Kyla Williams Co-Presents Today at Philanthropy Ohio’s Annual Conference

Today, Leon Wilson, CIO of the Cleveland Foundation, and I will co-present at the Philanthropy Ohio’s annual conference with a theme this year of “Philanthropy Forward” and a concentrated discussion on Digital Civic Engagement & Community-Centered Design. Philanthropy Forward ’17 is set to inform practices, strategies and goals and connect peers in the field of philanthropy. The conference will also focus on the future of philanthropy with insight into the current state of the sector – fueled by recent research – addressing transitions, change and the leadership pipeline. With several networking and roundtable discussions, attendees will discover how to shift failures to successes, effectively fund advocacy and civic engagement and hear from  exceptional leaders across the state and country.

Leon and I also presented in April 2017 at the Council on Foundations Annual Conference “Leading Together” as part of a panel discussion with: Aaron Deacon, Managing Director, Kansas City Digital Drive; Elizabeth Reynoso, Assistant Director of Public Sector Innovation, Living Cities; and Lilly Weinberg, Program Director/Community Foundations, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation on “Supporting Civic Engagement through Technology and Community-Centered Design”. After finishing that presentation we decided more collaborative sharing between cities was necessary and lead to this opportunity at Philanthropy Ohio.

Community building in the digital era requires providing a space for the public sector and local communities to interact. Building solutions with peoplenot just for them – by using community-centered design can have profound social impact. This has been central to Smart Chicago’s work and has lead to the building of processes, products, services, and other lightweight tech solutions that have been helpful.

Our presentation today has the learning objectives:

  • To introduce different models developed in communities to address civic engagement digitally
  • To encourage the consideration of embedding support for digital civic engagement into existing grantmaking & advancement efforts

You can follow the happenings of the conference on Twitter @PhilanthropyOH and @SmartChgoKyla or by using the hashtag #PhilFWD17.

SMART CHICAGO IS MOVING!!!

Good News!!! The Smart Chicago team is moving and now will be co-located with the City Digital Team at UI Labs. As such, our individual emails will be changing to:

Kyla Williams           kyla.williams@uilabs.org

Sonja Marziano       sonja.marziano@uilabs.org

Denise Linn               denise.riedl@uilabs.org

Leslie Durr                 leslie.durr@uilabs.org

Our new mailing address is 1415 N. Cherry Avenue Chicago, IL 60642 and general phone number is 312.281.6900.

Please check our website at www.smartchicagocollaborative.org or follow us on twitter @smartchicago for more updates.

We appreciate your patience during this time of transition.

Leslie Durr Joins Smart Chicago as Project Coordinator

Leslie DurrLeslie Durr  joins the Smart Chicago Collaborative as a Project Coordinator.She will serve as the point person for projects including Chicago Health Atlas, Smart Health Centers, Foodborne, Hive Learning Networks and Youth-Led Tech. She will also be working to add several new projects to our portfolio.

Her experience includes program development and grant management in the non-profit sector, most recently with the Southland Health Care Forum as the Project Director for the State of Illinois Get Covered Campaign.

Leslie has her Master of Science in Human Service Administration from Spertus College and Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Jackson State University.

You can follow her work on Twitter.

Please join us in welcoming Leslie Durr.

Models for Leveraging Tech to Improve Public Service & Governance in Indonesia

Smart Chicago Collaborative guest blogger Jensi Sartin is a YSEALI State Department Fellow from Indonesia. He is working with the Smart Chicago Collaborative for a month to gain experience in Chicago’s public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors — especially on digital issues.

Rising incomes in populous Southeast Asian countries plus plunging smartphone prices have created an Internet boom. It is estimated that there will be 190 million smartphone users in Southeast Asia by end of 2015.  By the end of 2019, that number will be over 340 million! In my country of Indonesia we have the most mobile Facebook users in the world and the capital capital city, Jakarta, has more active Twitter users than any other city in the world.

This digital advancement affects the public, including citizens’ relationship with and communication with government. In Indonesia, you can tweet directly to the governor and, even if it’s an angry tweet, you’re sure to get reply or a retweet. The public also uses online petitions like Change.org to  spread awareness or even force government to shift positions on policies. We’ve even found that using  apps and crowdsourcing can help crackdown corruption in the government.

Organizing rally urging government to eradicate corruption and promote more meaningful transparency in the mining sector.

Organizing rally urging government to eradicate corruption and promote more meaningful transparency in the mining sector.

