Smart Chicago Collaborative is proud to announce our partnership with the Southwest Organizing Project and LocalData as part of the Civic Works Project — providing tools that empower organizations to make change in their neighborhoods.
Earlier this month, Chicago Chief Technology Officer John Tolva unveiled the city’s very first technology plan. The plan was a result of a year-long process of research, brainstorming, and thinking about how to make all of Chicago competitive in the new digital economy.
This plan is a comprehensive framework for growing Chicago’s technology sector or getting broadband connectivity for everyone or ensuring that Chicago remains a leader in open government data .
The plan also highlights the work that the civic technology community has been doing in Chicago. From the weekly OpenGov Hack Nights, the Smart Communities Program, and youth STEM programs; Chicago already enjoys a strong set of technology strengths and this plan will enable the city to advance even further.
Smart Chicago Collaborative is proud to have a key role in many of these initiatives and is dedicated to implementing this plan. Here’s a look at our role in the plan and the aspects of our existing work in this context.
This summer, Mikva Challenge and Smart Chicago Collaborative worked with a group of 140 kids and trained them to use the latest digital tools to organize themselves, amplify their voice, and take positive civic action. On the Mikva side, the work was divided into four different youth councils.
Christopher Whitaker, a researcher, writer, and organizer for the Smart Chicago Collaborative, is being named a Champion of Change for Civic Hacking this morning at the White House.
The White House Champions of Change program was created as part of President Obama’s Winning the Future Initiative. Through this program, the White House highlights individuals, businesses, and organizations whose extraordinary stories and accomplishments positively impact our communities.
Here’s the note on Christopher from a White House press release:
Christopher Whitaker, Project Management Consultant at the Smart Chicago Collaborative
Christopher Whitaker is a project management consultant at the Smart Chicago Collaborative, utilizing his experience in government and community organizing to advance civic innovation in Chicago. Whitaker also serves as the Chicago Brigade Captain for Code for America, supporting civic hacking events and teaching a weekly Civic Hacking 101 class. He is a graduate of DePaul University (MPA) and Sam Houston State University (BA, Political Science). Previously, Whitaker served with the US Army in Iraq as a mechanized infantryman.
The entire program, which focuses on both Open Government and Civic Hacking, is being streamed live this morning starting at 9AM Central time.
We’re super-proud of Christopher and really grateful for the work he’s done here in Chicago, both on his own and as a member of the Smart Chicago team. His signal accomplishment in this domain revolves around his work around the National Day of Civic Hacking. He lead our efforts to help pull of three huge events. Chicago was the most active city with 412 people taking part in events at Cibola, 1871, and the Adler Planetarium.
Forest Gregg and Derek Eder of DataMade, two of the leading lights in civic hacking anywhere, have also been invited to participate in today’s event at the White House. Their Councilmatic Chicago is without a doubt the best piece piece of finished work that was launched on the NDoCH. Arfon Smith, Director of Citizen Science for the Adler Planetarium, was also invited as a citizen hacking star. Chicago is lucky to have them represent us in the nation’s capitol.