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Strengthening the civic design community

happy_hour

Last night more than 40 people gathered at the Code for America office to kick off planning for a one or two day Civic Design Camp in March (date and location to be announced soon!) and to start building the strength and reach of our subcommunity of civic hackers. City employees from both San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. were there, as well as designers from IDEO and Twilio, organizers from the Burning Man Project and the Wigg Party, and Code for America Fellows from all four classes including 2014. Many thanks to my co-hosts, San Francisco City Hall Fellow Jake Levitas and Andrea Moed of Inflection.

cdcamp_topics

Last night’s discussion was spirited and friendly, and the list of ideas for Civic Design Camp both long and broad. We had two lightning case-study talks: Dana Chisnell from the Center for Civic Design discussed her recent research investigating the experience of poll workers in U.S. elections, and Kiran Jain from Oakland’s City Attorney’s Office shared her project working with five Oakland city agencies to rationalize the process of approving special event permits. Both were inspiring examples of how the design discipline can contribute to the civic technology movement.

There were so many great conversations that we had to send some still-talking designers off to local restaurants so we could close the office at 9:30 p.m. In 2014, one of my biggest goals is to build on this enthusiasm, connect the people doing great civic design work inside and outside government, and collaborate on attacking some top design priorities. Camp in March will be Step 1. Stay tuned!

*Photos by SF MOCI.</p>


 

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