Events

Recap: 2017 State of the City Addresses

This week, we were fortunate to join New York City in celebrating the current state of the city, while looking forward to future progress in NYC. With two separate addresses — the first by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and the second by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito — we recounted the successes our city has made and the steps we need to take to move forward.

We’d like to thank the city especially for spotlighting April, a graduate of our Tech Jobs Academy, as an example of how New Yorkers are seizing opportunities to build better futures.

A recap, via Twitter Moments:

NYC Hacks Shipping at the Ports & Logistics Hackathon

This month, our team at Microsoft NY collaborated with developers, business people, designers, domain experts, and lawyers as sponsors and mentors to bring modern technology to the international shipping industry at the NYC Ports & Logistics Hackathon. The 48-hour hackathon was a collective effort between Rainmaking Innovation, Ports America, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, Mærsk Group, Microsoft, Quintiq, INTTRA, Cisco and the Red Sea Gateway Terminal. The history of international shipping has seen very little technological disruption, despite accounting for 90% of global trade. A marketplace that employs 13.5 Million people and generates $436.6 Billion in the US alone is a prime opportunity to innovate, and to this we say: Bring in the hackers.

February’s Civic Tech Events

Thanks to everyone who shared event links and invitations with us. We’re looking forward to seeing you around the city all this month. Check out some of our favorite events taking place in NYC in February:

All month

Carol Jenkins toured the new African American Museum in Washington, DC, as part of her program “Black America” on CUNY TV. You can view the hour-long show, “More Than A Building, A Dream Come True” online at cuny.tv/show/blackamerica/PR2005859.

Wednesday, February 1, 4:00pm

Databite with Jonathan Mayer

Regulatory agencies—especially the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission—have risen to prominence on technology security and privacy issues. Drawing on recent federal experience, this talk will explain why FTC, FCC, and similar agencies have assumed policy leadership roles, what legal authorities are at their disposal, and how agencies have exercised their authorities. The presentation will include case studies of both successes and failures, and it will offer suggestions on best practices and recurring challenges. The talk will also address how researchers and civil society groups can effectively engage with regulatory agencies.

Wednesday, February 1, 6:30 PM

The Business of Comedy

Join LMHQ for a fireside chat about the business of comedy, where we’ll give attendees a peek behind the curtain about what goes into making comedy work. More funny folks are experimenting with comedic mediums, more clubs are opening for standup, and comedy is being woven more effortlessly into the fabric of pop culture on a daily basis. What does it take, beyond the performance, to make comedy as a business successful?

Moderated by Taylor Moore, comedian and comedy curator at Kickstarter, in conversation with Justine Giannino, Manager of Original Programming (Current Series & Development) at IFC TV; JD Amato, Director and Executive Producer of The Chris Gethard Show; Jasmine Pierce, Writer at Reductress and Heidi Vanderlee, Publicist at Shark Party Media.

Tuesday, February 7, 7:00pm

February 2017 NY Tech Meetup and Afterparty

Join fellow technologists for an evening of live demos from companies developing great technology in New York, followed by a networking afterparty.

Wednesday, February 8, 2:00pm

Accessibility, Mobility, and Design

A conversation about the meaning of mobility and the role of design as a process that can cultivate a culture of accessibility that goes beyond accommodations. Sara Hendren (Olin College of Engineering) and April Coughlin (SUNY, New Paltz) will discuss physical, structural, social, and attitudinal barriers within and outside of the classroom, that shape access to education for students with disabilities. The discussion will be moderated by Jessica Murray (Futures Initiative Fellow, GC Doctoral Student in Human Development). You can also watch the live stream at bit.ly/FuturesED-live and follow along at #fight4edu.

Wednesday, February 8, 6:00pm

Proposition: We Can Solve The Fake News Problem

Conversations is a series of events focused on open discussions on the changing new media landscape. Our events will feature panels with insights from the most respected news organizations, the newest disruptive publishers, and tech and media thought leaders. Through conversations, let’s work to transform media together.
The role of fake news — from PizzaGate to the 2016 election — is of grave importance, and a debate is roiling in tech and media circles about its impact and what can be done to curb it going forward.

