Breakout Sessions

This year’s Summit is organized into three tracks: Digital Delivery, Civic Innovation and, Government Operations. These breakout sessions will include visions of a radically improved future for services at all levels of government, but with the insight and practical experience that make these visions different from yet another policy paper.

No sign ups are required for breakouts, but they are offered on a first come, first served basis and sometimes rooms do fill up!

Are We There Yet? Turning Legacy 311 Systems into Agile, User-Centered Digital Services
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

Open311 technologies report and track non-emergency issues in public spaces, allowing citizens to communicate to their governments, and governments to respond to their citizens more effectively. And while 311 websites, apps, and even chatbots are now common in cities and towns across the country, the user experience, service design, and agile delivery of these systems is far from a solved problem. Because of their wide reach and high visibility, 311 systems can be great opportunities to show how user-centered, agile methods improve service delivery. But, because of their scale, you’re likely going to have to deal with procurement, major enterprise systems, and cross-departmental change management to get anything done. In this panel, we’ll talk about common challenges and inspiring successes from 311 systems across the country and the world. We’ll talk about all the gory, crucial details that don’t get included in the press releases and blog posts, with peers who have been through it all.

  • LaWanda Crayton, Project Manager, City of Chicago Department of Innovation & Technology
  • Michelle Thong, Digital Services Lead, City of San Jose
  • Kristen Tonga, Majifix
  • Dan O’Neil, Principal, Civic Operator
Assessing Information Needs to Reach Marginalized Communities
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

From wildfires to hurricanes, recent natural disasters across the country have illuminated how marginalized communities lack access to information they need to keep their families and communities safe. Language barriers, limited internet access, distinct communication tools, structural exclusion and lack of trust too often mean that immigrants, homeless people, the elderly, and others are left in the dark when it comes to news and information that affects their lives.

In this workshop, participants will be guided through practical, human-centered strategies they can use to map the information needs and assets of marginalized communities. Using examples and hands-on exercises, presenters will demonstrate how a focus on relationships, design thinking, and the tactics of community organizing can help us develop more effective ways to distribute important information to communities that need it, and create a feedback loop for trusted two-way communication. Participants will walk away with a plan of action to assess information barriers that affect members of their communities, and design creative engagement strategies to overcome them.

  • Madeleine Bair, Campaign Manager at Free Press and Founder of El Tímpano
  • Diana Montaño, Community Engagement Manager, Reveal
Back to the Future with Open Data
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

From Orwell’s 1984 to Star Trek, we’ve been fascinated by how sci-fi predicts the future. Data swirls around us every day—some open, some closed. Data is knowledge and knowledge is power, that power is at our fingertips. Open data growing and easy to use benefits can be significant: streamlining services, stimulating economic growth, encouraging innovation, reducing poverty and improving life on earth. Join us as we become the sci-fi writers of Open Data, featuring an interactive discussion of leaders and evangelists of the open data movement. This session is for anyone involved in developing, using or planning to use open data, giving a perspective of history and a visionary roadmap for infinity and beyond!

  • Claudia Arriaga, Open Gov
  • Sami Baig, Open Gov
  • Marko Bocevski, Keitaro
  • Mark Gibbs, Executive Director, Keitaro
  • Dr. David Landsbergen, Associate Professor, Graduate Studies Chair at The Ohio State University
Bias in Datasets and Fairness in Machine Learning
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   11:00am – 12:00pm

We hear a lot these days about biases in algorithms. At the core of these biases is the data which are fed into algorithms. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can't happen without some initial data to be considered by an algorithm. This session will have a demonstration of how radically different conclusions and insights can be drawn from similar datasets with the same algorithm applied to them. To tackle these complexities, computer scientists create formal definitions of fairness in machine learning. But what if instead of just automating decision-making, we used machine learning to make institutional decisions more just in the first place? In this session we interpret ML as a tool for revealing when and how measures fail to capture purported constructs of interest, augmenting how hospitals, prisons, and child welfare agencies understand their own values and priorities. Machine learning can thus be understood as a form of quality assurance for existing institutions, exposing the epistemic fault lines of their own measurement practices.

  • McKane Andrus, Graduate Student Researcher at Interact Lab, University of California-Berkeley
  • Bryan C. Boots, Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation / University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Thomas Krendl Gilbert, Ph.D. Candidate in Machine Ethics and Epistemology, University of California-Berkeley
Bringing Community-Led Civic Tech into Government (In a Way That Won't Make Your Attorneys, Purchasers and IT Staff Lose Sleep)
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Still trying to figure out how to get government to engage with your local Brigade? Every city has a unique relationship between the government, community, and volunteer residents. This session will highlight different ways to successfully collaborate between government, Brigades, and residents, showing both the wins and the pitfalls to avoid. Leaders from Charlotte, NC, Philadelphia, PA, and Edmonton, Canada will share replicable frameworks and strategies that attendees can take back to their communities.

  • Jill Bjers, Captain of Open Charlotte Brigade
  • Dawn McDougall, Senior Advisor for Code for Philly, Director of Client Engagement, PromptWorks
  • David Rauch, co-founder and former member of BetaYEG, Data Scientist with the City of Austin
Building and Measuring Trust in Government by Meeting Residents Where They Are
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Done well, digital transformations in government can build the public’s trust. Meeting your residents where they are is a key part of building trust. By embracing residents who might be active and engaged but could get missed in a digital transformation, a community can change the paradigm of government technical transformation. As trust is established, it’s also important to measure it. This session will examine ways to build trust, empathy and culture change between residents and the government in Gilbert, Arizona; San Diego, California; and Orlando, Florida. Open San Diego will discuss the importance of developing a feedback loop where elected officials learn what their constituents want and need, and constituents learn how to civically engage with elected officials and provide the input at the appropriate channel. The City of Orlando will walk through the process and vision for a Resident Experience program to tell leadership and staff what interactions are building trust and which interactions are degrading trust and why. And Gilbert, Arizona will discuss ways that government can proactively meet residents where they are and introduce methods for engagement and education through non-traditional means.

  • Chelsie Bright, Ph.D., Head of Public Sector Solution Strategy, Qualtrics
  • Matt Broffman, Director of Innovation, Digital Platforms and Service Design, City of Orlando
  • Derek Konofalski, Data and Technology Analyst, Gilbert, Arizona
  • Isaac Wang, Brigade Captain of Open San Diego and candidate for San Diego City Council
Building Political Will and Civic Infrastructure from Within: St. Louis City
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

Panelists from the City of St. Louis and the local St. Louis Brigade will discuss efforts to build political will and internal infrastructure and empowering employees and vendors to create a culture of change in an executive branch office, while preserving institutional memory and stability. They will explain how “culture of change” is the fundamental mindset that allows them to logically and systematically upgrade their processes of procurement, security, and talent. It takes political will to move from an almost entirely paper-based office to one that is focused on human-centered design, both in physical space and technological systems.

