Code for America Summit

The Code for America Summit went passed last week with an incredible 3 days of main stage talks, workshops and unconference talks that left us, and probably everyone else inspired to say the least.

I'm not a fan of conferences, as they usually are talk fests, but Code for America was able to bring a diverse group of people to re-imagine a 21st century government with the real-life practices, tools, values, and impact that it can have. 

We learned the deep and lasting impact of using technology to help make our communities healthier, safer, more just, and equitable.

Jake Brewer, Civic Tech hero RIP

Jake Brewer, Civic Tech hero RIP

OUR Takeaways:

Transforming government for the 21st century encodes our values. It doesn’t just change tools, but it fundamentally changes how we work. 21st century starts with users. It requires research, is iterative, is creative, involves our community, and really works for the people, by the people.

This work matters to our communities. We aren’t just opening and using data for the sake of data—it’s to serve people, to deliver better services, and to empower people.

Governments are incredibly diverse because they reflect the communities they serve. 21st century government, tools, and the values we embed honour this diversity by delivering the best possible user-centred, human-centred services for the people, by the people.

THE future

There were tremendous amounts of quotes, but one that got stuck in my mind was one by Jennifer Pahlka; "if we fail, let's not fail for the lack of imagination".

While Summit ended this week—the work of 21st century government never ends. We are thrilled and inspiried by everyone who joined us at the Summit and we’ll carry the lessons we learned, relationships we formed, and energy we gained with us throughout the year.