If you’d like to learn more about my work, the best way to do that is to visit my LinkedIn profile. I am currently teaching digital journalism at Boston University, where I run the Full Stack Journalists group. We’re working on designing easily portable resources to run classes and student-led groups to foster programming skills for aspiring and practicing journalists. I’m also a team member Data + Narrative, where we develop and lead workshops on storytelling through data visualization.
I have run startups, been an MIT Media Lab fellow, worked at NPR affiliates, The Boston Globe/Boston.com and worked with dozens of organizations looking to create greater community engagement online and offline. If you’d like to contact me, please click here. You can also find me on Twitter, where I am @lisawilliams.
There are some things I’m proud of that don’t show up on my resume, however. These are a few of them:
The Trollbusters Bot
I worked with Trollbusters founder Michelle Ferrier to create a chatbot for the organization, which helps women writers who are the targets of online harassment and abuse. For a writeup of the why and how of this project, see Building the Trollbusters Bot.
Winner, Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation for the podcast Magic Pill
Magic Pill was a departure from the usual podcast routine — it is a podcast that is also a 21 day exercise challenge. Fast, music-driven, and fun, everyone who subscribed could get their own day 1 and design their own challenge. It was delivered daily to a user’s inbox via email; no podcast-client setup hassles required. It was the first “audio newsletter” of its kind. It also tested an innovative way of raising money for public radio stations, one that increased the listener-to-donor ratio 7X. I organized this project, assembled the team, and led the project through to its successful launch.
Chairwoman of the Board, Hack The Hood
2012 – Present
I’m the chair of the board for an innovative educational technology nonprofit that provides youth of color in Oakland, California and surrounding cities a program to learn tech skills and find a way to navigate toward college and career in the tech industry. I couldn’t be prouder of working with this organization whose work I think is so critically important. For more information about Hack the Hood, see their website.
Winner, Curious Codefest Education Hackathon
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 2015
I pitched a project and organized a team to create CanRead, an app that makes ebooks more accessible to students with language-based learning difficulties such as dyslexia. See canread.github.io for more information.
50 Female Innovators In Digital Journalism & Tech
Program Chair, ONA13
Online News Association, May 2013
I was one of three the program chairs for the Online News Association conference, held this year in Atlanta. I’m proud of what we did with this conference, because we produced one of the most highly-rated conferences ONA has ever had, while making and keeping a commitment to a ratio of 50% women speakers and 30% people of color.
2010 Top 25 Women in Tech To Watch, AlwaysOn/Stanford Summit
AlwaysON, June 2010
J-Lab New Media Women Entrepreneur of the Year
J-Lab, April 2009
The Journalism Lab at American University (J-Lab) recognized me for my work with Placeblogger, a searchable index of local weblogs.
Knight Challenge Fellow, MIT Media Lab, 2009-2010
I was a fellow at the Media Lab’s Center For Civic Media, where I worked with graduate students and group projects on the future of news and civic engagement.
TechStars.org seed funding and venture incubator selectee for People’s Software Company
TechStars, May 2008
In 2008 I attended Techstars, a 12-week startup incubator program for entrepreneurs. Our team was one of 10 to win entrance into program of the over 4,000 teams who applied.
2007 Fellow, Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA, October 2007
The National Constitution Center’s program for Journalists and the Constitution selects a handful of journalists and entrepreneurs to a workshop on the history of the constitution and works on an ongoing basis with fellows to understand and integrate an awareness of civil liberties and the law into their work.
Winner, Knight 21st Century News Challenge
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, May 2007
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is the largest foundation working in the area of news and civic engagement. Their News Challenge program provided seed funding to about a dozen projects out of thousands of applicants. Knight funded Placeblogger, a project focusing on creating local communities online for neighborhoods, cities, and towns.
Board Member, Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
I served on the board of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, an advocacy group dedicated to making the Commonwealth’s streets safe for cyclists through encouraging better infrastructure as well as providing cyclist education, particularly for cycling in urban areas.