  • Michael Butler, Recorder of Deeds, City of St.Louis
  • Nehemiah Dacres, Captain of OpenSTL
  • Caroline Fan, Founder of Cabochon Consulting
  • Mohith Rao, Captain of OpenSTL
Census 2020: Help Save This Foundation of our Democracy
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

The official Census count happens once every ten years and determines how many congressional seats each state receives, boundaries for voting districts, and the flow of federal dollars into communities. The stakes are especially high for Census 2020. This is the first online Census, and elevated mistrust in government coupled with a high likelihood of disinformation campaigns raise the risk for a significant undercount of vulnerable communities. Local action will be crucial. Learn how to put your data and tech skills toward saving one of the foundations of our democracy.

  • Perla Ni, Founder, Census Outreach Project
  • Denice Ross, Fellow, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
  • Gerson Vasquez, Data Visualization Lead at U.S. Census Bureau
Civic Tech & #MeToo: One Year In, What Progress Has (or Hasn't) Been Made?
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   11:00am – 12:00pm

Panelists regroup from last year's session on equity, inclusion, and #MeToo issues in the civic tech sector to explore the progress that has been made in the last year. Funders like Luminate have announced new practices in policies. Organizations have released reports assessing themselves and announcing what they're doing better moving forward. Conferences have implemented new practices. What can we learn from the last year of progress and what can we improve?

  • Lisa Gelobter, CEO, tEQuitable
  • Jess Ladd, CEO, Callisto
  • Travis Moore, Founder and Director, TechCongress, Co-Founder, Congress Too
  • Sarah Schacht, Data Standards & Financial Sustainability Consultant with Smarter Civic, “Me Too” Civic Tech Activist
Civic Tech, Ten Years In: Building on Progress to Tap Civic Tech’s Full Potential
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

What have we learned from the last 10 years in the civic tech field? What will it take to reach the field's full potential for impact, and what lessons should we carry forward into the work ahead? This panel will feature reflections from several different actors at work in the civic tech field—funders, field builders, for-profit entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders—informed by research recently released by Luminate.

  • Christie George, President at New Media Ventures
  • Tamara Manik-Perlman, CEO at NextRequest
  • McKenzie Smith, Principal, Investments at Luminate
  • James Weinberg, CEO at FUSE Corps
Democratizing Data Under a Tight Budget: How to Empower Colleagues with Access to Data and Analysis Tools
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   11:00am – 12:00pm

You’re a data analyst or scientist and you want to empower colleagues to use your organization’s data and foster an inquisitive, open culture. Where to begin? There’s no authoritative guide on expanding access to data in an organization, but we can share what we’ve learned and save each other a whole lot of time. Presenters will discuss principles for learning about your colleagues' data needs, teaching colleagues to access and analyze the data, and how to support the data work that your colleagues begin taking on. They will also talk about potential unanticipated benefits in terms of strategy and making the data team’s projects even more useful.

  • Eric Giannella, Staff Data Scientist, Code for America; Data Scientists for Good
  • Nick Hamlin, Data Scientist, Global Giving
  • Tania Jogesh, Data Scientist, DataSF – City and County of San Francisco
  • Mohammad Radiyat, Data Scientist, Donors Choose
  • Nicole Smith, Data Analyst, USA for UNHCR, The Hive
Designing Responsible AI
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

In this interactive session, participants will learn how to design AI solutions that avoid bias. Using design thinking methods to bake ethical responsibility into AI from the start, this hands-on workshop will be thought-provoking and relevant to anyone eager to harness the power of artificial intelligence without unintended consequences.

This session is generously sponsored by Accenture.

  • Rumman Chowdhury, Global Lead, Responsible AI, Accenture
  • TJ Cycyota, Data Scientist, Accenture
Don't Reinvent the Tool! Replicating Government and Civic Tech Projects and Models Across the US
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

This session will feature practitioners who have experience building and repurposing civic projects across jurisdictions. They will talk about how best to get buy-in from leadership, promote their work, and run with it. They will also share a status update on the goal from last year’s Summit of having five civic tech projects/models replicated in 20 cities. Those projects include: Data + Donuts, a collaborative cross-agency event series that fosters knowledge sharing and networking for local government tech and data employees; Courtbot, a tool that gives residents easy-to-understand information about resolving citations and timely reminders about upcoming court dates; and Waze WARP, which allows traffic teams and others within governments to store, analyze, visualize, and take action on Waze's CCP program data. They will discuss the challenges that need to be overcome for replication and adoption and think about how we take the immediate post-Summit euphoria and turn it into sustained civic action

  • Brendan Babb, Chief Innovation Officer/i-team Director, Municipality of Anchorage and Captain of Code for Anchorage
  • Nina Kin, Systems Analyst, LA County Auditor-Controller, Hack for LA Co-Captain, and Code for America National Advisory Council
  • Hunter Owens, Senior Data Scientist, CIty of Los Angeles, Hack for LA member and Data + Donuts founder
Ethics and Social Responsibility in Tech
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   11:00am – 12:00pm

As developers of technology, we continuously make decisions in our products and services that can deeply impact society. This is especially true in the public sector, but has also become increasingly true in the private sector as well. Digital services are ubiquitous in our lives, and with that, we need to consider ethical and social implications in everything we build, starting from the beginning and especially at every step of the product development lifecycle. This session highlights bright spots, best practices, and takeaway lessons in incorporating ethics and social responsibility in tech.

  • Sabelo Mhlambi, Ethics and Technology Fellow, Harvard Berkman Klein Center; Technology and Human Rights Fellow, Harvard Carr Center
  • Kathy Pham, co-lead Responsible Computer Science, Mozilla; Product Management Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Lili Gangas, Chief Technology Community Officer at Kapor Center for Social Impact and 2018 New America CA fellow
  • Njambi Good, Deputy Executive Director, Amnesty International
  • Stephanie Seale, United Nations Human Rights Silicon Valley Partnerships
Exploring Disruptive Technologies Without Getting Lost in the Hype
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   11:00am – 12:00pm

Every day government leaders are bombarded with people selling the next greatest solution to any problem you can think of. Learning to navigate these products, services, buzzwords, and sales people can be daunting. In this session, panelists will give you tips and tricks for exploring new technologies and products without falling into sales traps or buying things you don’t need. They will cover blockchain, AI, agile, cloud, and much more.

  • Shannon Sartin, Director, Digital Service at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Nick Sinai, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy & Faculty Affiliate, Digital HKS, Harvard Kennedy School
Founding the National Advisory Council and Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

In this panel session, members of the Code for America National Advisory Council (past and present) will share insights on the establishing the first advisory council and transitioning leadership to the next round of elected members. This group of civic tech leaders will focus on why they joined the NAC, what they want to accomplish, and what success looks like for the Brigade network. Furthermore, we’ll explore the key parts of transitioning leadership to maximize the impact of the advisory council. By the end of this session, attendees will get a better understanding of the role the NAC plays in the Code for America ecosystem as well as the vision of the leadership behind the advisory council.

