TODD LIghtning Talks

TODD 2016 Lightning Talks

Raleigh, NC – The lightning talks for Triangle Open Data Day have been announced and this is a great line up of speakers! There is still time to register for TODD.

Lightning Talks

TODD and Lightning Talk Details

The lightning talks are scheduled from 11 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday, March 5, 2016.

  • TODD Website
  • When: Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 8:30 AM – Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 5:00 PM (EST)
  • Where: College of Engineering Engineering Building II, NCSU Centennial Campus, 890 Oval Dr, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • Why: Help our cities and counties by using open data
  • TODD Registration Site

Lightning NOAA by C. Clark – NOAA Photo Library

All Things Open 2015

All Things Open – A Huge Success!

Raleigh, NC – All Things Open 2015 continues the series of this very popular event in Raleigh, NC with another huge success:

  • Attendance reported at over 1,750.
  • A great lineup of thought leaders in the Open fields.
  • Great networking opportunities.
  • A “Who’s Who” of the vendor community.
  • etc…

If you are not here, I bet you wish you were.

Day 1 was phenomenal and Day 2 looks just as good. This is not a conference where you attend a session because it mildly interests you, this is a conference where you are torn between 2 or 3 options that you really want to attend.

Make sure that All Things Open is on your calendar for next year!

Previous Articles on All Things Open

CityCamp NC Collage Picture

CityCamp NC Kicks Off on June 11

Raleigh NC – CityCamp NC, an event to bring citizens, government, businesses and academic communities together to openly innovate and improve life through technology. Focused on local municipalities, CityCamp is international unconference series. Registration is now open!  Students with a valid ID get in free but still need to register. Registered participants will be provided breakfast and lunch on Friday and Saturday. To get involved with CityCamp’s planning or volunteering opportunities, contact Chris Mathews or Jason Hibbets.

Register now as seating is limited!

Thursday, June 11, 2015 | Starting at 6:00 pm

CityCamp will be kicking things off at HQ Raleigh (310 South Harrington Street, Raleigh, NC 27601) with lightning talks and Taste of CityCampNC.

Friday, June 12, 2015 | Starting at 9:00 am

CityCamp will be switching venues to the Wake County Commons Building (4011 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610) for the unconference, GIS panel, and keynote. This years keynote speaker, Mark Headd, was one of the founding members of Code For America and is currently a Technical Evangelist for Accela, Inc.

Saturday, June 13, 2015 | Starting at 9:00 am

Held at the same venue as Friday’s unconference (the Wake County Commons Building), teams will be given the chance to work on their projects and presentations. Presentations will begin at 3:00 pm and end at 5:00 pm.
Anyone not participating on a team can join the hackathon and work on a number of projects for the community.

CityCamp NC Information

Code for America Digital Front Door Initiative

Code for America Digital Front Door Initiative

Cary, NC – Code for America has undertaken the Digital Front Door Initiative, an effort to design city websites with people in mind. The approach is to be data-driven, quick, actionable, immediately relevant and decentralized.

Tech Tank will run a series looking at several cities that are redesigning the process where they recreate their City Websites. Lets look first at the principles of the Code for America Digital Front Door Initiative:

Goals for the Digital Front Door

We put together a list of nine principles for cities that want to launch a Digital Front Door. Every city that launches one agrees to:

  1. Embrace digital services as central to governing
    • Government services should be “digital by default,” available to us on the mainstream platforms and technologies we already use.
    • Services should be useful, accessible, and add value to our lives.
    • Government should do more than broadcast out. Tools should make room for interaction, feedback, and citizen participation.
  2. Design with empathy, establish trust
    • Government service design should reflect a respect for our time, dignity, and abilities.
    • When the act of renewing a driver’s license, filing a request, or getting a business license is pleasant, citizens begin to trust and appreciate government.
    • Services should be compelling enough that citizens prefer to use them.
  3. Serve everyone
    • Government services should be designed to reach as many citizens as possible regardless of income, location, language, or access to technology.
    • Government employees should get out of the building, test assumptions with real citizens, and tweak service design to improve it on a regular basis.
  4. Encourage citizen participation
    • Governments and citizens should share in decision-making and service design.
    • Services should be built to anticipate participation from employees and citizens in the design and development process.
  5. Be transparent and accountable
    • Let citizens and staff see and support what’s going on in government, whether it’s purchasing data, viewing open source code, or accessing open data portals.
    • Governments should be clear on the goals of a service and identify areas that can be measured, displayed, and improved on by employees and the public.
  6. Build for flexibility, welcome change
    • Online services are an ongoing investment that require attention and modification over time.
    • Government services should be launched as evolving pilot projects rather than one-time massive monoliths.
    • Cities should invest in ongoing research, maintenance, and development and should have the internal support to push regular technology upgrades.
  7. Create better processes and policies
    • The best government technologies should be easy-to-use and useful in a city employee’s regular work routine.
    • Government technology should reduce overall workload and increase the efficiency of city employees.
    • City policies should support the creation and deployment of better online services.
  8. Unlock the capabilities of government employees
    • Governments should expect city employees to tweak and improve on city services.
    • Innovation, technology maintenance, and service design should be a responsibility of all employees, rather than the realm of one group or department.
  9. Get value for tax dollars
    • Whether through short-term trials or pilot programs, no system or vendor solution should be deployed en masse without evidence of success.
    • When investing in technology, cities should consider their internal skills and ability to maintain and upgrade that technology in the future.
    • Governments should reduce barriers to the contracting process and encourage greater competition amongst vendors in order to increase options and drive down the cost of technology.
BaleFire Global Joins the Open Data 500