By the time we reach the next presidential election cycle, the volume of fake and machine-generated news, information, commentary and debate may explode. From algorithmically composed text to photorealistic video simulations of people and events, from conversational bots to machine-generated audio that is indiscernible from the voices of politicians, there is a high probability that discourse among citizens will take place in a universe of fictions.

This event — structured as a debate — will chart and discuss key areas of technological advance that will impact the information landscape and consider how technology companies, media, governments and academia will respond to the benefit or detriment of democracy. It will imagine potential futures, and identify developments that are key to understanding which of those futures is most likely to play out. Crucially, it will ask the audience to decide: can we solve this problem? Or is fake news an unavoidable side effect of the internet?

Wednesday, February 8, 6:00pm

Research & Understand (Discover)

For BigApps participants — In this session, we will apply a human-centered and empathic approach to design research and ethnography in order to deeply understand unmet user needs. Some of these activities will include user and subject matter expert interviews, as well as observations and secondary research. Participants will come away with an understanding of the core principles of design research.

Thursday, February 9, 3:00pm

Civic Hacker Hours

Join Civic Hall members & the Hacker Hours community for an informal coworking session to give & receive support from developers, engineers, data scientists, and other technical professionals. Open to all skill levels.

Thursday, February 9, 6:00pm

The Cooperative Platform Economy: A Conversation with Trebor Scholz and Yochai Benkler

Hear Trebor Scholz in conversation with Yochai Benkler to celebrate the publication of Trebor’s new books, Uberworked and Underpaid: How Workers are Disrupting the Digital Economy (Polity) and, co-edited with Nathan Schneider, Ours to Hack and to Own. The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet (OR Books).

Thursday, February 9, 6:00pm

How can government agencies rethink public space to sustain lasting value?

For the second installment of the Parks Without Borders Discussion Series, NYC Parks welcomes leadership from New York City’s Public Design Commission. This discussion will delve into how government agencies can rethink guidelines, concepts, and expectations to sustain lasting value, helping to support a more seamless public realm.

Speakers:
Justin Moore, AICP Executive Director of NYC Public Design Commission
Signe Nielsen, FASLA, President for NYC Public Design Commission

Moderated by:
Nancy Prince, Deputy Chief of Design for NYC Parks

Saturday, February 11, 9:00am

Girl Develop It: Hackentine’s Day

Girl Develop It NYC is hosting its first-ever hackathon! It will be a one day event for all skill levels to work in groups on projects with the added bonus of skill-building workshops attendees can sign up for. This is a great opportunity to try out a hackathon with beginners like you, learn new skills and work on exciting projects with support from mentors and other GDI members.

Saturday, February 11, 2:00pm

Celebrating The Diaspora: Highlighting the Richness and Diversity of Black History (past, present, & future)

2017 NMACDST CHANGE MAKER AWARDS will be presented to:

Edna Simbi, Upendo Women’s Foundation
Wayne Devonish, 500 Men Making A Difference

The 2017 Youth On The Move Award will be presented to:
Jtara Clark, NAACP New York Branch’s Youth Committee

Performances by:
Broadway’s – Joaquina Kalukango, MOVE(NYC), Mfoniso Udofia, J. F. Seary & More

Please join us for – Food . Fellowship . Vendor & Exhibit from The National Black Theatre

This event is Free & Open to The Public

Monday, February 13, 6:30pm

No One Ever Said Mapping Time Was Easy.

If you’ve ever tried to map a historical database, you understand how hard it is to do all the things at once. Showing data over time presents unique issues: overlapping features, navigation through time and parallel boundaries/standards/data are just the beginning.

Well, we are going to help you get started by presenting a few projects which went all the way there. Whether through obsession or assigmnet, they’ve scraped old books and photographed old maps. They’ve digitized and georeferenced. And they’ve finally made something new from the activities of the past.

So join us for a little time-travel with maps. We look forward to seeing you in the past and future.

Wednesday, February 15, 6:30pm

Startup Cities

Entrepreneurs, economists, and urbanist thinkers join forces to discuss the actions, effects, and impacts of startup methodology for cities.

