One of the first events I attended as Civic Tech Manager for Microsoft was the 2nd Annual Innovate Your State Civic and Gov Tech Showcase in Sacramento. Under the leadership of Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento was doubling down on civic innovation, and the city was ripe for an infusion of innovation, technology and civic hackers. The Civic and Gov Tech Showcase provided that spark by rallying the civic ecosystem and creating a cross-sector forum to explore innovative technologies designed to improve government and civic participation. Sacramento was the perfect backdrop for this event in 2016.
This year, on Sept. 13, San José will be home to the 3rd Annual Civic and Gov Tech Showcase, and the timing couldn’t be better.
The Showcase will bring together civic and gov tech startups, established technology firms, investors and leaders from the government and non-profit sectors to celebrate, learn and collaborate on the work being done to improve government and civic participation. It’s also a time to celebrate the city of San Jose’s accomplishments in the civic innovation space — and there is much to celebrate!
Over the past year, the City of San José has established an Office of Civic Innovation and Digital Strategy and hired a Deputy City Manager for Civic Innovation and Digital Strategy. As part of Mayor Liccardo’s Smart City Vision, which Council adopted in 2016, the city also created a Smart City and Service Improvements Council sub-committee and has taken on a variety of innovation projects — outlined in the Innovation Roadmap — designed to make life better for city residents. Last year, the Mayor also created the Unleash Your Geek competition to design innovative approaches to cleaning up graffiti throughout the city. Mayor Liccardo will announce the winner of UYG at this year’s Showcase, and as one of the judges for this competition, I can tell you that the competition is fierce!
If you care about civic participation, civic engagement or improving community outcomes (or would simply like to learn more), this is a wonderful opportunity to meet likeminded individuals and learn about the awesome work being done in government (especially in San José!), non-profits and the private sector to make government work better. Microsoft is proud to support this event.
I hope you’ll join me at the 2017 Civic and Gov Tech Showcase this September to explore how civic and gov tech can improve your community. To register for this event, please visit the event website here. Can’t attend? Follow along on Twitter at #CivicTechShowcase.