  • Chris Alfano, CTO, Jarvus Innovations and Senior Advisor, Code for America
  • Jill Bjers, Executive Director, Open Charlotte
  • Ramy Kim, Western Regional Representative, Code for America National Advisory Council and Open Oakland
  • Jason Hibbets, Senior Community Architect, Red Hat and Captain, Open Raleigh Brigade
  • Dawn MacDougall, Northeast Regional Representative, National Advisory Council, Code for Philly
GovLove Live
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   4:00pm – 5:00pm

A breakout session where activists, community partners, and Brigade members can ask questions about what it’s like to deliver services from the government point of view. Presenters will discuss challenges, opportunities, needs from the community, staffing, etc. from both tech and non-tech perspectives. This session will be recorded live for the GovLove podcast

  • Laura Biediger, Community Engagement Analyst, City of Durham
  • Stephanie Chase, Library Director, Hillsboro (OR) Public Library
  • Warren Logan, Senior Transportation Planner, San Francisco County Transportation Authority
  • Kirsten Wyatt, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Emerging Local Government Leaders
How Journalism Does Data: Using Government Data to Tell Stories
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Data journalists often hear from sources that they are surprised to find that reporters have data and technical skills. But data journalism didn't start with Nate Silver, and there are a wide range of ways in which data analysis and the skills of technologists are used in newsrooms. Civic technologists are often evangelists for data transparency and use and are designing the systems that power forward-looking governments. In this session, data journalists will share how governments can create or share data in ways that are more likely to be used, and how to make data more journalism-friendly.

  • Michael Corey, Senior Data Editor, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting
Making a Smart City About People and Outcomes — Not Just the Tech
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Cities are booming with interest in how we might use data, automation, and increased connectivity to improve services. But as we are seeing across the globe, bleeding-edge technology alone won’t fix problems, and can actually make problems worse. Solving problems means that we need to understand those problems and the potential unintended consequences of tech—before we talk about how sensors, algorithms, and big data might help. This session will discuss learnings from Austin, Baltimore, and other cities on how government can up its game in partnerships, policy and practices, and civic trust to go beyond the hype of the “smart city” and put residents at the center, particularly with regard to data collection.

  • Kenya Asli, Smart Cities Strategist, City of Baltimore
  • Greg Jordan-Detamore, Open Cities Product Lead, Sunlight Foundation
  • Daniel Honker, Policy Lab Program Manager, City of Austin Office of Design & Delivery
Memes, Social Media, and Creative Campaigns in Government
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

Americans are increasingly making it clear that they expect the same level of service from government as they enjoy with brands in other industries. If you want to make the public aware of new services, promote a cause or just inform the community of important news, social media is the best place to do it. To understand and realize a meaningful return on investment, you must identify social media strategies that can deliver support to you. This session will include examples of strategies that have worked including using snow memes to decrease parking violations in Somerville, Mass., engaging the public to support children in Los Angeles, Calif., and harnessing the power of the online crowd to help people before and during a disaster.

  • Meghann Ackerman, Public Information Officer, City of Somerville
  • Judith M. Green, Social Media Specialist Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department
  • Melissa Swenson, President of CEDR Digital Corp.
Public-Private Data Partnerships for Public Good
Civic Innovation Fri, May 31   11:00am – 12:00pm

Increasingly, the private sector is generating data that could be re-purposed to complement traditional public-sector data collection methods—for example, using fleet GPS data to estimate speeds or mobile operator data to determine travel patterns. Likewise, open government data can be used by companies to improve their products and offer services to more vulnerable members of the public. The World Bank is piloting solutions to support governments in using company data and will share more about the challenges and experiences with that effort. The Opportunity Project features dozens of collaborations between companies and government agencies to leverage open government data for products and services to better serve more members of the public.

  • Lorena Molina-Irizarry, Director of Operations, Census Innovation Labs, US Dept of Commerce
  • Holly Krambeck, Data Collaboratives Lead, The World Bank
Running Civic Coding Hackathons and Why They (Continue) to Be Important
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

Hackathons have become an increasingly popular way for technologists to inspire creativity, foster innovation, and prototype challenges with minimal investment. In this talk, presenters will walk through what it takes to put on a well-designed hackathon with a proven roadmap for success while highlighting case studies from successful events at Code.gov. Topics will include selling your event idea to leadership, challenge problem definitions, incentivizing participants with the use of prizes, ways to include participants who aren’t coders, creating a safe and welcoming spaces, open source tools for collaboration, and a look at the logistics required to plan your way to an ideal event. The session will ultimately end with a snapshot of how hackathons continue to be a driver of promoting open source and code reuse.

  • Laura Biediger, Community Engagement Analyst, City of Durham
  • Amin Mehr, Deputy Director, Code.gov, U.S. General Services Administration
Turning Tech Workers into Agents of Change: A New Approach to Civic Engagement
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

The expansion of the tech economy to cities beyond the Bay Area has been celebrated by many as bringing much-needed economic growth to places that are struggling to find footing in a 21st-century economy. But as the Bay Area struggles with an urgent housing crisis and alarming increases in inequality that are largely blamed on the tech sector, policymakers in other cities are starting to ask how they can welcome a growing tech economy while avoiding some of these pitfalls. The answer may lie, in part, in developing tech workers into a political constituency that can advocate for inclusive economic policies both inside their companies and in public policy. We need look no further than the vibrant Code for America Brigade community to know that tech workers want to be a force for good in their cities. However, in order to fully engage them as civic agents, we have to go beyond just organizing them around building tools. By educating and activating tech workers on the big issues facing their communities, we can build a powerful political constituency to advocate for equitable growth in our cities. In this session you’ll hear about how these techies become engaged, what this means for the future of the tech industry, and how cities across the country and around the world can incorporate these practices in their own tech communities.

  • Catherine Bracy, Executive Director, The TechEquity Collaborative
  • Mai-Ling Garcia - Digital Engagement Officer, City of Oakland
  • Ndidi Okwelogu, Social Justice Organizer, Just Cities
  • Erin Archuleta, Director of Community Affairs and Seller Advocacy, Square
Using Data to Expand Access and Increase Safety in Mobility
Civic Innovation Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Mobility has changed faster in the past 12 months than it has in the last 12 years. Today, many local governments around the world are taking steps to prioritize shared multimodality—that is, making space for people on foot, bikes, scooters, transit, and other ways to get around. With so many new modes coming to streets near us, the role cities choose to play in mobility today will have direct impacts on how people move tomorrow. New advances in data standards, data collection sources, and visualization platforms provide an opportunity for local governments to evaluate and plan transportation in new ways, and take steps to ensure the right-of-way can be allocated to achieve desired goals of sustainability, public health, and safety. This session will share examples of projects, data, and standards available today, and how cities can be positioned to shape streets and mobility priorities for success, including the Mobility Data Specification, a new set of APIs designed to scale transportation rule-making with hundreds of cities and dozens of Mobility-as-a-Service companies to deal with the new generation of app-enabled mobility providers.

  • Tiffany Chu, Co-founder and COO, Remix
  • Rodrigo Davies, Strava Metro Product Lead, Strava
  • Danielle Dai, Mobility Programs Manager, City of Oakland
A Service Blueprint for Successful User-Centered Digital Delivery
Digital Delivery Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

Service blueprinting is a powerful tool for user-centered digital delivery. It is a living artifact that describes how a service is provided to end users—and the various actors and processes involved. It aligns cross-disciplinary teams by establishing a shared vocabulary and understanding. It surfaces critical moments, breakdowns, and inefficiencies, and empowers teams to identify ideas and opportunities to deliver better services and meet user needs. Attendees will leave this talk with the tools to run their own interactive service blueprinting sessions within their own organizations.

