Cortico is a non-profit working at the intersection of community powered listening and machine learning to elevate underheard voices.
HELPING ORGANIZATIONS UNDERSTAND THEIR COMMUNITY MEMBERS PRIORITIES & NEEDS🧾
We partner with various community based organizations across the United States to help host and facilitate conversations with their community members. We automatically transcribe and index these conversations on our searchable platform to help our partners make sense of what people in the community are concerned about. In addition to our automatic transcription and search, we also use NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) to surface common themes across conversations.
VALUES CENTERED AROUND TRUST & COMMUNITY😌
Cortico was founded to transform our increasingly polarized democracy into a thriving public sphere. Our values reflect this original mission, where we know if we are to transform a community, the first step is to build trust with the community.
Authentic voices: We create space for local community members for share their stories in a safe and intimate environment
Diverse perspectives: We partner with organizations across the United States with similar missions of elevating under-heard voices
Community-first approach: Rather than mining social media sources like Twitter for content, we host local community conversations to really dive deep into what a community is concerned about
Transparent process: We strive to share how our processes work through frequent blog posts and newsletters as well as working very closely with our partner organizations. Our terms of service and privacy policies are in a public GitHub repository so that all changes are clearly tracked and visible.
Measurable impact: We host retros with our partner organizations to determine how our product was used, what can be improved, and to what end we were able to help them achieve their goals.
OUR DE&I PRACTICES🌈
All too frequently, the same people are being heard, whether it is influencers on social media or the most outspoken people at a local town hall. Cortico was founded to elevate under-heard voices, the ones who may not have a wide social media following or have enough time to voice their opinions to elected officials. We know that to collect something as intimate and powerful as a voice, we ourselves need to reflect the diversity we wish to see in our conversations. Our partner organizations are diverse as well, ranging from the Foundation for Black Women's Wellness to Reimagine Arkansas to the New York Public Library.
Just as we surface under-head voices in local communities, every employee at Cortico has a voice. The engineering team has sprint retros every two weeks where we share both wins and losses, whether at work, in our personal lives, or in the wider world. We strive to make sure everyone feels included, whether it is in a local community conversation, or at the workplace. We believe everybody has stories and values that shaped who they are today, and we frequently take turns sharing these during off-sites or other team gatherings.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OUR INTERNAL PRACTICES AND LEADERSHIP🎯
We are big believers in using our own conversation model within the organization. Instead of avoiding talking about politics or other events in the world, we often have team conversations where we express how we are feeling, rough draft thoughts perfectly acceptable and welcome.
Leadership understands the stresses of the world, particularly in the last few years, and has often given time off for employees to rest, such as half day Fridays during the summers of 2020 and 2021. In addition, many Cortico employees work very flexible hours to work around family schedules which always take priority over Cortico work.
Our mission is to make sure underrepresented voices are heard, starting by building trust with local communities through partner organizations. This extends into our hiring practices and the workplace environment we foster at Cortico. We do our best to honor each candidate's time and mental health by replying to all candidates within 3 weeks of receiving their application and using take home assignments instead of white boarding questions.
Once part of the team, we have a $2000 professional development fund per year to attend conferences, buy books, or take classes. In addition, we encourage presenting at conferences or writing technical blog posts. Other than the team at Cortico, we also have access to engineers with decades of experience over at the MIT Media Lab who we frequently consult for guidance and mentorship.
INTERVIEW PROCESS 📞
1. Phone call with the hiring manager
2. Time bound (2-4 hours) Python take-home assignment
3. “On-site” via Zoom (with many breaks!)
* 15-20 minute technical talk on any topic of interest to you
* Pair programming exercise
* An overview of Cortico’s system architecture
* Conversation with our COO/
* Meet with our CEO
✨ 21 days PTO, 10 holidays, office closed the week between Christmas and New Years
✨ 75% paid health, dental, and vision insurance, 50% for immediate family members
✨ 401(k) plan
✨ Sabbatical of up to 3 months after every 7 years of employment
✨ $2000 a year for professional development
✨ MIT research opportunities