Shreya Shivakumar

Hometown: Edison, NJ
College/University Attending: Barnard College of Columbia University
Year In School When Selected: Third Year
Program of Study: Major: Political Science, Minor, Science, Policy & Ethics


I am a student at Barnard College of Columbia University majoring in political science with a minor in science, policy and ethics on the pre-law track. I am an editor-in-chief at the Columbia Undergraduate Law Review, a research assistant and Saltzman Student Scholar at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and a chair of the Barnard Honor Board.

I am pursuing a career as an attorney and hope to pursue a career at the intersection of technology and the law. I plan to practice cybersecurity and data privacy law in the future. In my free time, I enjoy running and volunteering with my anti-hunger nonprofit organization, Nourish America.

Summary of New Ideas proposal:

Using my knowledge of First Amendment law, I proposed a series of algorithmic modifications to Meta's platforms that would help reduce political polarization. Diversify is an optional algorithmic setting that would allow users of Meta’s social media platforms to opt into algorithms that encourage exposure to varied perspectives. Diversify would blend the curated recommendations designed for different users to generate a diverse feed. Users who enable Diversify can experience the platform from different people’s perspectives and understand various viewpoints, allowing those with differing values to engage in constructive debate.

What does the New Ideas Competition mean to you?

Participating in the New Ideas Pitch Competition was an incredible learning experience where I had the opportunity to combine my interests in the law, technology, and entrepreneurship to pitch a business concept with social value. Over the course of the competition, I gained valuable advice from leading business professionals, connected with the team at Duke's Fuqua School of Business, and met like-minded, entrepreneurial students from across the nation. I am confident that the insights I've gained from our thoughtful discussions will be invaluable as I continue to explore my interests in the worlds of law and business.

Advice for new applicants:

I would advise future applicants to pitch an idea that sparks their curiosity and excitement, and to channel their energy into sharing their passion for the concept during the presentation. I would also advise to enjoy the experience and connect with the competition advisors, Fuqua representatives, and other participants.