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Jess Reia is an Assistant Professor of Data Science interested in the untold stories in our datasets and how to meaningfully include communities rarely heard in data policy decision-making processes. They work primarily on topics of data justice, urban governance, and technology policy transnationally. For the past decade, their research and advocacy agenda has focused on fostering dialogues between academia, government, and civil society in three countries: Brazil, Canada, and the United States.
Reia is currently completing the book "Making Music Count: What Busking Can Teach Us About Policy, Data and the Future of Our Cities" (Intellect Books, UK, forthcoming) about informal cultural labour in urban spaces that is often invisible in official numbers. Their work was also published in four languages, including the volumes "Artificial Intelligence in the City" (McGill University, 2022), "Pandemic Societies" (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2021), "Smart Cities no Brasil" (Letramento, 2021), "Nocturnes" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), "Shadow Libraries" (The MIT Press, 2018) and several journals, such as First Monday, Imaginations, Révue Française d'Administration Publique, and Cadernos Metrópole.
From night governance and intellectual property to the use of AI in health or data collection of gender-diverse communities, Reia is also involved in law and policymaking efforts. Recent contributions have included participation in nighttime economy policies in Canada, copyright law reform in Brazil, and data equity and privacy for LGBTQIA+ communities in the US. Reia is an AI Fellow at NewCities, an advisor at Urban AI, a member of the Coalition for Independent Technology Research, and former member of the MTL 24/24 Night Council in Montreal. Their work has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, and podcasts.
Reia's commitment to applied research projects, public interest advocacy, and evidence-based policymaking is also translated into teaching. Currently, they teach courses for future data scientists on ethics, governance, and policy. Past courses have included a focus on urban data, digital rights, intellectual property, and research methods.
Before joining UVA, Reia was appointed Andrew W. Mellon Fellow (2019-2021) at McGill University and BMO Fellow (2020-2021) at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal, working on projects concerned with nighttime governance and open data. From 2011 to 2019, they worked as Professor and Project Manager at the Center for Technology and Society at FGV Law School in Rio de Janeiro. Jess Reia holds a Ph.D. and an MA in Communication Studies from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and a BA in Public Policy from the University of São Paulo (USP).
Reia J., & Cruz, L. (2023). Cidades inteligentes no Brasil: Conexões entre poder corporativo, direitos e engajamento cívico. Cadernos Metropole 25 (57).
Brandusescu, A., & Reia, J. (Eds.). (2022). Artificial Intelligence in the City: Building Civic Engagement and Public Trust. Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal, McGill University. https://doi.org/10.18130/9kar-xn17.
Brandusescu, A., & Reia, J. (Edit.). (2022). L’intelligence artificielle dans la ville : Renforcer l’engagement civique et la confiance du public. Centre de recherches interdisciplinaires en études montréalaises, Université McGill. https://doi.org/10.18130/e1pa-9129.
Brandusescu, A., & Reia, J. (Eds.). (2022). La inteligencia artificial en la Ciudad: Construyendo participación cívica y confianza pública. Centro de Investigación Interdisciplinaria sobre Montreal, Universidad McGill. https://doi.org/10.18130/j3ag-jz62.
Reia, J., & Fergus Cruz, L. (2021). Seeing through the smart city narrative: data governance, power relations, and regulatory challenges in Brazil. In B. Haggart, N. Tusikov & J. A. Scholte. (Eds.). Contested Power and Authority in Internet Governance: Return of the State?. Abingdon/UK and New York/US: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003008309-14.
Straw, W., & Reia, J. (2021). Nightlife in a Pandemic. In Denis, J. L., Régis, C. & D. Daniel Weinstock (Eds.). Pandemic Societies. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. https://www.mqup.ca/pandemic-societies-products-9780228009054.php
Reia, J. & Belli, L. (2021). Smart Cities no Brasil: Regulação, tecnologia e direitos. Belo Horizonte: Editora Letramento. https://doi.org/10.18130/p1me-mf66.
Reia, J., Francisco, P., Castanheira, B., & Mizukami, P. (2021). Da fotocopiadora à nuvem: Acesso ao conhecimento, pirataria e educação. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Azougue. https://doi.org/10.18130/fy87-ce80.
Reia, J., Francisco, P., Castanheira, B., & Mizukami, P. (2021). Da televisão ao Youtube: Influenciadores, audiência e normas. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Azougue.
Petrovics, N. Seijas, A., Catherall, R., Reia, J., & Straw, W. (2021). Nighttime Governance in Times of Covid-19: Capacity Building for Night Mayors and other Nighttime Governance Institutions. VibeLab.
Reia, J., & Brandusescu, A. (2021). A Starting Point: Transversal Questions and Recommendations for Montreal's Digital Data Charter. Response to the City of Montreal's public consultation on Montreal's Digital Data Charter. The Urbanologist, CRIEM/CIRM. Available in English at: https://mcgill.ca/x/oS3.
Available in French at: https://mcgill.ca/x/oSJ.
Bélanger, A., Reia, J., & Straw, W. (2020). Portrait diagnostic de la vie nocturne à Montréal. Soumis à Déborah Delaunay, Commissaire au bruit et à la nuit - Service du développement économique, Ville de Montréal.
Reia, J., Francisco, P., Barros, M., & Magrani, E. (2019). Horizonte presente: Tecnologia e sociedade em Debate. Belo Horizonte, Brazil: Letramento.
Mizukami, P., & Reia, J. (2018). Brazil: The Copy Shop and the Cloud. In J. Karaganis (Ed.). Shadow Libraries: Access to Educational Material in Global Higher Education (pp. 223-271). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/shadow-libraries.
Belli, L., Barros, M., & Reia, J. (2018). Les enjeux de l’encadrement et de la gouvernance de l’ouverture des données publiques au Brésil. Révue Française d’Administration Publique, v. 167, p. 585-600. https://doi.org/10.3917/rfap.167.0585.
Reia, J. (2014). Napster and Beyond: How Online Music Can Transform the Dynamics of Musical Production and Consumption in DIY Subcultures. First Monday, 19(10). http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v19i10.5552.
Mizukami, P., Reia, J., & Ferraz, J. V. (2013) Mapping Digital Media Brazil. London: Open Society Foundations.
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