BaleFire Global Joins the Open Data 500

Raleigh, NC – Local start-up Balefire Global has joined the GovLab Open Data 500.

What is the Open Data 500

The Open Data 500 is the first comprehensive study of U.S. companies that use open government data to generate new business and develop new products and services. Open Data is free, public data that can be used to launch commercial and nonprofit ventures, do research, make data-driven decisions, and solve complex problems.

BaleFire Global joins 4 other NC based companies in the Open Data 500

Who is BaleFire Global?

BaleFire Global provides training, civic engagement and client success to NGOs and governments around the world. As an Open Data Institute Node we provide open data thought leadership and strategy as well as implementation and custom design. Our goal is to build a citizen experience the leads to transparency and positive economic impact using your open government data.

Sunshine Center of the NC Open Government Coalition image

Sunshine Day 2014

Burlington, NC – Monday, March 17, 2014 is Sunshine Day in North Carolina (in addition to St. Patrick’s Day). The Sunshine Center of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition will host the Sunshine Day event at Elon College from Noon to 4:00 PM (EDT).

This year, Open Data is highlighted at Sunshine Day with the keynote address by Waldo Jaquith, Director of the U.S. Open Data Institute and a panel discussion: ‘Open Data in North Carolina’ with Ryan Thornburg, Founder, Open N.C. & Professor at UNC School of Journalism and Jason Hare, Founder, North Carolina Open Data Institute.

What is Sunshine Day?

“Open government is good government”. Join us in a nationwide discussion about the importance of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.

Sunshine Day celebrates Sunshine Week, March 16-22, 2014

Sunshine Day Details

  • What: Sunshine Day 2014
  • When: Monday, March 17, 2014 from Noon to 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Where: Lakeside Hall at the Moseley Center on the Elon University campus.
  • Registration Site
Code for America Logo

Code for America in NC

Research Triangle, NC –

What is Code for America?

Code for America is a 501(c)3 non-profit that envisions a government by the people, for the people, that works in the 21st century.

Our programs change how we participate in government by:

  • connecting citizens and governments to design better services,
  • encouraging low-risk settings for innovation; and,
  • supporting a competitive civic tech marketplace.

Code for America in NC

In 2014, NC will have a large percentage of the Code for America activities in the US.

NC Cities with a Code for America Fellowship Program

NC Cities with Code for America Brigades 

What is a Code for America Fellowship?

The Fellowship is Code for America’s best known program and consists of a one year residency placing developers, designers and researchers within local governments. Over the course of the program, fellows and government partners build apps, inspire new thinking amongst public servants and tackle some of our country’s toughest problems.

What is a Code for America Brigade?

The Brigade network is an ongoing effort to deploy, maintain and sustain civic technology and open data infrastructures. Each Brigade is comprised of local volunteers and government employees who connect for regular hack nights, discussions and app development.

Brigade Projects in the Triangle

  • The Raleigh Brigade was one of 15 inaugural Code for America Brigades in 2012. The Raleigh Brigade participated in the Code for America ‘Race for Reuse’ campaign and developed and deployed the Adopt-a-Shelter app for Raleigh. The Raleigh Brigade sponsors Triangle Wiki and CityCamp NC
  • The Cary Brigade formed in 2013 and is currently working on an app to visualize development data in Cary. The Cary Brigade sponsors Triangle Open Data Day
  • The Durham Brigade formed in 2013 and is currently working on a Durham Restaurant app. The Durham Brigade is working with the City of Durham and Durham County to adopt a joint Open Data Policy
  • In December 2013 the Triangle Brigades cooperated in an event to assist Raleigh with their Open Data Portal

Code for America - Joint meeting to assist Open Raleigh

How Do I Get Involved?

