Earlier this month, Civic Hall celebrated its first anniversary. In the one year since opening its doors at 156 5th Avenue in Manhattan, the collaborative work and event space has emerged as a natural home for those doing the real work of civic tech. Day to day, the open plan office space is buzzing with New Yorkers running civic-focused startups, nonprofits, and individual consultancies (plus friends visiting from out of town). At lunchtime and in the evenings, the event schedule is loaded with programming, from informal brownbags with special guests to foundations’ flagship events on the main stage. Just a year in, the space has already become a must-visit stop for presidential candidates, international delegations, and elected officials interested in using technology to address shared challenges. Our team has taken to working out of Civic Hall on a daily basis because the encounters with others – planned or otherwise – are second to none.
When Dan’l Lewin and the rest of the Microsoft team were considering how to get involved in civic tech in a meaningful way, Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry were two of the first people they turned to for strategic advice. We know that the Civic Hall team has even more exciting work underway, and we are thrilled to continue our involvement as a founding partner and daily member.