Join the conversation!

Wednesday, February 15, 6:30pm

Digital Pioneers and the Urban Environment

Across the United States, designers are using cognitive computing and data analysis to help American cities meet the needs of their diverse populations. Tiffany Chu, Code for America fellow and cofounder of the public transport data initiative Remix; Adam Cutler, distinguished designer at IBM Design; and Sarah Williams, director of MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab and cocreator of the City Digits: Local Lotto project, will discuss the promise and challenges of this important partnership with moderator Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design. Remix and City Digits: Local Lotto are currently on view in the special exhibition By the People: Designing a Better America.

*This event has a $15 admission price. Admission is reduced to $8 for educators, seniors, and students.*

Wednesday, February 15, 7pm

Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy

Some of the most remarkable impacts of digital media on political activism lie not in the new types of speech it supports, but in the new forms of listening that it fosters among organized pressure groups. Organized advocacy groups are increasingly turning to digital analytics in order to gauge supporter interest, monitor public sentiment, experiment with new tactics, and craft strategies that resonate in the new media environment. In his new book, Analytic Activism, Dave Karpf discusses the heretofore overlooked role of analytics in organized political engagement. He explores how this new mode of activism works, how it is produced, what it is useful for, and what its limitations are. In this public talk, he’ll discuss how the themes of Analytic Activism relate to the new challenges we face in the He Who Must Not Be Named Era.

Thursday, February 16, 6:00pm

Shades of Intimacy: Women in the Time of Revolution

In her trenchant analysis of U.S. history, literary critic and Black feminist scholar Hortense Spillers considers the aftermath of the notion of partus sequitur ventrem—the “American ‘innovation’ that proclaimed that the child born of an enslaved mother would also be enslaved.” In this lecture, Spillers engages the idea of the “shadow” family to explain one of the tectonic shifts in the concept and practice of social relations in the New World from the 18th century—a period of profound contradiction and change when dangerously hegemonic definitions of race, gender, and family took hold—onward. Registration for the evening lecture is preferred but not required.

Friday, February 17, 12:00pm

Machine Eatable: The Journey from Analytics to Editorial

Journalism’s adjustment to the digital age has required a crash course in data and analytics. The editor’s hunch now sits next to realtime metrics on content performance across a dizzying array of channels.

How do leading publications like The New York Times adjust to a wide range of new competitors? How has data been introduced to newsroom staff and leadership? How has it affected newsroom decision making? What can be done to ensure that we protect the craft of investigative journalism while ensuring it finds and resonates with a meaningful audience?

Please join us for a rich, attendee-driven discussion on what data-driven journalism should look like and how it should serve a society in need. Also, sandwiches. Always sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 21, 6:00pm

For BigApps Participants — In this session, we will identify patterns across qualitative and quantitative data sets. We’ll explore open source data & reports, interpret qualitative data from our interviews and learn data visualization techniques. From there, we’ll generate insights to highlight the opportunities for initial product concept direction.

Thursday, February 23, 6:00pm

How Does Technology Enrich Urban Policy?

Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company that imagines, designs, tests, and builds new technologies that address big urban problems across a range of areas, from mobility to housing to government services.

Upcoming:

Saturday, March 4th, all day

Save the date: NYC School of Data

NYC School of Data 2017 – Save the Date

Saturday, Mar 4, 2017, 9:00 AM

No location yet.

106 Brigade Members Attending

The New York City School of Data is a collaborative network improving the City’s data ecosystem. This network seeks to enrich our lives and communities through technology, data, & design. This year, we will invited civic hackers and community based organizations to learn from each other and share how we can improve our communities and our data.Thi…

Check out this Meetup →

RECAP: Lightning Talks with Tech Jobs Academy

With the start of a new year, people around the world generally make resolutions to themselves [to do better things and be better people].  These resolutions can run the gamut, but the one thing they seem to all have in common is the want and desire to improve—whether it be to improve on one’s self, one’s circumstances, one’s environment etc.  

