Laurenellen McCann

Civic Innovation Fellow, Open Technology Institute

Photo of Laurenellen McCann

Laurenellen McCann (@elle_mccann) is an organizer, tech policy expert, and civic innovation fellow with the Open Technology Institute. Her work seeks to refocus public sector “innovation” on communal ingenuity, emphasizing the importance of relational organizing, behavior change, and cultural context above individual tools and technologies. She also runs The Curious Citizens Project, a D.C.-based organization whose experiments meld tech, placemaking tactics, and art activation to increase participation in public commons.

Previously, Laurenellen was the national policy manager at the Sunlight Foundation, where she led Sunlight’s work on state and local transparency issues, founded a new program focused on municipal data access, and helped dozens of states and cities write their first open data policies. She also designed and directed TransparencyCamp (Sunlight's largest annual community gathering) and continues to advise unconference organizers around the globe. Prior to Sunlight, Laurenellen taught artists about copyright law and worked as a reporter for National Public Radio and member stations. At the end of 2013, she was named one of TIME Magazine's 30 People Under 30 Changing the World.

Laurenellen holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from Wesleyan University. More about her work, projects, and appreciation for the public benefits of parades can be found at


  • Civic Innovation

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