Episode 1

The Digital Infrastructure Incubator, with Danielle Robinson and Rayya El Zein


September 7th, 2021

28 mins 45 secs

Your Host
Special Guests

About this Episode


Danielle Robinson and Rayya El Zein, Code For Science & Society

Show Notes

Welcome to the first episode of the Digital Infrastructure podcast!

This is a new podcast focused on grantees from the Digital Infrastructure Fund. This fund, funded by the Ford Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the Omidyar Network, and the Mozilla Open Source Support Program in collaboration with the Open Collective Foundation, consists of around $1.3 million worth of grants given out to thirteen research projects, which are advancing our understanding of critical digital infrastructure across the globe.

For those of you who are new to Digital Infrastructure, the very idea is that all our society at this point is built up on open source, on code, on projects that like roads, bridges, and electric grids, and that these need to be maintained. Since digital infrastructure is a new phenomenon in human society we don’t really understand how to fund it properly. The grantees are researching ways we can define digital infrastructure and how can we better support the people who maintain it.

Today, we have two grantees from Code for Science and Society, who will talk about their grant: the Digital Infrastructure Incubator. Danielle Robinson, the Executive Director of Code for Science and Society (CSS), and Rayya El Zein, the Program Manager for the Digital Infrastructure Incubator, are joining us today. We hope you enjoy this podcast and learn something new about Digital Infrastructure.

[00:02:38] Danielle tells us how she became the Executive Director of Code for Science and Society.

[00:06:27] Rayya tells us about her background and how she got involved as Program Manager for the Digital Infrastructure Incubator at CSS.

[00:09:00] Since CSS has been around for a few years now, Richard asks Danielle and Rayya, if someone was a researcher, why would they choose to have their project incubated there as opposed to somewhere else.

[00:16:22] Danielle explains more about the way they wrote the grant and Rayya tells us more about launching some web presence for the incubator and a call for expressions of interest that will be coming soon to fill the five positions that they have available. Also, Rayya mentions Simply Secure doing an implementation process in a similar fashion.

[00:19:46] Find out where you can follow along with the Digital Infrastructure Incubator at CSS, and where you can apply.

[00:21:34] Rayya and Danielle share what Digital Infrastructure means to them.

[00:27:14] If you have any questions, Richard tells us where you can contact him and find out where you can follow Danielle and Rayya personally on the internet.