The beginning of 2017 is very significant for the Tech Jobs Academy program as we celebrate one year of the program and are still freshly excited about our second cohort, who graduated three months ago. Keeping with the spirit of new beginnings and new resolutions, last week we celebrated the new year by hosting a “Tech Jobs Academy Lightning Talk” which featured three awesome graduates from our first cohort.  

The goal of this event was very simple—provide an opportunity for the program’s two cohorts to get together and hear from some of their peers who are utilizing the skills they’ve learned in Tech Jobs Academy in their every day work. It was a chance to share, to learn, to grow, to be vulnerable and to be present. We were fortunate to have three keynote speakers who all took a different approach on sharing their experiences in Tech Jobs Academy, their paths leading up to Tech Jobs Academy and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Abel Chajet, Information Technology Support Specialist at The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) provided an overview of his path to Tech Jobs Academy which started off with a deep love and appreciation for technology. Despite his tech interest, he always felt barriers to building on and deepening his skill set. Abel remarked that the things he felt were missing from his different academic experiences prior to Tech Jobs Academy were great resources and peers.

He explained to the room that beyond the wonderful technical skills he acquired in Tech Jobs Academy, he learned even more about the importance of “networking with more than just Ethernet cables and switches!” In fact, his networking led him to connecting with Bradley Michelson, Director of Business Development at Idealist and friend to our team, who then was able to connect him to CSG Justice Center. For Abel, it was important to work for an organization like the CSG Justice Center because he felt “it would be fitting to serve the public good because so many public resources have been spent” building him up.

 

Makini Osson, IT Helpdesk Engineer at WCA Technologies Inc., provided encouragement to her peers to constantly talk about the work you’re doing to your network and to constantly do things that will showcase yourself and your abilities.

Through her presence both online and offline, Makini was able to land in a career path where she is able to expand on her skills using what she learned throughout the program. In fact, the president of her company told her she was primarily hired because of her training in Azure, since many of their clients, who are small businesses, were beginning to migrate to the cloud. Makini concluded her remarks by quoting Albert Einstein, “life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

David Linton, Service Desk Engineer at Dataprise, concluded the series by detailing his extremely diverse path to Tech Jobs Academy and by emphasizing the point Makini made of communicating with your network the work you’re doing.  

David opened by saying his first introduction to the New York City College of Technology (CUNY City Tech) came a number of years ago when he was enrolled as a Computer Science major studying computer engineering.  His time there, however, was cut short when he was told by a professor that computer engineering was a dying field if you weren’t on the teaching side.

From there, David entered the workforce doing various jobs including producing fashion shows, working for the radio station “Hot 97” to working as an Operations Director for a bus company. It was during this particular role that David was re-introduced to technology and his passion for it because his manager also wanted him to work as the main IT professional on staff. It was also around this time that David, drawing from his various work experiences, created his own one-man video, photography and web design consulting business called No Introductions.  

When David was laid off around the recession, he continued growing and building No Introductions. A few short years later David accepted a position as a Video Manager at a company that also wanted him to work as an IT Coordinator. It was here where his love for technology resurfaced and coincidentally it was during this role that he found out about Tech Jobs Academy.  David felt this opportunity could be his big break into strengthening his technical chops and adding to his portfolio.  

Fast forward to Tech Jobs Academy. David made it a point to utilize social media platforms to share the work he was doing in the program, and this simple yet powerful act allowed him to gain contracts for small businesses, where he could set up and manage their wi-fi connections and build servers for their network. David concluded by reiterating that no matter how long it takes, if you’re passionate, dedicated and committed things always have a way of working out.  

As someone who joined the Microsoft Tech Jobs Academy team well into the first cohort, one thing working on this program has shown me is that New York City is fortunate to have talented and passionate people with great drive and ability who are just looking for an opportunity.  Beyond that, it’s shown me that when you bring these types individuals together from it grows a supportive and nurturing community dedicated to paying it forward for generations to come.

Microsoft New York Team Demo Night

Each season, we take a moment to showcase our team’s latest work, share updates to existing projects, and make key announcements. It’s an opportunity to bring our community in on key programs, as well as a forcing function to ship code! You can watch the presentations below, and check out previous demo nights and events on our YouTube channel. Thanks to everyone who joined us at the Microsoft Reactor at Grand Central Tech Friday evening!