  • Kelli Ho, Designer/Researcher, Nava PBC
  • Genevieve Gaudet, Design Manager, Nava PBC
Advanced Mistake Making: A Master Class
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

You’re going to make mistakes. That’s just the nature of things. As you learn, there will be errors and accidents, slip-ups and inadvertent breakages. What if your goal was to only make new mistakes? Others have gone before you, trying to get to the same place you’re trying to get to. They’ve already screwed up in countless, useful ways. What can you learn from them before you embark on the next attempt to fix your part of government? In this talk, you’ll learn how to preview the worst possible outcomes without actually messing anything up including using discovery to learn from survivors, future casting outcomes to visualize impacts, and mapping the worst possible scenarios to assess risk and cost of getting things wrong.

  • Dana Chisnell, Co-Executive Director, Center for Civic Design
Backpacking Trips, Christmas Trees, and the Woodsy Owl: How Open Forest Is Connecting the Public with the Outdoors
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

In this session, development team members will share how 18F and the U.S. Forest Service partnered to build a platform through user-centered design, stakeholder engagement, product management, modular procurement, scaled agile, and DevOps, as well as tools such as cloud.gov and US Web Design System. Attendees will walk away from the discussion with a better idea of how to build public-facing products in the federal domain in an iterative, compliant, user-centered way.

  • Hannah Kane, Product Manager, 18F
  • Andrew Suprenant, Product Manager, 18F
Civic Tech and Civil Justice
Digital Delivery Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Every day, thousands of Americans face legal problems—like eviction, intimate partner violence, and deportation—without a lawyer. Technology extends the promise that we can expand the delivery of legal assistance to those in need. This program will discuss that promise; the processes by which innovation is explored and adopted in this space; and the implications for justice, equality, and democracy. The panelists will encourage those in attendance to consider partnerships with the justice system, non-profits, the private sector, and law schools to promote innovation in the delivery and provision of critical legal services to those most desperately in need.

  • Shubha Balasubramanyam, Director of Technology, Center for Court Innovation
  • Ray Brescia, Hon. Harold R. Tyler Chair in Law & Technology and Professor of Law, Albany Law School
  • Margaret Hagan, Director, Legal Design Lab; Lecturer, Stanford Institute of Design, Stanford University
  • Jack Madans, Digital Services Principal, Judicial Council of California
  • Mark O’Brien, Executive Director, Pro Bono Net
  • Sacha Steinberger, Director, Legal Link
Cracking the Toughest Digital Form Design Problems
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

In the civic tech world we are constantly designing digital forms, and we do this well with simple, reusable patterns that allow us to build form experiences in just a few hours. Despite this, there are some form scenarios that are challenging to design for. How can users easily enter five consecutive years of their travel history—without gaps and overlaps? How should we capture occupational history, while being sensitive to periods of un- or under-employment? How can we be sensitive to users who need to document the death of their child? We’ve come across these scenarios and more designing federal forms for immigrants via U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and for veterans via the Department of Veterans Affairs. This workshop will introduce these and other complex scenarios, and then break participants into groups to work together to design solutions to some tough form design problems.

  • Andy Lewandowski, User Experience Designer, U.S. Digital Service
  • Josh Gee, Director of Digital Customer Experience, New York City Transit; former Product Manager, City of Boston Digital Service Delivery Team
Designing Secure Digital Services
Digital Delivery Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Providing secure digital services at scale is hard. Really hard. Making sure they are secure and easy to use, is a central challenge for delivering public services online. When it comes to managing the public's data, achieving a balance between security, privacy, and usability is critical to building a successful and trustworthy service. In this presentation, we will discuss how the U.S. Digital Service has tackled this dilemma and what it takes to bring best in class technology and human-centered design to services that often don't consider the users and their needs. We will share the lessons learned from our successes and failures in assisting multiple government agencies in their creation of identity management systems.

  • Chante Lantos-Swett, Product Manager, US Digital Service
  • Andrew Hughey, Product Manager, US Digital Service
empire.gov: Decolonizing Civic Tech
Digital Delivery Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

From the conferences we attend to the standards we adapt, today’s biggest voices in civic tech are overwhelmingly British, American, and white. Yet according to UN rankings, our countries barely crack the top 10 in terms of e-participation. What might we learn if we stopped trying to lead and started listening? Join us for a frank talk about civic tech—who we listen to, what we hold sacred, and how we can learn from history rather than create new forms of digital imperialism.

  • Sydette Harry, Editor, Mozilla
  • Abbey Kos, Content designer, 18F
  • Alberto Rodriguez Alvarez, Strategist, Digital Service Collaborative, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation
  • Cordelia Yu, Content designer, 18F
Engagement and Digital Delivery via API: Case Studies from the NYC Mayor’s Office and U.S. Census
Digital Delivery Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

It’s easy for users to get lost when searching for the data or resources they need. This session will feature case studies from two offices that leveraged APIs to make data and programs more readily accessible to their users. In New York City, the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity is expanding the City’s benefits screening efforts through the development of a new open API with criteria for 30+ federal, state, and municipal programs to support the creation of new technology tools and screening scenarios. The U.S. Census Bureau is engaging users through a new dissemination platform with access to all data and visualizations, leveraging its publicly accessible API. Join us for live demonstrations of these featured projects and learn tips and tricks for navigating the Census API, including seeing what data visualizations result from tapping into the census data. Both case studies will detail the incremental development processes that were successful in rolling out the work.

  • Ryan Dolan, Data Visualization Lead, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Song Hia, Product Manager, NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
  • Kimberly Peng, Developer, NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
  • Gerson Vásquez, Data Visualization Lead, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Tyson Weister, Program Analyst, U.S. Census Bureau
Equity as the Eggs Not the Icing
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

What does it mean to bake in equity when co-designing public experiences? How does this unfold across digital and non-digital touchpoints? As an internal design unit within a municipal agency, the Innovation Office of the San Francisco Human Services Agency helps to create services that better meet the needs of the public, government employees and intended policy. These needs unfold in a historical context of power, privilege, discrimination, and trauma. Applying “equity” in their work is to include this historical context from initial conversations with project collaborators through strategy, design, implementation and evaluation. In this session they will offer lessons learned, and welcome reflections from your lived experiences and practices.

  • Marc Hébert, Director, Innovation Office, San Francisco Human Services Agency
  • Natasha Jimenez, Service Designer, Innovation Office, San Francisco Human Services Agency
  • Allen Meyer, Visual Designer, Innovation Office, San Francisco Human Services Agency
How to Use Off-The-Shelf Tech to Digitize Paper Processes
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

Filing a police report? Flipping through the yellow pages to access social services? What were once paper-first processes have been transformed into tech products to address the needs of millions of vulnerable citizens. Some of the best civic tech solutions leverage off-the-shelf technology to build great products fast, especially in the early stages. In this conversation, Shannon Farley from Fast Forward will dive into the subject with Brandon Anderson, founder of Raheem, an app for reporting police conduct after losing his partner to police violence and Rey Faustino, who spent countless hours flipping through social services binders as a kid, and later built One Degree, a digital platform for finding these resources.

