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Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Emily Harburg

Assistant Professor

Emily Harburg is a fifth-year Ph.D. Student in the Technology and Social Behavior program at Northwestern University where she builds online tools to improve motivation, collaboration, and self-efficacy. She is also a co-founder and Director of Programs at Brave Camps Inc. where she leads programs to help girls build self-efficacy in coding, design, and leadership.

Emily Harburg is passionate about helping people build self-efficacy to reach their full potential. To do so she designs systems and conducts research to help support people to receive the support they need to work at their best.

Emily is the co-founder and Director of Programs for Brave Initiatives, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women build skills in coding, design and leadership to create a better world with code. The programs serve women from low-income areas to help them learn the skills to build technology to solve important issues for their communities. Brave has expanded from Chicago alone to serving women in Detroit, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and Kingston, Jamaica (with more to come). Her work has been published in academic journals, business case studies, and news publications – including “Teaming at Disney Animation” Case Study with the Harvard Business School, “Understanding the Effects of Crowdfunding on Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy” in Computer Supported Cooperative Work, and “Can She Lead?” in the Harvard Business Review (among others). Emily has industry experience working for Walt Disney Imagineering in the Disney Research behavioral sciences team, and as UX Researcher at Facebook. She is also the cofounder of Youth Lead the Change, a global youth leadership organization that empowers youth to reach their full potential as leaders. Emily is a co-founder of Northwestern Speakeasy that teaches graduate students public speaking and leadership skills. She also founded Thoughtlucks, a community that gathers monthly overs shared meals to discuss important community issues and big questions together.

Emily received her PhD in the Technology and Social Behavior PhD program at Northwestern University and her B.S. in Social Anthropology and Psychology from Harvard University. Her doctoral work has included building and researching online tools to improve motivation, collaboration, and self-efficacy.

Areas of Specializaion

Technology, Social Behavior


B.A. Social Psychology, Anthropology, Harvard University, 2007-2011.

Selected Courses Taught

ENTP 355 Social Innovation in Chicago

Professional Experience

Co-Founder, Director of Programs, Brave Initiatives-Brave Camps Inc., 2015-Present.

UX Research Intern, Facebook, Sept. 2016-Dec.2016.

Associate Research Manager, The Walt Disney Company, 2011-2014.