Civic Tech in Chicago — December’s Top Events

| MSFT Chicago Staff


We can’t believe how fast the year’s flown by. Welcome, December. Happy Holidays. We’re excited to wrap up 2016 at some excellent civic tech and STEM events in Chicago this month. We hope yule join us at these top events around the city (and excuse us for the pun…)

December 1

Chicago Women Developers Hack Night
1871‘s DeVry Room 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor, Chicago

Ladies code together. Tech veterans and those just getting started are both welcome, and you don’t have to be working on a project to join. It’s a great space to just hang out with other women who code. Can’t make it December 1? CWDevs meets Tuesdays every week.

Chicago Bot-Builders 1.2 – Twitter Bots
WeWork River North 111 W Illinois St., Chicago

Explore the wonderful (and sometimes disturbing) world of Twitter bots. Research shows that 25% of conversations surrounding the final presidential debate included Twitter bots. Chicago Bot-Builders is a monthly discussion for engineers, marketers, and entrepreneurs to discuss chatbots along with supporting technologies, platforms, and growth strategies.

Holiday Party with GOTO Chicago, Scala Days, and Chicago Polyglot Group
FTW 322 East Illinois St., Chicago

The GOTO Chicago and Scala Days teams, in conjunction with Chicago Polyglot Group (ChiPy, CJUG, and ChicagoRuby), are hosting a holiday party to say thank you to the Chicago tech community. The GOTO Chicago team will announce the program (including the speakers!) for their conference coming up on May 1-4, 2017. The Scala Days team also have some exciting news to share, and Chicago Polyglot will let you know how you can get more involved in our local tech scene. Enjoy good conversation, great food and drinks, arcade games, mini-golf, and raffles for GOTO Chicago and Scala Days conference passes.

Minecraft Modding for Kids Ages 7-12
Contact event coordinator for location

Minecraft has become very popular with kids today. Does your child want to learn how to program mods? Join programmer Michael Kappel for his class. If you have not been to past sessions, you should arrive 15 minutes early to make sure you are setup.

December 3

Django Girls!
Enova 175 W Jackson, 5th Floor, Chicago

PyLadies Chicago is bringing back Django Girls! Join them for a free day-long workshop for women interested in learning Django, a Python web framework.

December 6

Tech Talk: Navigating a Corporate Agile Transformation
SAVO 155 N Upper Wacker Dr #1000, Chicago

Many organizations are making the transition to agile, allowing them to operate in highly dynamic environments, innovate at a more rapid pace, and respond quickly to change. But in order to implement agile correctly, you need a corporate agile transformation that aligns the entire business for success. Our panel has experience at multiple successful agile companies and will share the themes they’ve learned.

Innovation for the Ages
Chicago History Museum 1601 North Clark St., Chicago

Chicago Innovation Awards is hosting an event to celebrate “ageless innovators” who have successfully launched a new product, service, business, or non-profit after the age of 60.  This focus on “un-retirement’ makes these speakers unique contributors to society. Speakers include Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871, Hedy Ratner, founder of Women’s Business Development Center, and more. Seating is limited to the first 300 guests.

Women of Color in STEM Career Panel
Leap Innovations 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212, Chicago

The Chicago chapter of Black Girls CODE is hosting a STEM career panel with women of color. Girls ages 7 to 17 and their parents/guardians are invited, no cost, to hear from a panel of women working in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Mathematics.

Saluting Women Committed to Reform
The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform 36 W Randolph St, Suite 405 Chicago

On Tuesday December 6th, ICPR will host the annual Dawn Clark Netsch “Straight Talk” Award Reception from 5:30 – 7pm at Petterino’s in Chicago. This year’s award ceremony is a “Salute to Women Committed to Reform,” honoring:

-Hon. Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney-Elect
-Lori Lightfoot, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
-Carol Marin, Political Editor for NBC 5 Chicago
-Hon. Karen McConnaughay, Illinois State Senator
-Hon. Elaine Nekritz, Illinois State Representative
-Hon. Heather Steans, Illinois State Senator

December 7 

ARA Chicago: Celebrating Innovation in 2016 and Looking Ahead to 2017
Uptake 600 West Chicago Ave., Chicago

Join ARA to hear inspiring stories of resiliency from well-known Chicago entrepreneurs. ARA aspires to Attract, Retain, and Advance women in technology. The evening will include results from the Harvey Nash Women in Tech Survey, along with a keynote from Jessica Malkin, CEO of Chicago Ideas Week, and engaging lightning-talks with time for Q&A and networking.