The evening’s presentations include:

  • Matt Stempeck – Vision Zero with DataKind (at 06:35 in the video)
  • Briana Vecchione – Civic Graph (at 10:03)
  • Ross Dakin – Microsoft Translator (at 15:46)
  • Rebecca Garcia – Tech Jobs Academy (at 19:53)
  • Natasha Scantlebury – Tech Jobs Academy (at 24:53)
  • Matt Stempeck – Campaign Technology and Civic Engagement (at 35:10)
  • John Paul Farmer – State of Civic Tech (at 42:34)

Thanks to Joly MacFie of the Internet Society New York chapter for recording the event.

Some top tweets from the night:

Civic Tech Events This January in NYC

msny-events-january

Happy 2017! It’s time to shrug off the holiday lethargy and kickstart the new year the only way we know how: with the best events in civic tech NYC has to offer.

Here are our top picks for January 2017:

January 5

Brooklyn Innovation Awards

Get ready for the Brooklyn Innovation Awards 2016! It’s our 2nd annual awards ceremony where we throw a party to celebrate the nominees, the community and announce the winners.

We’ll keep the talking to a minimum and make this more about a chance to meet and connect with each other. The goal is to honor the game changers of our community.

January 10

NY Tech Meetup + Afterparty

Join fellow technologists for an evening of live demos from companies developing great technology in New York, followed by a networking afterparty.

January 11

Women in Tech Panel

Calling all women in tech!

Come out for a fun night of networking and candid discussion about women in leadership.

January 12

NYC BigApps 2017 Launch Event

We are thrilled to launch NYC BigApps 2017 with a public event at Grand Central Tech! We encourage designers, developers, entrepreneurs, students, and New Yorkers at large to participate by joining us. Come for NYCEDC’s official announcement of this year’s challenges and stay for an interactive workshop to jumpstart ideas and team formation.

January 13

Microsoft Civic Tech Fellow Demo Night

Come join Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Innovation team as we showcase our latest work and the progress we’re making in using technology for public good right here in NYC. Our team is passionate about creating and deploying useful tools and programs to support the growing civic tech movement. Come see what we’ve been up to, have a drink, and connect with other civic technologists as 2017 heats up.

You’ll hear from:

  • Rebecca Garcia and Natasha Scantlebury, Tech Jobs Academy
  • Briana Vecchione, Civic Graph
  • Ross Dakin, Microsoft Translator
  • Matt Stempeck, Campaign Technology and Civic Engagement
  • John Paul Farmer, Director of Technology and Civic Innovation at Microsoft

Doors (and the bar) will open at 6:00pm, with presentations beginning at 6:30 pm.

January 13-15

Debug Politics: 1st NYC Hackathon

The first NYC Debug Politics Hackathon will happen the weekend of Jan 13-15. You can RSVP to attend here.

Debug Politics Hackathon is also coming to LA and will happen the weekend of Feb 3-5. Details are here.

If you want a better political process for this country, and really any country, and you want to hack on that desire, then consider attending one of these events.

January 17

Machine Learning & Big Data Project Demo Day

During this event you will see some of the best machine learning and big data projects created by NYC Data Science Academy 12-week Data Science bootcamp students.

You will also have an opportunity to meet our bootcamp students and find out more about what it is like to be a student at NYC Data Science Academy and gain an overview of the program. Join us for data wrangling tips, fun facts and in-depth discussions.

January 18

How can innovative park planning create a more seamless public realm?

NYC Parks is excited to host the first discussion of the new series by welcoming park leadership from across the country for a conversation about the public realm and how innovative park planning is changing the face of cities for the better.

Speakers:

  • Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
  • Jayne Miller, Superintendent, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board
  • Jane Rudolph, Director, Department of Parks and Recreation for Arlington Virginia
  • Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Commissioner, NYC Parks
  • Moderated by:
    Lynn B. Kelly, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Parks

January 20

Playcrafting + Microsoft 2017 Global Game Jam!