  • Brandon Anderson, CEO and Founder of Raheem
  • Shannon Farley, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Fast Forward
  • Rey Faustino, CEO and Co-Founder of One Degree
Human-Centered Design in Healthcare Technology
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

Increasingly, we're realizing that so much of healthcare—how health services are delivered—was not designed from the perspective of end users. While other industries have embraced human-centered design as a way to engage users, healthcare has been a bit behind. But an emerging trend of designers patterning with empowered patients is changing that. When designers partner with patients we shine a light on some of our most intractable problems and bend them to new, creative solutions. Join us for a breakout session on the front lines of design in healthcare. After a few quick stories, you'll get a rapid cycle chance to dig in on some real challenges presented by real patients and learn and gain inspiration from how large and established institutions can start and support a culture of human-centered design.

  • Hugo Campos, Innovator in Residence, Kaiser Permanente
  • Nick Dawson, Designer, Kaiser Permanente
  • Leilani Graham, ePatient, Stanford Medicine X
Measuring and Increasing Effectiveness of Digital Public Service Delivery
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

Digital public service delivery promises to revolutionize how citizens and governments interact. But measuring the impact of digitizing services on citizen satisfaction and behavior is difficult. In this breakout session, you will learn how to design randomized control trials to evaluate the systematic impact of your service. Randomized control trials are particularly useful to civil servants and policymakers who are implementing a new service but unsure whether it will achieve the desired goals, or deciding which of several alternative implementations to pursue. You will also learn how to tap into the vast (and often free) pool of academic talent that is interested in supporting these kinds of evaluations in the public sector.

  • David Schönholzer, PhD in Economics (UC Berkeley); Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cowles Foundation in the Economics Department, Yale University
  • Guo Xu, Assistant Professor, Berkeley Haas School of Business
Quick and Easy User Engagement
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

As researchers working with government, we know that getting feedback from even a small amount of users reveals important opportunities for service improvement. In this session, Code for America researchers will share their favorite methods for conducting lightweight research with users of various government services. We’ll discuss how to define your research question, identify the users of your product or service, and choose the right research method for learning. We’ll give you tips to expand your comfort level and improve user-facing experiences. This session is for government staff and managers looking to identify quick improvements, engage clients, and gather valuable feedback.

  • Cesar Paredes, Client Success Specialist, Code for America
  • Nicole Rappin, User Researcher, Code for America
  • Julie Sutherland, Designer, Code for America
Scoot Scoot: What Dockless Mobility Taught Us about Data Standards and Municipal Cooperation in 2018
Digital Delivery Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

In this panel, we’ll discuss how municipal Departments of Transportation responded to the influx of micro-mobility providers to the public right-of-way in 2018. We’ll discuss how collaborations between municipalities on a shared data standard (MDS) helped facilitate the creation of open-source data infrastructure solutions, open data publishing, and open-source data visualizations for internal & external stakeholders.

  • John Clary, Senior Supervisor of Data & Technology, City of Austin Transportation Department
  • Kegan Maher, Data Officer, City of Santa Monica
  • Hunter Owens, Senior Data Scientist, CIty of Los Angeles
  • Marcel Porras, Chief Sustainability Officer, Transportation Technology, Los Angeles Department of Transport
  • Kelly Rula, New Mobility, Climate, and Urban Freight, Seattle Department of Transportation
Shaping a Bold Future through Delivery-Driven Policymaking: Part Two
Digital Delivery Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Further conversation from Sarita’s Digital Delivery Track Keynote. Where do human-centered design methods and policymaking intersect? How might designers and policymakers collaborate on policy innovation? Sarita Gupta, co-director of national non-profit Caring Across Generations, will share how reaching far outside the policy realm to the methods of human-centered design has been an essential part of advancing Universal Family Care.

  • Sarita Gupta, Co-Director, Caring Across Generations; Co-Director, Jobs With Justice
  • Kate Lydon, Senior Portfolio Director, IDEO
Taking the Next Step with Confidence
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

Decision-making in teams can be challenging. Trade-offs and uncertainties abound, whether you have minimal information or what feels like too much. How do you make decisions that your team can buy in to and align with? How can you feel confident that your decision will maximize value in the areas you really care about? In this session, we’ll take a look at how we make decisions on the product teams at Code for America and then work through interactive exercises. Whether you're a primary decision maker or a contributor on a collaborative team, you'll come away with tools and frameworks for moving your projects forward.

  • Simone Sequeira, Senior Product Manager, Code for America
The Current State of Maturity in Digital Services Groups Around the World
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

Last summer, digital HKS proposed a new maturity framework model for digital services groups in the public sector, drawing on the expertise and advice of practitioners around the world. Since then, we have been collecting data from digital services teams at the federal, regional, and municipal levels in many nations as well as feedback from teams about how they are using the model to think about their own work. In this session, we will share what we've learned to date from teams that have completed the maturity model, ask for feedback about where to go next, and think through how digital services teams can leverage these kinds of tools to drive and scale greater impact for the public.

  • David Eaves, Lecturer of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
The State of Criminal Justice Data at the County Level
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

To plan for national scaling of their research, Measures for Justice conducted a study of the state online case lookup systems for county courts across the United States. For anyone hoping to access court system data, the availability of data online is a critical starting point—both for researchers seeking bulk data and for individuals seeking to access their local justice systems. In this breakout, Measures for Justice will present their findings, including detailed maps of each state and county, and discuss policy implications of what they discovered.

  • Moderator: Mikaela Rabinowitz, Director of National Engagement and Field Operations, Measures for Justice
  • Maria McKee, Principal Analyst, Office of District Attorney George Gascón - San Francisco
  • Ian Thomas, Research Assistant, Measures for Justice
  • Samuel Sinyangwe, Co-Founder, Mapping Police Violence; Campaign Zero
The Trials and Tribulations of Creating Online Permitting for the Cannabis Industry
Digital Delivery Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

This session will cover the story of building an online-only permitting system for the San Francisco cannabis industry. It will cover the mistakes made, the challenges of building while regulations are shifting, decisions that led to a cease & desist order, the strengths and shortcomings of enterprise solutions, and the challenges of building for an equitable population.

  • Patrick Owen, Operations & Policy Analyst, Oregon Liquor Control Commission
  • Anita Cheng, Content Designer, Digital Services, City & County of San Francisco
  • Rick Johnson, Product Manager, Digital Services, City & County of San Francisco
  • Nicole Lee, UX Designer, Digital Services, City & County of San Francisco
  • Hui Shao, Engineer, Digital Services, City & County of San Francisco
  • Cyd Harrell, Former Chief of Staff, 18F
Using APIs to Foster Civic Engagement
Digital Delivery Fri, May 31   2:30pm – 3:30pm

Modern machine learning, APIs and tools can assist governmental agencies in creating and fostering civic engagement. In this session, experts from government and industry will explore how government can use APIs to deliver services to developers and users including covering modern ML tools and ways agencies are using them to engage their citizens, what a typical journey looks like, how to deal with the ethical questions, and what datasets are necessary for real intelligence.

