Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a visit to Capitol Factory, Austin, Tex., September 14, 2016. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Ash Carter wants to keep DOD weird

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the DOD will open its third technology innovation “outpost” in Austin, expanding the reach of the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental that serves as a “bridge between those in the U.S. military executing on some of our nation’s toughest security challenges and companies operating at the cutting edge of technology.”

Photo: Jordi Martorell

Driving smart city innovation with open sensor data (part 4)

While it is commonly acknowledged that cities today produce massive amounts of data, it is less often noted that much of the data referenced is not actually produced directly by city systems, but rather by cities’ ecosystems of partners in domains such as transportation, waste and water management and energy services.

Delivering on Digital

‘Delivering on Digital’

I finished Bill Eggers latest book, “Delivering on Digital: The Innovators and Technologies That Are Transforming Government,” and highly recommend to public sector technology practitioners, especially governments who don’t have the resources to contract with a high-end consulting firm to build out a holistic strategy on their own.

Photo: U.S. Navy

DISA kicks off overhaul of federal background checks

The Defense Information Systems Agency has released a series of videos and request for information for the National Background Investigation System, created in the wake of security incidents that lead to data breaches of millions of federal government employees and contractors.

Railway station of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Photo by Lennon Rodgers CC-BY-SA-3.0-migrated-with-disclaimers

Driving smart city innovation with open sensor data (part 3)

An odd thing happened in Dehradun, the capital city of the northern state of Uttarakhand, when the city received news that it would receive funding as one of 100 cities chosen to participate India’s $15 billion Smart Cities Mission. Rather than celebrating making the coveted list, the city instead found itself embroiled in a dispute that saw local activists take to the woods to hug trees in protest against Dehradun’s smart city proposal.

President Barack Obama greets His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the entrance of the Map Room of the White House, June 15, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Transforming government without ego

Many of us are attracted to practices that move us towards that place of intense joy that comes from being present. In my field, technology, both Free and Open Source development and agile practices have offered me, and many others, a path towards a similar joy.

Place de la Nation

Driving smart city innovation with open sensor data (part 2)

You can accomplish many smart city goals in a timely and inexpensive manner by exploring options for leveraging an existing infrastructure of low-tech, collaborative information and communication technologies like mobile phones, social media, online platforms and low-cost sensor kits, before making hefty new technology investments.

City at night

Driving smart city innovation with open sensor data

For many years, open access to data has been viewed as an important means of improving government transparency and accountability and deepening citizen engagement, and today hundreds of local and national governments worldwide are using open data portals to publish data and documents that they produce over the course of their operations.

Photo: Code for America

Hack civic hacking

For those of you who identify as civic hackers and are unaffiliated with political, governmental or corporate constraints, you have the good fortune of not needing to adhere to bureaucratic, organizational rules that stunt open, immediate impact and innovation.

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go(vernment)

For those focused on civic technology, Pokémon Go shatters the notion that an application whose brand and sole objective is civic-focused may never be as powerful and well-used as one tied into one with a consumer focus.

Civic technology (infographic)

Civic technology (infographic)

We created an infographic based on the recent “Engines of Change” report from Omidyar Network and Purpose that defined and outlined key components of what constitutes “civic technology.”

civictech

Defining civic tech

Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about Omidyar Network’s recent report, “Engines of Change,” and the need to better label and define the movement happening around civics and government with respect to technology.

Golden Gate Bridge (photo: Luke Fretwell)

City enthusiasts, innovators: Register for BRIDGE SF

San Francisco Bay Area city enthusiasts and innovators can now register for BRIDGE SF, “a collaboration of public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions coming together to challenge assumptions, develop skills, share best practices, and build partnerships that drive innovation for a better tomorrow.”

Engines of Change

Omidyar releases civic tech report, specific calls to action

Omidyar Network has released “Engines of Change,” a report on the state of civic technology in the context of 21st century social movements that includes specific calls to action for organizations, governments, cities, practitioners, startups and investors that can help grow and sustain its impact.