Join us for a weekend of game-making plus free talks and workshops, refreshments and prizes! Stay tuned to this page as we confirm speakers, workshops and prizes in the coming weeks! Want an idea of what’s in store? Check out this recap from last year presented by Xbox’s own Major Nelson (Larry Hyrb)!

NYC Port & Logistics Hackathon

You heard it before, software is eating the world. There is plenty of eating to do in the Ports and Logistics sectors. Ports America, the Port Authority of NY/NJ and the world’s largest shipping line, Mærsk Line, are backing a hackathon focusing on Ports and Logistics.

100+ participants with multiple backgrounds – developers, business people, designers, domain experts, and yes even lawyers – will gather for 48 hours of building prototypes, rapid fire market validation and business model invention.

The event will be hosted by the Manhattan Cruise Terminal and will take place from 5.30pm Friday January 20th to 6pm Sunday January 22nd.

January 23

Smart City Panel Discussion for Australian Trade Commission

During this panel discussion the EDC, MOTI, and GFG will talk about the current status and future of the Smart City environment in NYC, their current projects, and how the International Trade and Urban Tech divisions meet. There will be an opportunity for companies to do pitch presentations of their projects.

January 24

She Geeks Out Happy Hour Sponsored by BounceX

Join She Geeks Out and BounceX for a Happy Hour at their space in the New York Times Building! We are thrilled to return to NYC, and what better way to ring in the New Year than spending some time meeting and mingling with other geeky awesome women? Expect wonderful company, delicious food and plenty of drinks. We’re looking forward to kicking off 2017 with you!

Please note that this is a women-only event that intends an inclusive definition of women. We are welcoming and respectful of trans women and any others who identify as a woman in a way that is significant to them.

January 25

Rotary Club of Wall Street

The Rotary Club of Wall Street NY was chartered on January 23, 2010. Join them on January 25 to celebrate our 7th birthday & learn more about the club!

January 26

LMHQ Women’s Breakfast: Build Your Dream Network with Kelly Hoey

Join us at LMHQ for our first women’s breakfast of 2017 where we’ll host author, connector, and networking expert Kelly Hoey to speak about her new book, Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World (Penguin Random House). Moderated by author, executive coach, and motivational speaker Colette Ellis, Kelly will pull back the curtain on how to “stop committing random acts of networking” and create a modern roadmap for cultivating meaningful connections.

January 27

Actualize NYC January Showcase Lunch Hour

Join Actualize for the Actualize Showcase Lunch Hour in NYC!

The Showcase is an open-house style event where our graduates present their individual Capstone projects – web apps created from scratch using our full stack of frameworks and languages. There’s also networking and, as always, hot food and cold beer!

January 30

Disruptive Technologists: Augmented Reality Experience

HoloLens, the first fully self-contained, head-mounted, holographic computer, developed and manufactured by Microsoft. . HoloLens gained popularity for being one of the first computers running the Windows Holographic platform under the Windows 10 operating system. Developer Nick Landry will present the latest along with four other AR experts.

Year in Review: 2016 in Civic Tech

msny-2016

We’ve spent our 2016 working forward in civic tech, while sharing stories of leaders in technology and civic progress right here on our blog. Thank you to everyone who has used their voice this year to help us elevate others in the New York area.

A look back at an amazing year on the Microsoft New York Blog:

January

Microsoft New York welcomes District General Manager Laura Clayton McDonnell

We welcomed the newest member of the New York Metro District team — our district general manager, Laura Clayton McDonnell. McDonnell brings a wealth of knowledge in sales management and legal experience, most recently in executive roles at Aspect Software, IBM, Sun and Apple.

IMG_20160115_113237DataViz for good: How to ethically communicate data in a visual manner: #RDFviz
Matt Stempeck

Microsoft’s Director of Civic Technology in New York City, Matt Stempeck, recaps his experience at the Responsible Data Forum, a collaborative effort to develop useful tools and strategies for dealing with the ethical, security and privacy challenges facing data-driven advocacy. Topics included non-screen data visualizations, communicating uncertainty in data and more.