Unleashing Change: Technology as a Force For Good
WeWork Grant Park 332 S Michigan Ave., Chicago

Join us for this Northside Innovation Meetup, where Microsoft, Dell, and others will explore how technology is being used for positive changes both socially and environmentally. Lightning speakers include Raj Karmani from Zero Percent and Jim Alvarez of Gesture. Plus, complimentary dinner from Honey Butter Fried Chicken.

ITA Women in Tech Reception
River North

ITA is hosting a networking reception for female leaders in the local tech community. Our Women in Tech reception was created to provide an open environment for networking with peers and making new connections. Sound like you? Join us – it is the last one of 2016!

December 8

Tech in Motion’s Year End Celebration
WeWork Kinzie, 20 West Kinzie St., 17th floor, Chicago

Tech in Motion is celebrating the people and organizations driving innovation in Chicago and beyond. Network with more than 3,000 tech professionals and enthusiasts across their 11 North American chapters. Co-founder of Synap, Michael Boeke, and John Pletz, a Crain’s Chicago Business reporter, are the keynote speakers.

December 13

Chicago Suburbs Tech Security Conference
Venue TBA, Chicago

Data Connectors is hosting its annual Chicago Suburbs Tech Security Conference, a series of presentation and educational sessions. Since 1999, Data Connectors has been dedicated to producing high-quality executive symposiums that focus on driving the future of business in the new age of the digital economy. Meet with experts from the respective market discussing current issues such as email security, LAN security, wireless security, social media security, cloud security, compliance and more. Follow along on Twitter at #DCChicSubs.

#FoodTech Holiday Style: A Delicious Industry for Chicago Entrepreneurs
Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University 1 East Jackson Blvd., Suite 7900, Chicago

Food tech — which includes things like self-service ordering kiosks and mobile ordering — is a booming industry. TechCrunch says food and grocery delivery has been one of the hottest VC sectors. In 2015, global investment reached $5.74 billion across 275 venture capital deals, according to Inc. Join ABI.Chicago for a conversation with some of the brightest and most innovative food tech business leaders from companies like Groupon To Go, Instacart, and Zero Percent.

Building Intelligence with Microsoft Cognitive Services
The Microsoft Technology Center Chicago 200 East Randolph St., Chicago

Intelligence in apps is the way to go in the current market scenario. Cognitive Services, provided by Microsoft, help to inject this intelligence. Join us with Softweb Solutions to learn how to easily and quickly add image recognition and analysis, facial recognition, speech recognition, text-to-speech capabilities, and much more to your applications. This event is free.

Chicago Holiday Happy Hour
222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor, 

Wrap up your year with General Assembly and 1871. Mix and mingle with Chicago’s tech, startup, design, business, and student communities to celebrate the holidays and meet new friends. Enjoy free drinks. All are welcome. Bonus points for holiday attire.
December 14 
Data & Social Good: Using Data To Improve a Social Impact Organization
The Microsoft Technology Center Chicago 200 East Randolph St., Chicago
Softweb Solutions is visiting with Chicago City Data Users Group at Microsoft to discuss its “micro-project” of using the open data of the North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN) to improve their social media engagements. Since a massive volume of both structured and unstructured data is being generated every second, organizations may fail to use this data to its full potential. As a result, they cannot gain insights required to take smart decisions.  In this project, Softweb has analyzed the social media activities & engagements of NLEN and provided them insights on how to better their cause. We’ll use sentiment analysis and other data tools to identify pattern and trends in their social media traffic.

This event is a reschedule from last month because of the World Series. (Go Cubs!)
December 15
Founder Night Out
Capital One 77 West Wacker Drive, Chicago

An evening with Tech While Black to celebrate diversity in Chicago tech entrepreneurship. The event will feature brief lightening talks from founders of local startups, a selfie booth, and prize giveaways. Enjoy food and drink and a keynote from Amanda Spann, tech publicist and app entrepreneur, while connecting with local tech founders, teams, and other tech influencers.

December 16
Adler Planetarium End-of-Year Celebration
5:00pm-7:30pmAdler Planetarium 1300 S Lake Shore Dr., ChicagoJoin the Adler Planetarium for an End-of-Year Celebration full of game-making and game-playing. Teens and their families will be able to play games made by Adler’s Game-Making students, play giant games on the big screen of the Johnson Star Theater, and learn how to make their own games in Twine, and more.

Women in Tech Breakfast
Freehand Chicago19 E Ohio St., ChicagoGeneral Assembly Chicago invites women in technology to join them for a free interactive breakfast, where women in tech give their insight on how they’ve reached their level of success, advice on navigating the workplace, and how to help the next generation of women in tech. Senior Associate at MATH Venture Partners and Curiosity‘s Managing Editor  are just a couple of the speakers for the lightning talks.

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