Who We Are

The Institute for Social Engagement (ISe) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization focused on promoting civic engagement, especially among new and younger voters, and those with challenging access to polls and to clear information.

We promote a higher bar of civil discussion, and encourage people to get involved in their country’s future. We develop tools and opportunity to make informed decisions and think critically around the issues affecting our nation.

ISe works to empower members of the community to actively and effectively participate in the political process. Combining traditional grassroots strategies with modern technology, innovation, and collaborative action, ISe is committed to contributing to positive social change, and developing community organizers for the 21st century.

ISe is a think tank and creative studio developing innovative tools and opportunities for civic engagement.

Our Mission

The Institute for Social Engagement works to empower members of the community to actively and effectively participate in the political process. Our backgrounds in technology, behavioral science, volunteer coordination and community organizing affords us an opportunity to take a fresh look at engagement and follow-through. At times approaching serious issues with humor and innovation, ISe develops new approaches that speak to voters of all ages. 

ISe is committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and equity within our society. We also want to understand and maximize our effectiveness, and to that end believe strongly in data-driven advocacy, initiatives and campaign focus.

 

ISe Leadership

sean-edwards-1 (1)Sean Edwards specializes in operations and engineering at tech startups. Originally from Portland, Maine, Sean has spent the past 4 years working with Boston-based startups to develop tools and processes that keep engineering teams effective while operating at the relentless pace of the technology sector.

Sean has expertise in distributed software and systems thinking, experience in performing arts collaboration and community, and specialization in developing systems and teams, all of which help turn vision into action. You can follow him on Twitter at @tilmonedwards. Sean is Vice President of the Institute for Social Engagement. Sean@ThinkInformed.org

 

marjie-alonso (1)Marjie Alonso has served on many Boards of Directors, and has consulted for numerous non-profits, creating supportive development strategies, lead structures, growth initiatives and group processes for both start-up and existing organizations.

Marjie is the Executive Director of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (iaabc.org), and is the co-founder of the Somerville Foundation for Animals and the Somerville Pet Food Bank, which provides pet food to at-risk and homeless families throughout Eastern New England. The Foundation also hosts the Somerville Dog Festival each year, and is developing a program offering free veterinary care to at-risk and homeless pet owners in the Great Boston area. Marjie also serves on the Board of DarwinsArk.org, studying genetics and behavior through the Broad institute of MIT and Harvard, and UMass Medical School.

Along with her animal behavior and human-animal learning specialties, Marjie is a strong advocate of civil rights and citizen involvement in government, and has been involved in volunteer work for decades. She feels coffee is an extremely important part of life. Marjie is President of the Institute for Social Engagement. Marjie@ThinkInformed.org

 

ISe Team

Greg Dreifus is a graduate student in mechanical engineering at MIT, where he does research on 3D printing technology. Originally from New York, Greg has also lived, studied, and worked in Germany, Ecuador, Tennessee, and currently, Massachusetts. Long interested in politics and policy, Greg used do political internships way back in high school and early college before transitioning to math and engineering, but the 2016 election has compelled him to recommit to civic engagement. He is Vote Remote’s co-lead volunteer, along with Simone Liano.

 

Jonathon House is a communications professional that loves to tell stories. He’s a graduate of Emerson College’s Journalism program and served in the Marine Corps from 2011-2016 as an award-winning Combat Correspondent. Over the years, he’s covered topics ranging from the Iraqi refugee crisis to President Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima. He came to Indivisible Somerville as the result of conducting background research for a radio news story and became smitten with the organization’s cheeky attitude and unique approach to activism. When he’s not telling tales, Jonathon enjoys spending time with his wife, two dogs (Edward and Calvin), and drinking a delicious craft beer. He is the Media lead volunteer, overseeing the ISe newsletter and other media communications.

 

Simone Liano moved to Somerville in June and first got involved in activism after Trump’s election. She studied Neuroscience at Wellesley College and currently works in strategy consulting. She’s dabbled in the cleantech space and is passionate about the intersection of technology and the environment, loves listening to podcasts, and going for walks in New England! She is Vote Remote’s co-lead volunteer, along with Greg Dreifus.

 

 

Andrew Tremblay is a long time Massachusetts resident, where he uses software to improve lives. He graduated from WPI in 2011 and finally moved to Somerville in 2016. His professional software experience ranges from mobile apps to Big Data-driven automation, and for ISe he works on the It’s Our Call project. When he’s not doing all that, he’s either working in small startups or playing violin. You can see most of his non-NDA work through andrew-tremblay.com. Andrew is a lead volunteer in our tech and It’s Our Call projects.