Civic Tech Forecast: 2014

Laura Dyson from Code for America: “Last year was a big year for civic technology and government innovation, and if last week’s Municipal Innovation discussion was any indication, 2014 promises to be even bigger. More than sixty civic innovators from both inside and outside of government gathered to hear three leading civic tech experts share their “Top Five” list of civic tech trends from 2013m, and predictions for what’s to come in 2014. From responsive web design to overcoming leadership change, guest speakers Luke Fretwell, Juan Pablo Velez, and Alissa Black covered both challenges and opportunities. And the audience had a few predictions of their own. Highlights included:

Mark Leech, Application Development Manager, City of Albuquerque: “Regionalization will allow smaller communities to participate and act as a force multiplier for them.”

Rebecca Williams, Policy Analyst, Sunlight Foundation: “Open data policy (law and implementation) will become more connected to traditional forms of governance, like public records and town hall meetings.”

Rick Dietz, IT Director, City of Bloomington, Ind.: “I think governments will need to collaborate directly more on open source development, particularly on enterprise scale software systems — not just civic apps.”

Kristina Ng, Office of Financial Empowerment, City and County of San Francisco: “I’m excited about the growing community of innovative government workers.”

Hillary Hartley, Presidential Innovation Fellow: “We’ll need to address sustainability and revenue opportunities. Consulting work can only go so far; we must figure out how to empower civic tech companies to actually make money.”

An informal poll of the audience showed that roughly 96 percent of the group was feeling optimistic about the coming year for civic innovation. What’s your civic tech forecast for 2014? Read on to hear what guest speakers Luke Fretwell, Juan Pablo Velez, and Alissa Black had to say, and then let us know how you’re feeling about 2014 by tweeting at @codeforamerica.”


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