Civic Tech Roundup: September 14, 2016

Welcome to the Civic Tech Roundup! If you’d like to suggest content, please email us at civic.tech@seattle.gov.

Seattle happenings

  • We hired a new Open Data Program Manager! Learn more about David Doyle, who joins us after 18 years at Microsoft and much involvement on the City’s Community Technology Advisory Board.
  • Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods is seeking feedback from the public about their engagement strategy. You can take a two-minute survey, provide more robust feedback on engageseattle.consider.it, or come to an upcoming event like the Civic Tech Lunch Hour and Open Seattle Talks Night listed below. To access the survey in languages other than English, see results to-date, or learn more about their project, visit http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/equitable-outreach-and-engagement.
  • Esperas, a nonprofit that helps people recovering from homelessness gain employment in the tech industry while also contributing to an app that helps others experiencing homelessness find resources, is taking applications for their internship program until September 30. Find out more at http://www.esperas.org/intern.
  • Heads up: The weekend of October 7-9 will feature multiple civic tech events: A hackathon to stop wildlife trafficking at Woodland Park Zoo, a hackathon to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline from Code Fellows and Team Child, and an Alexa Open Data Skills Challenge at Amazon Web Services.

 

In the news

  • GeekWire ran a feature on EarthGames, an interdisciplinary group at University of Washington that builds games to educate people abut climate change.
  • Seattle Weekly ran a feature on local app WeCount, which aims to disrupt homelessness through peer-to-peer sharing.
  • The Mayors of San Francisco and Washington, DC, launched the Council of Global City CIOs, calling it “A Civic Tech Dream, Coming True.”

 

Must-reads

  • Data scientist & mathematician Cathy O’Neill’s book, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, dropped on September 6 and has already stirred up media attention and conversation in the civic tech world with its documentation of the “pernicious feedback loops” that big data can create. Check out her interview with NPR.
  • Mark Cridge, CEO of the UK-based MySociety, was interviewed by the Hewlett Foundation’s David Sasaki. “Lack of access to public services, institutions and elected representatives, especially among disadvantaged or underrepresented groups, is a key driver of exclusion and inequality, yet governments tend only to become better at serving the needs of citizens when those citizens are capable of demanding better services,” he said. Read the full interview on Medium.
  • Tech journalist Steven Levy published a longform profile of Carl Malamud, an open government champion who has been sued by standards development organizations who claim copyright over the legal codes they helped to create.

 

Upcoming events 

Events with official City involvement: 

Community events with a civic tech component: