Stephanie Hankey

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when Stephanie Hankey was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
With the Tactical Technology Collective (TTC), Stephanie Hankey changes the conversation about information technologies’ role within achieving social change. Knowing that the challenge is no longer to provide access to technological tools, but to use them effectively, she enables people working for social change to rethink their use of information technology in order to raise the effectiveness of their work, especially the way they use data. Thus, she works to elevate digital technologies’ role from operational support to core tactical functions.

Breaking from the widespread assumption that data and information technologies alone can create social change, Stephanie changes how people and organizations make use of information to reach their goals, in a way that is both safe and effective. Her programs are designed around a human- rather than technology-centered approach, putting the users, their aims and their context first, and then helping them design or apply appropriate tools. Whether in data security or in using data effectively to reframe public debates, Stephanie is building capacity among civil society actors globally through observing trends in information technology usage and translating them into practical tools and solutions that answer the specific needs of changemakers and stimulates the way they learn and adapt. This leads to increased orientation and knowledge, to demystification of information technology, and to empowered civil society actors considering how best to orient their strategies for change to the digital sphere in order to use them wisely and effectively.

Stephanie and the TTC widely spread the solutions they develop through open source models and a close network of intermediaries around the world. In addition, she uses the format of interdisciplinary camps, curricula development and resources such as films and toolkits that she makes available to others in her own field to support a whole field of professionals worldwide, facilitating the space for constant innovation in the area of information usage for social change. This way, she works towards a society where everyone can be an information activist – civil society actors making sense of digital technologies and the power of information for the societal goals they want to reach.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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