February

OnyiVoices of Change — The Future of Technology and the Black Community
Onyi Nwosu, Computer Science Engineer, Black Girls Code

Diversity and inclusion are critical underpinnings to our evolving culture at Microsoft and powerful bridges to the marketplace. For Black History Month, month, we were honored to feature the voices of local leaders who represent our commitment to diversity and use their drive to help the community in which they serve. One of those people is Onyi Nwosu, a computer science engineer at Black Girls Code.

April

civic-tech-1Towards a taxonomy of civic technology

What is civic technology? It’s a question we’re asked often. As Microsoft’s team behind Technology and Civic Engagement, there’s no one “real” answer. Matt Stempeck, Director of Civic Technology, went to Barcelona for The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (TICTeC) to help spread the word of civic tech and explain what it is exactly that we do.

May

Tech Jobs AcademyCelebrating Tech Jobs Academy
John Paul Farmer

Twenty three incredible New Yorkers and their families gathered at Civic Hall to celebrate an accomplishment that would have been impossible just a few months prior. But, like most overnight successes, this one was actually years in the making. Microsoft New York’s Director of Technology & Civic Innovation, John Paul Farmer, told the story of how Tech Jobs Academy came to be.

June

Fellow Profile: Hannah Cutler

Every year, we gain an incredible cohort of civic technology fellows who inspire us through their hard work and dedication to utilize technology in local government and community applications. With each step forward our fellows make, we help make New York City more interconnected through technology. Meet one of our fellows, Hannah Cutler.

August

Welcoming Ross Dakin to the Microsoft NY Team
Ross Dakin

Ross Dakin joined the Microsoft Technology and Civic Innovation team, where he’s excited to use data and technology for social good. He came to us with a deep understanding of civic tech via his former positions at Silicon Valley companies and as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow.

rocinha-favelaQuadratic Voting: Civic Tech for Eminent Domain
E. Glen Weyl, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City

E. Glen Weyl, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City, wrote about a new voting system he devised, called Quadratic Voting, in which individuals can buy additional votes on an issue at an increasing cost. Beyond eminent domain, Quadratic Voting has a variety of other uses in cities and politics more broadly, allowing citizens to find compromises that allow them to have more say on the issues most important to them in exchange for letting their fellow citizens have their way on the issues more important to them.

Meet High School Intern: Sagar Punjabi

Microsoft is committed to developing junior talent and championing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related fields. Over the summer, we were thrilled to host high school students as part of our NYC Microsoft High School Summer Internship Program (HSIP). We interviewed one of our high school interns, Sagar Punjabi.

October

panorama-entrance01-low-resMicrosoft Reactor opens to spur tech innovation in New York City

Expanding on its commitment to innovation, Microsoft celebrated the grand opening of its latest Microsoft Reactor, based in New York City’s iconic Grand Central Terminal. This is the third Reactor where businesses, universities, governments and entrepreneurs can come together and access the latest Microsoft technologies and expert resources.

November

City Year New York Makes a Difference at JHS218 James P Sinnott Middle School
Donna Abrusci

City Year New York deploys 257 highly skilled AmeriCorps members to serve in 24 elementary, middle and high schools. Laura Clayton McDonnell (GM of Microsoft New York), Antuan Santana (Operations & Community Manager) and Donna Abrusci (Business Program Manager) visited the City Year New York corp member team at JHS218 James P Sinnott Middle School.

December

CoderDojo NYC students work at the Microsoft Store on 5th Ave. Photo from CoderDojo NYC. Coding Outside the Classroom: CoderDojo NYC Teaches Children Computer Science Fundamentals

Although New York announced plans to offer all students programming classes by 2025, fewer than 10 percent of city schools currently offer any form of computer science education, and only 1 percent of students are currently in CS classes. But students do have interest. Living proof is CoderDojo, a global network of programming clubs for young people.

Thank you to all who joined us in sharing the important stories that shape our community. Let’s work together for an incredible 2017.

Event Recap: Discovering Urban Tech at Microsoft’s NYC Reactor

Last week, we joined CUNY Tech Meetup for Discover Urban Tech at Microsoft’s NYC Reactor, a celebration of local technology that is making our city better, step by step. We were thrilled to host the event at our new Microsoft Reactor location at the Hub @ Grand Central Tech.

