will play, each woman opens up. To me, encouraging girls and women to be active, inspired, educated leaders in a field they choose (and love!) leads to a sense of self-awareness that inspires everyone around them. I think we can move beyond sexism by simply creating spaces for women – and trans-identified people – to feel safe without fear of being shut-down. For me, that’s taking something stereotypically ‘male’ and making it have no gender at all.
    This is a guitar. Play it. Rock out. Done.



    • Kate Krontiris

      Thanks for sharing your experiences in the music community Leah. Sounds like you are taking a very confident, and collaborative, approach to breaking through some of those stereotypes and behavior. I wonder what kind of outcomes we might see if we had more mixed musician groups — women and men together. There is research that demonstrates that when the percentage of women on a corporate board rises to 30%, there are substantially different behaviors and communication among the board members. Outcomes for group collaboration actually change when the percentage gets higher than that. Also, we know that groups score better on tests of intelligence when they have at least one woman present. There is something important about mixed group settings, and I wonder if that might be something to explore in your community as well. Let us know what happens! And keep rockin’ out!

      759 days ago


  7. 761 days ago

    Sarah Fathallah

    This is not in my community, but something I have observed in communities I was researching in central Nigeria. A lot of the women in those communities were not entirely literate, and their technical literacy was also very limited. For some of these women, mobile phones are important and offer them security and peace of mind. They are the only way for them to keep in touch with family members or call a healthcare worker during a time of need when clinics are not nearby.
    Despite their low technical literacy, women in these communities were very resourceful in finding ways to make it work. Many relied on other more tech-savvy members of the community to help them make calls or send SMS messages. Some would even share their mobile devices with women that did not own one. All in all, the women in these communities found the resources within their own context to access information and overcome their literacy challenges.