Distinguished Lecture

Unavailable Innovation: Why You Must Make Your Ideas Accessible

Garlin Gilchrist II

Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement
City of Detroit
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
1:30pm - 2:30pm
2150 DOW

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About the Event

The impact of our ideas is directly related to who can access and benefit from them. That’s why it’s as important to spend time not just thinking about--and innovating upon - what your idea is, but also how it will reach the right people. We must challenge ourselves to think and innovate all the way through our ideas and products to give them the best chance to improve people’s lives and change the world.


Garlin Gilchrist (BSE CE/CS ‘05)is Detroit’s first Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. His job is to open up the city’s public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. He most recently served as the National Campaign Director at, where he focused on mobilizing MoveOn’s seven million members on issues of civil rights, education, and technology policy advocacy through community organizing and online action. He coordinated MoveOn’s 2012 election mobilization program, Voters Rising. He also co-hosted The #WinReport on “The Good Fight,” an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple’s Best of 2013.

After graduating from Michigan, Garlin became a Software Engineer at Microsoft, where he helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company’s history. He served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change.

As an independent consultant, Garlin has provided strategy and technology support to numerous organizations with regard to online advocacy. His past clients include the NAACP and Johnson Publishing Company.

Additional Information

Contact: Jason Davis


Sponsor(s): ECE

Open to: Public