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#421 Solidifying Civic Tech


Cyd Harrell, author of A Civic Technologist's Practice Guide

Civic tech is a loosely integrated movement that aims to use modern technology practices to make government more responsive, efficient, modern, and more just. It also seeks to use digital tech to reimagine interactions among fellow citizens working together, and between those citizens and their governments. This is all a tall order. Because it’s such a tall order, Cyd Harrell, the author of the new book A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide, likes to think of civic tech as a fifty-year project, starting with the rise of public data hackathons in the late 2000s. As the field enters its teen years, it has become a complicated, imperfect field that comprises multiple national, state, and city teams, a vast network of volunteer networks, an infrastructure of major non-profit funders, and a growing ecosystem of companies large and small—to say nothing of tens of thousands of individuals.

As the US moves into a new decade and likely a new federal administration, it’s a great time to take stock. How can civic technologists help each other across all the different government levels, agencies, disciplines, partnership types, and public needs? How can the field best welcome and support a diverse new cohort of people eager to help? Cyd will talk through sets of questions that it behooves every civic technologist to engage with as the field considers the future, and hopefully spark a lively discussion/Q&A to follow!

ASL This event will not have an American Sign Language interpreter.