Former Senior Advisor to President Obama David Plouffe now leads policy and advocacy for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Over the coming months, we’ll be publishing a series highlighting the lessons we learned in the room where it happened at Code for America Summit 2018.

The theme of Summit 2018 was “the room where it happens” — but if we’re not in the room where it happens in Washington, in state capitals, in city halls, we won’t be able to make real change happen at scale.

For that, we have to have champions. Champions in local, state, and federal government who will give technologists a seat at the table (early!) so we can start thinking about implementation at the very beginning of the policy formation process.

“I think one of the greatest challenges to our country right now is the most talented people, the most innovative people in our society, do not think about working in government.”

All too often, government programs aren’t designed from a user-centered approach. If technologists can bring those principles to policymaking (see Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka ’s post on delivery-driven government ) we can not only improve outcomes, but also the ways that people experience and interact with government. And in doing so, we will help restore the public’s trust and faith in democracy.

To hear David’s speech in full, watch the video below.