About Us

Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) is built on multi-institutional, collaborative work that draws on multiple disciplines to improve access to opportunity for historically underserved and disadvantaged communities. It is essential that all who are involved in such work honor the MD4SG values of respect, compassion, understanding, and inclusion. We expect all community members to act in accordance with these values in all MD4SG venues, including conferences and workshops, working groups, and official and unofficial research and community events.

Expected Behavior

The MD4SG Code of Conduct guides the expected professional behavior of every MD4SG participant, including:
  • Treating everyone with respect and consideration; under the umbrella of respect, we expect all participants to be mindful of their speech and behaviors both in person and online.
  • Communicating openly and thoughtfully with others and being considerate of the multitude of views and opinions that may be different than your own.
  • Being respectful and mindful in your critique of ideas.
  • Being mindful of your surroundings and fellow participants: not interrupting fellow participants in discussions as well as giving space for others to express themselves.
  • Respecting participants wishes to not be photographed, respecting their gender pronouns, respecting their space, and their right to engage or disengage in conversation.
  • Alerting community leaders to any violations of this code of conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.

Unacceptable Behavior

We believe disagreement and differences of opinion are a natural part of social and research life and are important to work through when building community and learning from one another. At the same time, we acknowledge that societal power structures are even more challenging in academia, which is an inherently hierarchical community. In order to foster an environment of inclusion, we do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or abusive behavior in any form.

Participants who engage in unacceptable behavior in any MD4SG venue, or who have been externally verified to engage in such behavior at other venues, may be removed from the MD4SG venue, excluded from positions of leadership and participation, or barred from future MD4SG venues at the discretion of the organizers. Please refer to the next section on how to report incidents of violation.

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior or speech.
  2. Unwelcome comments regarding a person's lifestyle choices and practices.
  3. Deliberate intimidation or antagonism.
  4. Exclusionary jokes or comments.
  5. Unwelcome sexual attention or physical contact.
  6. Sharing of sexual content or stereotyped images.
  7. Unwelcome photography or recording, including screenshots.
  8. Sustained disruption of presentations, events, or online discussion.
  9. Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  10. Comments that reinforce social structures of domination (related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, culture, professional background, etc.).
  11. Acts or threats of violence, physical harm, professional harm, or emotional harm.

Given the expansive nature of the MD4SG community and the goal of our work to improve opportunity for historically underserved communities, we ask all community members to be mindful of the cultural differences that naturally arise when gathering members of different research disciplines, academic/non-academic communities, geographies, and cultures. Behavior can be harassing and discriminatory even when the perpetrator does not intend to offend or denigrate, and harassment in the form or a joke or compliment is still unacceptable behavior.

Addressing Unacceptable Behavior

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior or violations of this code of conduct, please notify MD4SG organizers at, or notify Rediet Abebe ( or Irene Lo ( Reports may be provided in written or oral form. Reports will be shared only among MD4SG organizers (will not be shared with involved individuals). You can also file a reporting to unaccepted behavior by filling out this report form. Reporting and communication with the organizers is confidential.

Following receipt of a report of unacceptable behavior, a committee led by one of the MD4SG organizers will review the report and determine whether a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred. The committee may contact individuals involved for further information. Based on the results of this review, MD4SG leadership may take actions including, but not limited to, excluding the perpetrator from positions of leadership, and barring the perpetrator from future MD4SG venues.

Any appeal of the committee's decision must be submitted to within thirty (30) days of notification of the decision. The appeal request must address at least one of the following reasons and provide clear examples:

  • The decision has failed to give the individual(s) the opportunity to present information that is relevant to the case at hand.
  • The decision was based on insufficient information to conclude violation of the Code of Conduct.
  • New and relevant information has been discovered that was unavailable to the individual(s) during the period between when the alleged violation occurred and the individual(s)' notification of the decision.

We hope this workspace serves as a metaphorical meta-building to house MD4SG activities and communication, both formal and informal. All broad MD4SG announcements - including colloquia, social events, working group or leadership applications, and workshops - will be distributed on the MD4SG mailing list.

MD4SG leadership asks that all members of the MD4SG community adhere to the MD4SG Code of Conduct. As part of the MD4SG Code of Conduct, we expect all members to honor the MD4SG values of respect, compassion, understanding, and inclusion. On Slack in particular, be respectful and mindful in your critique of ideas, make space for others to communicate, and avoid any demeaning or discriminatory speech.

Getting started

  1. Set your profile. Make sure your name is set as you wish to be called, add pronouns, and feel free to upload a photo if you choose.
  2. Introduce yourself by sharing a brief description (including your name, pronouns, and research interests) in the #introductions channel.
  3. When posting, please check out the channels overview below to ensure your message reaches the right audience.

Slack hygiene

  • Try replying to a message as a thread to respond to comments, otherwise the main channel feed could get messy.
  • Please use the @channel tag extremely sparingly.
  • Note that Slack only allows access to the last 10,000 messages, so messages are often unavailable after two or three months. Please save any messages you wish to keep to avoid losing work.

Creating channels

New channels are intended for research topic discussions or project groups. If a project is an ongoing closed project, it should be a private channel; otherwise, we encourage all other topic channels to be public.
In line with our Slack hygiene protocol, please be mindful to not create too many channels, and check first whether we have an existing channel that fills your needs.

Questions and concerns?

Please feel free to email any questions or concerns to the MD4SG organizers at or the MD4SG community engagement team

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior or violations of this code of conduct, please fill out this report form, notify MD4SG organizers at, or notify Rediet Abebe ( or Irene Lo ( Reports may be provided in written or oral form, and will be shared only among MD4SG organizers. Communication with the organizers is confidential. Please see the MD4SG Code of Conduct for more info.

Many members of the MD4SG community are producing projects that were conceived in or grew as part of MD4SG activities. If you would like to use the MD4SG logo or mention MD4SG affiliation in your projects, including in any submission process or publicly available materials, we request that you submit a request to MD4SG organizers by filling out this use-of-name request form. The organizers will aim to get back to you within one week. The request should include details of the submission, including the specific mentions of MD4SG, and final versions should be approved by MD4SG organizers before being submitted or made publicly available in any way with the MD4SG name or logo. If the request is urgent, feel free to email for a timely response.

We ask that you consider the following language in any mentions of affiliation with MD4SG:

  • "The idea arose out of conversations / working groups at MD4SG"
  • "An MD4SG project"
  • "Part of the MD4SG initiative"

Projects requesting MD4SG endorsement will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.