Speakers included:

Some highlights from the event:

 

Celebrating Early College Initiative at CUNY

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-2-30-42-pm

In November 2016, Idealist, Microsoft, and CUNY brought together 150 students, technologists, educators, and business leaders to celebrate the partnerships that drive an innovative new model that brings STEM career pathways to high school students—the Early College Initiative at CUNY. Over the course of six years, the program provides a high school education along with internship and college experience and works to close the gap between young people’s ambitions for college and careers and the specific skills needed by employers in high growth industries.

More than 20 students who are part of the Early College Initiative attended the event which was at the new Microsoft Reactor Space and part of the Idealist Tech++ event series, appropriately created to bring together students, educators, job seekers, employers, and anyone else interested in the pipeline for social good tech careers.  The students and attendees heard from and were able to speak with industry leaders such as Bradley Michelson from Idealist, Natasha Scantlebury from Microsoft, Robinson Hernandez from the Urban Tech Hub at Grand Central Tech, and Dawn Barber from CUNY Tech Meetup. These leaders exemplified the power of networking and partnerships, and stressed to students to engage with like-minded groups in and out of their own communities.

A short video about the event and the Early College Initiative.

The event celebrated the collaboration of many of those passionately involved in the program already including Ellen Hogarty of CUNY ECI, Cass Conrad from CUNY, Hilary Ayala from Con Edison, Dana Politis from Montefiore Medical Center, Denise Ward from the Queensborough Community College, and Reina Utsunomiya from NYC Department of Education. There was wonderful discussion about how the program disrupts the current educational system by offering a focused track for high school students, including Destiny Jacobs and Bryann Sandy, who shared how their ECI internships gave them invaluable experience at IBM and NYC Transit. Partner companies also present in joining the celebration were New York Presbyterian, National Grid, the 4A’s, and more.

Partnerships are the cornerstone of the ECI learning model–especially those that provide students with internships and a formative first-work experience. These internships enable students to heighten their understanding of the world of work, refine their technical skills, and contribute to employers’ project-based needs.  Internships help students experience the connection between work and learning.  The Early College Initiative views internships as closely supervised work experiences informed by an intentional learning strategy.  To that end, ECI is committed to providing eligible students with at least one internship experience during their enrollment at a 9-14 Early College & Career School. Additionally, all students will have access to a wide array of work-exposure activities, including mentoring, job shadowing, and more.

ECI embraces seven guidelines for identifying appropriate partnership sites for students currently enrolled in 9-14 Early College & Career Schools.  Internships endorsed by the Early College Initiative must:

  1. Extend the knowledge gained in the classroom and identify clear learning outcomes.
  2. Provide an opportunity to gain transferrable skills.
  3. Clearly identify a defined work period (beginning and end date), number of hours per week, and job description with specific qualifications.
  4. Identify a designated supervisor and/or mentor with at least three years of professional experience in the field.
  5. Include constructive feedback from the designated supervisor, and provide multiple opportunities to observe the internship site.
  6. Exhibit adequate employer resources to facilitate interns’ success: (i.e. work space)
  7. Clearly identify specific projects for the intern to complete.

Please reach out if you are interested in learning more about sponsoring academic year and summer internship opportunities at ecipartnerships@cuny.edu. If you are interested in being part of the Idealist Tech++ event series, please reach out to bradley@idealist.org.

Looking Back at Computer Science Education Week 2016

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Last week, we joined a revolution as Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) launched worldwide, inspiring students to incorporate CS education into their daily lives. We celebrated by sharing stories like CoderDojo‘s special computer science lessons for children, and by participating in Hour of Code events throughout the New York Metro area.

Meanwhile, our community engaged on the same level, hosting Hour of Code events at New York Public Schools and beyond. We’re thrilled to see our neighbors committed to the future of education, honoring the importance of computer science for all.

A look at local celebrations of CSEdWeek:

Find out more about #hourofcode here: hourofcode.com/us.