Code for America is an open group and all can join. We need a diverse voice to be effective. Please join your local Meetup Group:

If you don’t live in any of these areas, please contact Ian Henshaw, Brigade Captain for Code for Cary and Managing Partner of Tech Tank, and he will get you connected!

Previous Tech Tank Articles on Code for America

Picture by Reid Serozi

Civic Tech Image from Knight Foundation Report

Trends in Civic Tech

The Knight Foundation has just published an analysis of Civic Tech; The Emergence of Civic Tech: Investments in a Growing Field. The full report can be found on Slideshare.

Over the past few years, the Knight Foundation has seen a ‘groundswell of interest at the nexus of technology, civic innovation, open government and resident engagement’. The analysis identifies clusters of innovation and investment in the Civic Tech area. The Knight Foundation partnered with Quid, a company that specializes in data analytics and network analysis. This analysis is the first of its kind and the Knight Foundation admits that the report is not exhaustive.
The above figure is from page 6 of the report.  Titled Civic Tech: A Convergence of Fields, it illustrates the several Tech fields that are covered in the analysis.  Only those companies and projects that promote civic outcomes were used as the basis for the analysis.

The report is a summary of quite a lot of information. The detailed information used to develop the visualizations and analysis  is available on the Knight Foundation Website for those who wish to do their own analysis.

What follows is the Innovation Clusters that were developed in the course of the analysis and several of the findings that I found interesting from the report.   If you get a chance to study the report, let us and/or the Knight Foundation know what you think.

Innovation Clusters

Open Government

  1. Data Access & Transparency
  2. Data Utility
  3. Public Decision Making
  4. Resident Feedback
  5. Visualization & Mapping
  6. Voting

Community Action

  1. Civic Crowdfunding
  2. Community Organizing
  3. Information Crowdsourcing
  4. Neighborhood Forums
  5. Peer-to-Peer Sharing

Report Findings

  • From 2008 to 2012, the field of civic tech grew at an annual rate of 23%.
  • Community Action clusters are growing at a faster rate than those in Open Government.
  • Compared to the tech industry as a whole, civic tech organizations are relatively young.
  • While the number of grant investments and private investments was relatively even, the vast majority of total capital supporting civic tech came from private investments (84%).
  • Open Government innovation clusters are mostly supported through grant funding while Community Action clusters mostly attracted private capital.
  • Financial investors and individuals support a large share of Community Action investments and Foundations account for more than half of the number of investments in Open Government.
2030 Dashboard Image

Dashboard 2030

Research Triangle, NC – RTI International announced yesterday the release of Dashboard 2030, an online tool to track North Carolina’s progress in economic development, business climate and job growth..

About Dashboard

Dashboard 2030 informs dialogue and catalyzes action to address North Carolina’s economic development challenges and opportunities. It provides independent and objective data on leading indicators of state and business competitiveness. It was created by RTI International and funded by the North Carolina Chamber Foundation, to track progress toward North Carolina Vision 2030 – A Plan for Accelerating Job Growth and Securing North Carolina’s Future.

Dashboard 2013 Design

The guiding principals for development of Dashboard 2013 are:

  • Independence
  • Objectivity
  • Transparency

RTI International was selected for objectivity and independence.  Transparency: The data is provided so that individuals can understand the indicators and perform additional analysis if they want.

A Useful Tool

We hope that this tool will be valuable for policy formation in North Carolina.  Check out Dashboard 2030 and let us know what you think.

The Center for Digital Government Logo

NC Cities 2013 Rank in Digital Cities

Raleigh, NC –

The top digital cities are leaders in open data and transparency efforts, as well as innovators in deploying mobile applications to citizens while conforming to fiscal standards.

The Center for Digital Government‘s Digital Cities Survey is conducted annually in the summer: July – August. All United States cities, towns, villages and consolidated city/county governments with populations of 30,000 or greater are invited to participate in this survey. The awards are presented concurrently with the NLC [National League of Cities] conference held each November.

Congratulations to the 2013 Digital Cities Survey Winners!

250,000 or more population category:

125,000 – 249,999 population category:

Selected Survey Findings -Top 10 Overall Priorities:

  1. Open Government/ Transparency/ Open Data
  2. Mobility / Mobile Applications
  3. Budget and Cost Control
  4. Hire and Retain Competent IT Personnel
  5. Broadband and Connectivity and Portal/ E-government
  6. Cyber Security
  7. Shared Services
  8. Cloud Computing
  9. Disaster Recovery/ Continuity of Operations
  10. Virtualization: Server, Desktop/ Client, Storage, Applications

Related posts:

NC Counties 2013 Rank in Digital Counties