  • Chris Hein, Head of Public Sector Engineering, Google Cloud
  • Kelly Taylor, Product Manager, U.S. Digital Service
A Seat at the Table: Connecting Policy and Technology for Better Health Outcomes
GovOps Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

Policymaking has a much longer life-cycle than modern software development — on the order of years. In the interim, user needs and problems change. How do we get policymakers and technologists in sync and adaptive to changing user needs? In this panel, representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Nava PBC discuss how they connected policy and delivery teams at the Quality Payment Program (QPP), a program that impacts over 34 million Medicare patients and accounts for over $178 billion in payments to doctors, leads to better delivery outcomes. They'll share best practices, techniques and challenges in getting policy and delivery teams to speak the same language, applying product management and human-centered design best practices to write policy that meets user needs, and getting delivery teams into the policy conversations sooner.

  • Ashby Wolfe, MD, MPP, MPH; CMS Regional Chief Medical Officer, Regions VIII, IX, X; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Austin Gardner, Senior Delivery Manager, Nava PBC
  • Sarah White, Business Analyst and Product Owner, Nava PBC
Building Bridges (And How Not to Burn Them) While Innovating in Local Government
GovOps Fri, May 31   11:00am – 12:00pm

Government innovators need to build credibility — fast. Innovation leaders from the cities of Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Rafael, San Francisco, and Mobile, Alabama — five local governments of varying sizes — are joining forces to share specific tactics on how to build trust and sustain buy-in with stakeholders to enable risk-taking. The session will kick off with each representative sharing anecdotes and perspectives from colleagues on indicators and perceptions of trust, including stories of moments where trust was won and lost. Session leaders will share trust-building tools and best practices for project management, dealing with failure, working with deep subject-matter experts, and working with residents. Finally, attendees will be facilitated through a hands-on exercise based on the The Trust Equation framework and leave with knowledge of how to assess one’s own or a stakeholder’s trustworthiness in different scenarios and specific actions that can be taken to build trust.

  • Mai-Ling Garcia - Digital Engagement Officer, City of Oakland
  • Jessica Cole - Head of Innovation & Economic Development, City of Walnut Creek
  • Rebecca Woodbury - Director of Digital Service & Open Government, City of San Rafael
  • Krista Canellakis - Chief Innovation Officer, City and County of San Francisco
Cultivating Culture Change at California Health and Human Services: How to Create Change in a Bureaucracy
GovOps Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

The California Health and Human Services Agency’s mission is to assure the sound physical, mental, and financial health and well-being of families and communities. Government, out of necessity, divides itself into departments and programs, but clients’ lives are not similarly segmented. During the budget cuts, it was impossible to know the true impact of those decisions on people who used multiple CHHS services. CHHS knew they must adapt to better meet client needs. This simple concept is the guide for the cultural change they desired. Discovering the power of open data and leveraging data as an asset was the catalyst for this shift in mindset. The size and diversity of CHHS gave them the opportunity to leverage talent, funds and processes to better deliver services. Once leadership saw the benefit of this approach, they started an effort to empower CHHS staff to adopt more modern service delivery practices. Building meaningful partnerships is one of the primary reasons they have been able to move quickly. It is about a cultural change at CHHS: A change where people are encouraged to be curious and to shift their focus from being program-centered to client-centered.

  • Michael Wilkening, Special Advisor on Innovation and Digital Services in the Office of the Governor, State of California and former Secretary of California Health and Human Services
Design, Empathy, and the FBI: New Approaches for Engaging Industry on National Security and Criminal Threats
GovOps Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

In a world where too often we talk past each other, this talk will focus on how new more design-driven and stakeholder-centric approaches are helping to find common ground on tough national challenges that require the government—in this case the FBI—and industry to work together. The approach requires building greater understanding each other, defining specific challenges to tackle, and co-creating solutions that have implications for tech, process, and policy. As one example of this approach, there has been successful engagement between the FBI and industry on national security and criminal matters. Empathy and design-driven approaches can and should be used across a range of national challenges, such as health care and criminal justice reform. Furthermore, these approaches should be applied to the next frontier for design+tech: the policy making table.

  • Steven Babitch, Presidential Innovation Fellow
  • Claire O'Brien, Senior Analyst, Twitter, and former Intelligence Analyst, FBI
  • Nikki Betz, Private Sector Coordinator, FBI
Designing a 21st Century Civil Service
GovOps Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

What would the civil service look like if we could re-design it by applying a human-centered data-driven approach? During this presentation and workshop, David Huebner and Monique Baena-Tan of the City and County of San Francisco's Hiring Modernization Project and Andrea Lipton, FUSE Fellow and designer of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation's Leadership Academy, will explore how governments can reinvent the processes by which they hire, develop, and retain their most important resource: their people. They will discuss how evidence-based research, people analytics, and emerging HR technologies can help HR functions play a more strategic role. With many cities facing a ‘silver tsunami’ of retiring government employees and an increasing need to deliver government services digitally, this session will explore how we can help these organizations transform—while remaining true to the values that define civil service—to grow our next generation of public servants.

  • Monique Baena-Tan, Design Researcher, Lalo Consulting (San Francisco Hiring Modernization Project)
  • David Huebner, Founder and Principal, Lalo Consulting (San Francisco Hiring Modernization Project)
  • Andrea Lipton, Founder, ABCs for Business Inc. and FUSE Corps Fellow
Digital Ready: Scaling and Adopting Disaster Preparedness Using Lessons from Fires and Hurricanes
GovOps Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

Digital is the default when disaster strikes, and governments must be prepared to communicate response and recovery efforts to the public immediately, continuously and effectively. From websites to social media, the community relies solely on digital channels to stay updated on relief efforts, and these must be mobile, accessible, adaptive, informative, and planned in advance. Learn how government can be best prepared when disaster strikes your communities. Hear firsthand lessons learned from leaders who managed digital and communications operations during the Paradise, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and Butte County California fires and assisted with shelter tracking and distribution points for hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Florence and Michael.

  • Jake Bayless, City of Santa Rosa
  • Talia Smith, City of San Rafael, CA and Sonoma County Recovers
  • Callie Lutz, Butte County, CA and Butte County Recovers
  • Luke Fretwell, ProudCity
  • Michael Bishop, Captain of Code for Tampa Bay
Fast, Fun, Interactive Creating of Requirements that Stick
GovOps Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

Agile, Lean, waterfall, and hybrid projects all need "requirements": vision, needs, goals, objectives, user stories, business stories, system stories, epics, use cases, requirements, desirements... This one-hour workshop will provide hands-on experience in practical skills using a participatory workshop method for creating, rather than passively gathering, requirements. You will learn to create requirements organized in a hierarchy (not strictly hierarchical) of increasingly concrete and detailed elaboration—prioritized and scoped, and readily amenable to re-prioritizing and re-scoping as reality happens during the project team's work to meet them.

  • Tom Dayton, Design Thinking Facilitator, IBM
Further Conversation with Bruce Schneier: What You Need to Know About Security in Government
GovOps Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

This breakout session continues the GovOps Track Keynote ‘What you need to know about security in government.’ Schneier will discuss the fundamentals and practical implications of security and privacy in government.

  • Bruce Schneier, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Growing the Pipeline for Tech in Government
GovOps Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

If we want a strong technology workforce in public service and public interest, we need more ways to identify, train, and coach potential civic tech workers into these jobs. This session will explore a variety of ways to create and maintain that workforce including a university-led project that New America has been standing up, an internship-based model now in its third year led by Coding it Forward, a Congressional fellowship model now in its fourth year of placing technologists in Congressional offices, and a training model for mid-career technologists to help them learn policy and be prepared to enter government service as tech leaders, led by the Aspen Tech Policy Hub.

