What is Civic Tech?
How can we make Albuquerque – and other cities and regions throughout New Mexico – better platforms for everyone to engage with government more effectively, improve their ability to do business, and get the most out of their lives?
On Saturday, June 1st, NMTC, together with the City of Albuquerque, University of New Mexico, Google Developers Group and other partners are hosting the area’s first “Civic Tech Day” as part of the “National Day of Civic Hacking.” Together, we’ll share some thoughts and information, launch some much-needed discussions and build a few things to make Albuquerque a better place to work and really live.
Looking for a challenge? You can view the list of federal/national challenges here.
But what are a few challenges, you might ask…
#WELOVEDATA (Sponsoring Agency: NASA)
“This challenge builds on the popular “We Love Data” challenge from the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. The idea is to leverage NASA’s vast open data resources and to help us think differently about how citizens can engage and use spaceflight data. This is an open ideation challenge to develop software, hardware, or visualizations of space data in order to encourage people to interact with the data in new and meaningful ways.”
FARMERS MARKET DIRECTORY (Sponsoring Agency: USDA)
“USDA has made significant improvements to the Directory over the past few years, culminating most recently in the API release. We recognize that for many, a trip to the Farmers Market is an event worth planning – whether you’re on vacation or exploring a new Market, deciding to take an umbrella or sunblock, or trying to find new ways to prepare the fresh, local goods that are in season. Farmers Markets are extremely social spaces and we believe a mobile app that facilitates social interaction and sharing will make the experience even more worthwhile for vendors, customers and the community.”
HELP STUDENTS THRIVE – THE EDUCATION CHALLENGE (Sponsors: ACT, Intel Corporation)
“An endless amount of data regarding education resources exists on the web – school curriculum, district standards, testing reports, school evaluations, college sites, scholarships, free online courses, etc…. Yet, it is often incredibly difficult to access and easily understand for students, families and even professional educators. Our goal is to harness this data to support key decision points for individuals as they pursue their life-long learning and growth goals.”
Other smart cities/teams around the world have participated in a variety of events to use data to improve the places they live. One example is the Sustainable Neighborhoods initiative from Wallpaper & BMW i:
Wallpaper * and BMW i gave six creative teams the opportunity to help shape the future of their urban environments. The cities of the 20th Century were marked by public and private transport. The great challenge of the 21st Century is the development of megacities.
A common starting point for many of us advocating for Government 2.0, Open Government and Civic Tech is Code for America (an Organizing Partner in the National Day of Civic Hacking) and their CfA “Brigades.” They’re fantastic. One great tool they’ve launched to help communities like ours see and build on the work of other communities is the new “Engagement Commons.”
“Currently civic leaders have to start from scratch when wanting to leverage tech to engage citizens. Engagement Commons aims to be a dynamic resource that both catalogs engagement-focused civic technology and highlights stories of successful use cases”
We’ll revisit some of these and provide more as we approach our Civic Tech Day on June 1st – and continue to build and connect our communities throughout the year. But… part of engagement is sharing, suggesting, discussing and more. We hope to see you on June 1st (sign up HERE), but you can also make suggestions and vote on others ideas at Google Moderator!