The Center for Digital Thriving is a research and innovation center based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Our mission is to create knowledge and research-based resources that help people – especially youth – thrive in a tech-filled world.
We envision a world where young people thrive, however technology fits into their lives.
Digital technology is reshaping our lives and affecting young people in particular. It can enhance their well-being, learning, and social connections. It can also amplify the challenges that already exist for them during adolescence. And since youth are often the first to embrace new tech, they can encounter both its advantages and drawbacks more quickly and vividly. Young people’s relationships with technology are multifaceted– so a one-sided perspective falls short. Respecting the complexity of life with technology is our best bet for making digital thriving a reality for all.
This is our work at the Center for Digital Thriving. We are making and holding space for conversations about tech that are both critical and optimistic. We are co-developing research and resources – with youth, educators, psychologists and experts from various domains – that lead us toward digital thriving. To digitally thrive is to use technology in ways that improve the well-being of yourself, your community, and society.
We know that no single study or resource is going to actualize digital thriving for everyone. This is ongoing, individual and collective work. Its meaning will change over time as technology changes, and as we do. What won’t change, however, is our steadfast belief that thriving is possible, and that we all deserve technology that enables it.
Dr. Emily Weinstein
Co-Founder, Executive Director
Emily is a psychologist, researcher, author, and lecturer who has spent over a decade at Harvard working on questions like: How do youth experience adolescence in an age of social media? What can adults do to help? Her book with Carrie James, Behind Their Screens: What Teens Are Facing (And Adults Are Missing) received widespread coverage, including across The Today Show, NPR, TIME, The New York Times, WIRED, and The Washington Post. Emily is a Principal Investigator at Project Zero and lecturer at HGSE. As a mom of two young children, she feels a sense of personal urgency around finding ways to support kids in a tech-filled world.
Dr. Carrie James
Co-Founder, Managing Director
Carrie is a sociologist, researcher, and the current Co-Director of Project Zero. Her work focuses on young people’s digital experiences, including opportunities and challenges for their well-being, social connections, and civic lives. With Emily Weinstein, Carrie is co-author of the book, Behind Their Screens: What Teens are Facing (and Adults are Missing), which details compelling insights from thousands of teens. She also wrote Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap. Carrie has a PhD in Sociology from NYU and is a parent to two technology-loving children, ages 13 and 18.
Dr. Beck Tench
Research and Design
Beck is a wife, daughter, friend, dog mom, kind stranger, designer, and researcher at The Center for Digital Thriving. Her work focuses on helping us live better lives with technology. She uses participatory design to co-create resources that foster connection, cultivate wisdom, and support digital agency. Beck graduated with her Ph.D. in Information Science at the University of Washington. Before returning to school, she was an experience designer in science museums.
Amber Kamilah, EdM (she/her)
Communications and Partnerships
Amber Kamilah (she/her) is an Atlanta native, educator, designer, and passionate advocate for liberation. With a decade of experience in research and coordination at Project Zero, Amber is the incoming Senior Manager of Strategic Communications and Partnerships at the Center for Digital Thriving. She designs and facilitates programs on topics like spiritual fulfillment, communication, cognitive biases, and social justice. Currently, she's collaborating with Daniel Wilson and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education on the Impactful 5 framework, promoting holistic skill development in students through play. Amber enjoys forest bathing, embracing #blackgirlmagic, and discovering new music.
Eduardo Lara (he/him)
Eduardo Lara (he/him) is a Research Specialist for the Center for Digital Thriving with a passion for wellbeing among young people and diverse populations. He brings 6 years of academic and non-profit research experience with a specific lens on mental health and well-being among LGBTQ young people, Native American young people, and Spanish-speaking communities. Eduardo graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology and International Development.
Strategy and Operations
Sneha Harsh is Strategy Manager and Research Specialist at the Center for Digital Thriving. She earned an Ed.M. degree in Learning Design, Innovation and Technology from Harvard University, Graduate School of Education. Sneha brings over 5 years of experience in project management, research, and community engagement to her mission of driving social impact through digital learning, inclusivity and sustainability. Sneha's remarkable journey is marked by accolades, including the S.M. Luthra Award at Lady Shri Ram College (University of Delhi) and JASSO Scholarship for her research at Fukuoka Women’s University in Japan. Her significant contributions to the High School Leadership Program, which extended its reach across India, Nepal, and the United States through the Ek Kadam Aur Foundation, were acknowledged with their 'Public Service Award 2021.'
Clinical Psychology Lead
Sophia Choukas-Bradley, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the director of the Teen and Young Adult Lab, a group of researchers investigating interpersonal and sociocultural influences on adolescent development and mental health. Much of Dr. Choukas-Bradley’s research focuses on gender and sexuality. She is especially passionate about understanding teen social media use, body image, and LGBTQ+ identities.
Destinee Ramos is a Harvard College student Class of 2026 and research assistant on teens and digital well-being for the Center for Digital Thriving. She is currently working on a national research study analyzing the effects of social media usage on teenage girls' mental and physical wellbeing.
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