Code for America: Hacking City Government, Not Just Apps

I spent this past week at the second annual Code for America Summit, a showcase for Code for America 2012 projects and a meeting of the minds for the Gov 2.0 community. Code for America has been getting a lot of well-deserved press this past year, in part because of the amazing work they’ve done in just two years and also because of founder, Jen Pahlka’s fantastic TED talk. My colleague, Rebecca Petzel, had the pleasure of facilitating a strategy workshop for them last […]

What Does the Collaboration “Field” Look Like?

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about how to describe my “profession.” I usually describe myself as someone who “helps people collaborate more effectively.” People usually either give me blank stare in response, or, they jump to a wrong conclusion. (The most common is that I sell some sort of software.) This hasn’t simply been a branding exercise. It’s been about looking systemically at what we need to do to improve how we collaborate, understanding what people in my “field” […]

Code for America Summit: The Future of Civic Engagement

As you might expect from someone who’s passionate about collaboration for social good, I’m interested in open government. I always thought that I understood what open government was about: what was possible, what was happening, and why. I get what it means for government to be a platform rather than a vending machine and why open data is about so much more than transparency. What I realized at last week’s Code for America Summit was that, while I may be […]