Despite the fact that Indonesia’s Internet quality is poorer compared to its Southeast Asian neighbor nations, most government agencies have at least two digital channels: a website and a social media account. Some agencies have even created digital platforms for e-Procurement, e-Budgeting, e-Tax, and many more “e-somethings”. For instance, the city of Jakarta, famous for its bad traffic jams, is using social media to make the city more livable.

Environmental damage by a mining company found by combining images from drone mapping with a government map on existing mining concession (the white color area is a lake that has been used to wash bauxite from soil)

Environmental damage by a mining company found by combining images from drone mapping with a government map on existing mining concession (the white color area is a lake that has been used to wash bauxite from soil)

Civic advocacy is also adopting technology in its work. Following the progress of Open Government Partnership and Indonesia’s Freedom of Information Law, a number of projects were launched to promote open data. Civic apps and websites were created to solve problems that are either rarely or inefficiently addressed by government. For instance, KawalPilkada is an app that educates the public  on provincial and city-level elections. Also, a local anti-corruption organization launched opentender.net to crosscheck the procurement process in the government projects.

Community brainstorming with fishermen, the marine tourism operators, and government to develop a joint-program to manage fisheries and marine tourism in the area. This region in east of Bali is one of main tourism destinations that is threatened by the increasing impact of climate change.

Community brainstorming with fishermen, the marine tourism operators, and government to develop a joint-program to manage fisheries and marine tourism in the area. This region in east of Bali is one of main tourism destinations that is threatened by the increasing impact of climate change.

Have all these “e-somethings” improved public service delivery in Indonesia or have they simply  spread the “you are not cool if you don’t have Twitter” feeling? Unfortunately, this question is rarely addressed. The most important thing in this work should be user (or expected user) opinion and experience. It’s about the people that use the technology!  A people-focused  organization, set of methods, and best practices should be established to ensure that new digital tools truly improve public life.

I think this might look like a Smart Chicago Collaborative model in Indonesia with missions in Internet access (like Connect Chicago), in digital skills and education (like Smart Health Centers), and in user-focused tools (like the CUTGroup).  This is why I’m here in Chicago — to learn more about the Smart Chicago model and see how I can apply it to districts in my country!

To learn more about me and follow my work, follow me on Twitter.

Jensi pic 1

Jensi Sartin is a YSEALI Professional Fellow for Legislative and Governance Process of  Department of State and he is hosted by American Council of Young Political Leaders.  YSEALI is President Barack Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Based in Indonesia, Jensi serves as a program development manager of  Publish What You Pay Indonesia’s efforts to promote transparency and accountability in government especially related to governance of extractive sector (i.e. oil, gas, coal, mineral, forestry industry, etc.).  He also provides Reef Check Indonesia with  research and advisory support. Jensi holds a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management from the James Cook University Australia and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Sciences from Diponegoro University.

Denise Linn Joins Smart Chicago as Program Analyst

AshDenise4 copy smaller copyToday Denise Linn joins the Smart Chicago Collaborative as the Program Analyst. She will manage citywide ecosystem initiatives like Connect Chicago and the Chicago School of Data.

Denise comes to us from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she completed her Master in Public Policy degree and researched civic innovation and city-level Internet access projects. In 2015, she published “A Data-Driven Digital Inclusion Strategy for Gigabit Cities” and co-wrote the “Next Generation Network Connectivity Handbook.” She previously worked as an Economics Research Assistant in the Auctions & Spectrum Access Division of the Federal Communications Commission and is an alumna of the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

As Program Analyst, Denise will develop, execute, and manage the evaluation of Smart Chicago Programming.  She has primary responsibility for the day-to-day activities of Connect Chicago, the Chicago School of Data, and other data engagement projects like the Array of Things and the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership.

You can follow her work on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Slideshare.

Please join me in welcoming Denise Linn.

Help Wanted: Administrative Assistant at Smart Chicago Collaborative

The Smart Chicago Collaborative is hiring an administrative assistant to help us support our work.

The Administrative Assistant will help us with coordinating schedules, requests for information, meetings, and events that surround our work. This may sound simple, but as a collaborative organization we work with a ton of consultantspartners, and funders to get everything done. Throughout the course of our work, we try to keep everything documented and are looking for additional help to do that.

We’re looking for somebody that  has at least two years of experience and great web, writing, and communication skills. As a technology outfit, our ideal candidate would be somebody who is interested in technology and not afraid to try out new tools.

More importantly, we’re looking for somebody who is community service oriented. Our work centers around using technology to create an impact in our communities and we’re looking for somebody who wants in the game.

Full details on the job posting can be found here!