  • Afua Bruce, Director of Engineering, Public Interest Technology, New America
  • Betsy Cooper, Director of the Aspen Institute's Tech Policy Hub
  • Rachel Dodell, Executive Director and co-founder, Coding it Forward
  • Travis Moore, Founder and Director, TechCongress
How San Francisco Unified School District Reimagined the Technology and Processes Behind Enrollment
GovOps Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

Over the past year, a talented team of San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) technologists have come together to design a streamlined, efficient, effective and documented technology process to allow for an equitable, choice-based enrollment process for students. This talk will share how the process evolved due to the work of this team, and where SFUSD is going next. For decades prior to 2018, the process of assigning students to SFUSD schools via a choice-based lottery and paper application happened mostly manually, in an antiquated system, and only a few individuals knew how the technical process worked. The technical challenges of the enrollment process became evident in the spring of 2017, when enrollment letters were mailed late to anxious San Francisco parents, frustrating the community. As a result, the team completely redesigned an automated, scalable, well-documented, and repeatable technical process. They did so while rolling out a new interface to enter students into the district, replacing a legacy system and manual data preparation process that had been central to the district for decades—not only meaning that enrollment letters in 2018 were ready ahead of time, but data quality was, and still is, at an all-time high in the district. The team will explain how they did it and what’s up next (bringing those paper applications online, increasing transparency and access to SFUSD schools for all members of the San Francisco community).

  • Kelly McBride, Product Director, Student Systems, San Francisco Unified School District
  • Sarah Ashton, Director of Student Systems, San Francisco Unified School District
  • Kyle DePasquale, Senior Business Analyst, Unified Data Systems, San Francisco Unified School District
It’s Not a Technology Problem: Practical Tips for Elected and Appointed Leaders on Effectively Leading Digital Transformations in Their Cities and States
GovOps Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

It’s 2019, people expect government to deliver easy-to-use digital services. Does your city/county/agency still run on clunky, outdated and expensive legacy IT systems that urgently need modernization? Are you worried that you lack the in-house talent or budget to avoid a high profile tech project failure. Are you haunted by stories of past efforts to outsource IT projects to one big vendor that blew through the budget and the system still doesn’t work? In this session, we’ll go over the basic concepts of modern software development (user centered design, agile development, and modular procurement) as well as alternatives to the traditional IT procurement approach and practical tips and questions you can use to help reduce risk and deliver valuable services faster to end users and residents.

  • Robin Carnahan, 18F, U.S. General Services Administration
  • Nicole Lee, Product Lead, 18F
It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye: Case Studies from Modernizing Legacy Systems
GovOps Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

There is a growing generation of government legacy systems that need replacement, often the first digital systems of their kind. Replacing a system that is deeply intertwined with an agency’s mission can be delicate, risky work. In this talk, Nava will share selected experiences from years of work on modernizing legacy systems, and offer patterns and thoughts to help you forge your own path to modernization. Three case studies will be presented: the streamlined healthcare application on HealthCare.gov, a replacement for HealthCare.gov’s underperforming authentication service, and the modernization of appeals processing at the Department of Veterans Affairs. We’ll examine each project from policy, product, and technical angles.A common challenge across government digital transformation is the ability to get the right data, to the right people, at the right time to drive impact. Thinking beyond data sharing as a transaction, this session will highlight public-private data sharing successes in states like Colorado and California, using a collaborative format to engage people working towards adoption of multi-party data sharing agreements on behalf of their own agencies. BrightHive will share success stories from supporting state and city governments in signing multi-party data sharing agreements called “data trusts,” and best practices in establishing, staffing, and executing associated data governance bodies. This session will begin with a presentation, but will focus on workshopping how to design collaborative approaches between program staff, IT and legal teams, to build trust and buy-in while addressing the specific needs and challenges at different organizations.

  • Thani Boskailo, Director of Eligibility and Enrollment, Department of Vermont Health Access
  • Alex Prokop, Engineering Lead, Nava PBC
Legislating Technology: When It Works, When It Doesn’t
GovOps Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

The NYC Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) engages often in conversation—and debate—around technology legislation with local lawmakers. They are the business owners of NYC’s Open Data Program, a program governed by a series of local laws, and have recently navigated the exciting process of having the entire office (MODA) legislated into the City Charter in the Fall of 2018. Their office has also recently been legislated into bills requesting reports and data from the City Council. These experiences have led them to ask themselves: When is it best for analytics, and its surrounding technology ecosystem, to be legislated? Given the fast pace at which technology is changing, there is a risk that legislation will develop requirements for processes and systems that will quickly become outdated. On the other hand, the NYC Open Data program’s legal mandates are powerful tools to command citywide agency compliance around an initiative that might otherwise receive less attention. This discussion will further unpack when it is beneficial for technology initiatives (such as data and analytics) to be legislated, and when it is a less-than-ideal implementation vehicle for technology policy adoption.

  • Natalie Evans Harris, Co-Founder & Head of Strategic Initiatives, BrightHive
  • Robinson Hernandez, Executive Director at Urban Tech Hub @ Company
  • Adrienne Schmoeker, NYC Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics
Making Process Improvement, Performance and Digital Transformation Part of Everyone’s DNA
GovOps Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

Learn how two cities are investing in systems and tools to ensure better data quality and create opportunities to improve processes, service delivery and citizen’s experience with government. During this presentation, the City of Boston will discuss how their implementation of a new data warehouse platform shifted the experience of performance management from data entry compliance to consuming quality data, and the City of Baltimore will detail the steps they took to implement two programs that engage civic partners and train all levels of employees to become more customer-centric.

The California Health and Human Services Agency’s mission is to assure the sound physical, mental, and financial health and well-being of families and communities. Government, out of necessity, divides itself into departments and programs, but clients’ lives are not similarly segmented. During the budget cuts, it was impossible to know the true impact of those decisions on people who used multiple CHHS services. CHHS knew they must adapt to better meet client needs. This simple concept is the guide for the cultural change they desired. Discovering the power of open data and leveraging data as an asset was the catalyst for this shift in mindset. The size and diversity of CHHS gave them the opportunity to leverage talent, funds and processes to better deliver services. Once leadership saw the benefit of this approach, they started an effort to empower CHHS staff to adopt more modern service delivery practices. Building meaningful partnerships is one of the primary reasons they have been able to move quickly. It is about a cultural change at CHHS: A change where people are encouraged to be curious and to shift their focus from being program-centered to client-centered.

  • Maria Borisova, Director of Data Engineering, City of Boston
  • Kenya Asli, Smart Cities Strategist, City of Baltimore
  • Sam Lovison, Deputy Director of Performance Management, City of Boston
Making Procurement Work for a Smart City
GovOps Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

The term “smart cities” should refer to how municipalities better deliver on their mission to citizens. How can technology help us achieve the results we’re looking for? Let’s start with innovative and inclusive procurement. In 2018, Denver sought to use procurement to establish small, agile, iterative teams deploying technology. 180+ companies answered the call! In 2014, San Francisco launched Startup in Residence, pairing cities and startups through challenge-based procurement. 20+ cities and 1,000+ startups are now competing for 100 contract opportunities. Learn what worked (and didn’t) from government staff, procurement officers, and startups.

