Preface: Experimental Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech

Today we’re launching a new project— Experimental Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech. This is a project led by Laurenellen McCann that deepens her work in needs-responsive, community-driven processes for creating technology with real people and real communities for public good. See our project page for complete details.

I’m excited about this project because it supports so many important nodes for Smart Chicago:

  • Keeping the focus on people and communities rather than technology. We are leading creators of civic tech, and we publish a lot of software. It’s people and impact we care about
  • Driving toward a shared language around the work. There is a lot of enthusiasm for “people” in our space right now. This project sharpens pencils and will put definition to the work
  • Highlighting the workers: communities are doing this work and doing it right. We seek to lift them up and spread their methods

Au Natur-Elle #latergramSmart Chicago is utterly devoted to being of impact here in Chicago. As our work progresses, we see that we have opportunity to have influence all over. This project, rooted in the Chicago Community Trust, funded by them and the Knight Foundation, executed by a leading thinker in the field, is one way we’re doing just that.