With nearly 1,000 attendees of all ages, including students, parents, community leaders, faith-based leaders, noted activists and some true civic rights legends, the Congressman’s tireless staff created an agenda to inspire, lead, show appreciation and create pathways for African American Youth to lead successful, productive lives. The Microsoft team had the pleasure of supporting this […]

Summer isn’t quite over yet, but we’re ready for fall to hit! With students heading back to school and cool weather heading back into Chicago, we’re here to help you stay busy this September: September 4 We Ride Juntos: Promoting Safe Neighborhoods 9:30am—12:30pm La Villita Park 2800 S Sacramento Ave, Chicago Slow Roll Chicago, Universidad Popular, […]

As it goes with launching any new technology, there are cycles for testing, acquiring feedback, and for making revisions. Whether you’re in alpha, beta or have reached official launch, each phase is equally important for understanding how new offerings are received and utilized. At Microsoft Chicago, we’ve tested our program, listened to your feedback, made […]

How many times can we say it? We LOVE our civic tech fellows. Every semester, it’s a joy to welcome students from all walks of life to our Microsoft Chicago (and Detroit) team to use technology to make an impact in their communities. Enter Anna Draft, a fellow who has been working close alongside us […]

Katie Olson has one of my favorite minds in Chicago’s vast city ecosystem. She brings together the pragmatic with the civic with the systemic, all the while leveraging her background in city planning and economic development. The programs that she works on at City Digital, and the smart city space in general, are better for […]

Last year I wrote a post about City Digital’s Smart Green Infrastructure Monitoring Project. Designed to study urban flooding, the SGIM pilot focuses on studying the effectiveness of various investments in green infrastructure to use natural systems to process and manage rainwater. Green infrastructure in the form of vegetation, soils, alternatives to pavement, etc. were […]

Every summer, Chicago’s signature music festival, Lollapalooza, fills Grant Park with the sounds of musicians and music fans. The word, Lollapalooza, meaning “remarkable person or thing,” defines not just the music festival, but it has also come to define the remarkable students that visit Chicago each year for ThinkChicago. ThinkChicago takes place the week leading […]

Data around a person’s health has become common-place. Between electronic healthcare records, wearable fitness devices, exercise equipment and programs, and consumer hereditary tests, we are almost inundated with data about our physical well-being. Financial data has long been a mainstay of our lives. We use it to create our budgets, prepare for retirement, and do […]

In June, the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) at the Urban Institute and Microsoft released a collection of resources and recommendations on extending and expanding training opportunities for staff at civic organizations and governments to help them leverage data and technology to tackle local priorities.  To illustrate the foundations, learnings, and impacts that informed the […]

There is hacking. And then there is AquaHacking. AquaHacking Challenge is an annual event focused on using technology to improve Great Lakes water quality. Each year, they focus on a different Great Lake. This year’s focus was on reducing threats to Lake Erie from urban areas, agriculture and industry.   Shared by the province of […]