  • Matthew McAllister, Smart City Project Manager, City and County of Denver
  • Jay Nath, former San Francisco Chief Innovation Officer, Co-Executive Director City Innovate
  • Janell Schafer, Senior Procurement Lead, City and County of Denver
Multi-Party Data Sharing: Bringing All the Players to the Table
GovOps Fri, May 31   1:00pm – 2:00pm

A common challenge across government digital transformation is the ability to get the right data, to the right people, at the right time to drive impact. Thinking beyond data sharing as a transaction, this session will highlight public-private data sharing successes in states like Colorado and California, using a collaborative format to engage people working towards adoption of multi-party data sharing agreements on behalf of their own agencies. BrightHive will share success stories from supporting state and city governments in signing multi-party data sharing agreements called “data trusts,” and best practices in establishing, staffing, and executing associated data governance bodies. This session will begin with a presentation, but will focus on workshopping how to design collaborative approaches between program staff, IT and legal teams, to build trust and buy-in while addressing the specific needs and challenges at different organizations.

  • Vyki Englert, Product Manager, BrightHive
  • Natalie Evans Harris, Co-Founder & Head of Strategic Initiatives, BrightHive
  • Bryan Keller, Impact Analytics Manager, Goodwill Industries International
  • Reg Leichty, Founder & Partner, Foresight Law & Policy
Public Service for and with the People: Building a Government Open Organization Through Culture, Code, and Community
GovOps Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

Government openness is a mindset that starts with culture, but includes rethinking the public sector’s approach to technology and community. Using anecdotes and lessons learned from early experiments at the State of California, the City of San Rafael, and the City of Fort Collins, government leaders will discuss the evolving openness practices within their organizations, and how it has impacted their relationships with public servants, the public and the partners they work closely with.

  • Kelly DiMartino Senior Assistant City Manager, City of Fort Collins, CO
  • Angelica Quirarte, Assistant Secretary for the CA Government Operations Agency, State of CA
  • Rebecca Woodbury, Director of Digital Service & Open Government, City of San Rafael, CA
Seven Strategies for Hiring and Supporting Technologists in Government
GovOps Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

The Partnership for Public Service has compiled learnings that come from three years of recruiting for the U.S. Digital Service into seven key lessons applicable at all levels of government. Two former leaders of the USDS will share they learned and how these lessons can be useful to government executives, and then turn to a conversation with the audience on what kinds of obstacles they are facing when it comes to hiring tech talent.

  • Jennifer Anastasoff, Executive Director, Tech Talent Project; Founding Head of People Operations, U.S. Digital Service
  • Jenny Smith, Project Manager, Alloy; Former Leader of People Operations, U.S. Digital Service
Stimulating Cross-Department and Public Collaboration via Data Initiatives
GovOps Fri, May 31   11:00am – 12:00pm

Data initiatives within government represent much more than the work of one department; instead, they typically necessitate collaboration between teams in opposite corners of City Hall. These relationships can be leveraged to do more than just release datasets, serving as the foundation for transformative work connecting civil servants with the communities to whom their work matters the most. In this session we’ll analyze success stories and share experiences via group discussion, focusing on the process and the people (rather than the tools).

This session is generously sponsored by Esri.

  • Patrick Hammons, Product Engineer, Esri
Surviving Political Transitions
GovOps Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

What happens when leadership in a large organization changes? When the mission, goals, and policy positions change? When the person who pleaded your case and had your back is… gone? Change in leadership is inevitable, especially in government where term limits are a fact of life. What happens in political transitions, and how do you set your team up to survive them? This session will cover: building trust and relationships with internal, career staff; using the transition period to your advantage; documenting progress; adjusting plans for political agendas; and developing exit scenarios and strategies.

  • Dana Chisnell, Co-Executive Director, Center for Civic Design
  • Michael Land, Digital Services Expert, U.S. Digital Service at Department of Homeland Securit
The Role of Open Source in Building Government Technology Infrastructure
GovOps Thu, May 30   4:00pm – 5:00pm

As software becomes increasingly accepted and understood as critical government and societal infrastructure, what does this mean in practice, and what is the role of open source? Amin Mehr, Deputy Director of Code.gov and Ben Cerveny, Director of the Foundation for Public Code discuss issues such as what’s needed for sustainable code-as-infrastructure, stewardship, auditing and the challenges and opportunities at different levels of government.

  • Ben Cerveny, Director, Foundation for Public Code
  • Amin Mehr, Deputy Director, Code.gov, U.S. General Services Administration
The Security Help Desk
GovOps Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

Have a computer security question that's been on your mind? Need help setting up two factor for your email? Drop by the security help desk, staffed by two security experts and former USDS engineers and get some help!

  • Alex Gaynor, Alloy; former U.S. Digital Service, Mozilla
  • Andrew Nacin, Director of Technical Program Management, Security, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, former U.S. Digital Service


    Training the Technology Buyer: The Digital IT Acquisition Professional Certification
    GovOps Thu, May 30   1:00pm – 2:00pm

    In May of 2018, the Federal government established the Contracting Core-Plus Specialization in Digital Service Acquisition. This certificate is targeted at the contracting professionals who must conduct the acquisitions. This session will highlight the program, how companies and students can get involved in either taking it or providing it, examples of course elements to demonstrate what exactly is being taught in the classroom, and the impact of the training to the digital service acquisition landscape. More information about the program is highlighted on the TechFARHub.

    • Traci Walker, Director, Digital Service Procurement, United States Digital Service
    Transforming Government Services Through Operational Customer Experience Management
    GovOps Thu, May 30   11:00am – 12:00pm

    Improving customer experience (CX) is no longer just a strategy for the private sector. Public sector entities from the Federal government to state and local institutions and beyond have come to understand that CX is a critical driver for their operations as well. But what does CX truly mean in a world where even the idea of “customer” itself is relatively new? How do you measure CX and what impacts does improving it really have on our state and local governments? This session will share lessons on how organizations like the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the United States Postal Service are utilizing an operational approach to transform how they serve citizens, and how those learnings can be applied to the state and local level.

    This session is generously sponsored by Medallia.

    • Brian Michael, GM & VP, Medallia, Public Sector
    • Zac Trojak, Principal & Co-Founder, Medallia, Public Sector
    Widening the Field for Procurement
    GovOps Thu, May 30   2:30pm – 3:30pm

    Minority and Women-Owned Businesses face endless barriers to success, including winning government contracts. In this session, the City of Albuquerque and Avisare will highlight how they are successfully tackling the problems plaguing procurement to make the process more seamless and inclusive. And Hire Harlem will share how it is helping Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise initiatives be more successful in New York by changing the way citizens interact with the data collected during the certification process.

    • Jordan Stockdale, Executive Director and Co-founder of HireHarlem
    • Alex Ocampo, Director of Technology, Co-founder, HireHarlem
    • Sky Kelley, Founder & CEO, Avisare
    • Maggie Newman, Program Manager of City Alive Albuquerque