CFA Summit Coming Up – See You There!

code for america

The Code for America Summit takes place September 23-25 in San Francisco.  Microsoft is excited to be a capstone sponsor of the Summit and to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to engage with government, companies, civic technologists and organizations, and engaged citizens on the biggest challenges facing our communities.

We are contributing to the formal agenda with a breakout session on “The New C-Suite: Partnerships and Impact,” which will take place Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 9 a.m.  We’ve gathered an impressive panel of city leaders from Los Angeles, Austin, and Puerto Rico, who will offer first-hand views on what works and what doesn’t when trying to transform government – and offer views on why.  The discussion will also focus on how to affect and assess impact, sustainability, scale, and partnerships at the intersection of government services and innovation.  We also are giving a talk at the ignite session on Wednesday evening at 8:00 p.m. that will preview some exciting new research on online communities in civic tech coming out of Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs.

Most importantly, we are looking forward to the informal conversations at the Summit.  Please join us at the Microsoft Lounge, which will be open during the Civic Tech Fair, lunchtimes, the plenary session breaks, and the receptions, including the closing reception we are sponsoring on Thursday evening.

Why Are We There?

The Summit is an annual demonstration of the year-round efforts that Code for America and other Summit attendees put into improving government, serving citizens and strengthening local economies.  These are top priorities for Microsoft, too, and we’re looking forward to getting inspired and sparking new connections that will help us do more to benefit the places where we live and work.

Within Microsoft, the Technology and Civic Engagement group brings together some of Microsoft’s best people and resources to build long-term partnerships in local communities and leverage technology to make a sustainable and scalable impact.  We currently have teams in Boston, Chicago, New York, and the Bay Area, and are working with the local community on areas such as economic development and innovation, 21st century education and opportunities, smarter and more sustainable cities, data and openness, and efficient government services.

In addition to seeing us at Summit, we hope you will join us for ongoing events in U.S. cities.  Two are coming up on Wednesday, October 1.  In Chicago, there is the next monthly meeting of the Chicago City Data Users Group, which focuses on practical techniques for anyone interested in using Chicago City Data to promote civic engagement, innovation, and economic opportunity.  In Boston that same night, the next conversation in a series on Civic Tech will focus on education and data, including data use, data location, and ways to improve student learning.

How Can We Help?

Across Microsoft, we partner with civic organizations, governments, and other companies to move cities forward, and below are some Microsoft resources that may be of interest.

  • Microsoft Open Technologies, a resource for open source code and open technical standards and technical bridges between Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies
  • CityNext, Microsoft’s work with partners to define and deliver innovative solutions that support safer, smarter, healthier and modern cities and improve productivity/efficiency in state and local governments
  • BizSpark, how to access free software, support, and visibility that help startups succeed
  • Azure, Microsoft’s cloud services, and the new Azure Government Preview, a cloud platform designed to meet U.S. government demands
  • Power BI, analytics and visualization tools for Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Disaster Response, technology solutions, tools, and practices to support humanitarian relief and disaster management efforts
  • Microsoft Ventures, a global effort around providing mentorship, technology guidance, seed funding, joint selling opportunities and other benefits to startups
  • YouthSpark, a global initiative to connect youth with opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship; this includes the TEALS program in the U.S. which places computer scientists in high school classrooms across the country

We look forward to connecting at the Code for America Summit and other gatherings of those helping use technology to improve civic communities and keep the conversation going online with Tech and Civic Engagement on Twitter: @MSNewEngland, @MicrosoftNY, @MSFTChicago, @MicrosoftSV.

Annmarie Levins is the General Manager for Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Engagement efforts and is based in Cambridge at Microsoft New England R&D Center (NERD).  She works with the teams in Boston, New York, Chicago, and the Bay Area to bring the best of Microsoft’s technology and people to help these communities address their most pressing challenges.

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