Experimental Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech

experimental-modes-coverExperimental Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech is an investigation into what it means to build civic tech with, not for. It answers the question, "what's the difference between sentiment and action?"

The project was conducted by Laurenellen McCann, and it deepened her work in needs-responsive, community-driven processes for creating technology for public good.

The project had three major components: a scan of the field, a convening of practitioners, and this book.

You can purchase the book on Amazondownload the book here or take a look at it over on Slideshare.

Read as blog posts

This book is a collection of posts serialized here on the Smart Chicago blog during the course of Laurenellen's work on this project.

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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 ...
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Criteria: People First, Tech Second

What does it look like to build civic tech with, not for? What’s the difference between sentiment and action? That’s the ...

5 Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech

Over the last several months, I’ve been researching community-driven processes for the creation of public interest technology. What distinguishes community-driven civic ...

Mode #1: Use Existing Social Structures

This is the first of a five-part series exploring how to develop civic technology with, not for communities. Each entry ...
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Mode #2: Use Existing Tech Infrastructure

This is the second piece in a five-part series exploring how to develop civic technology with, not for communities. Each ...

Mode #3: Create Two-Way Educational Environments

This is the third piece in a five-part series exploring how to develop civic technology with, not for communities. Each ...
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Mode #4: Lead From Shared Spaces

This is the fourth piece in a five-part series exploring how to develop civic technology with, not for communities. Each ...
Public Lab's organizational chart demonstrates how to include a variety of participants with equitable footing.

Mode #5: Distribute Power

This is the final piece in a five-part series exploring how to develop civic technology with, not for communities. Each entry ...

Tomorrow: Convening on Experimental Modes

Tomorrow Smart Chicago is hosting a convening at The Chicago Community Trust as part of our Experimental Modes of Civic Engagement in ...
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Primer for Experimental Modes Meeting

Here at Smart Chicago, we've always had three areas of focus: Access to technology and the internet Digital skills for ...

Show Your Work: Submit a Civic Tech Case Study

Through the Experimental Modes project, I’ve been researching and analyzing methods for community-controlled civic tech. These “modes” of civic engagement in civic tech ...

Before you came to this room, did you think of your work as “civic tech”?

On April 4th, as part of the Experimental Modes project, we gathered together 30 technology practitioners in a one-day convening ...

Active Listening 101 for Civic Tech

Active listening is the art of focusing: lending your full attention to what a person or a bunch of people ...
Stef Milovic of the Hidden Valley Nature Lab and Naheem Morris of the Red Hook Digital Stewards program discuss strategy at the Experimental Modes Convening. April 4, 2105. Photo by Dan O'Neil.

Real-world Civic Tech Strategies

At the Experimental Modes convening, practitioners from all over civic tech to came together to discuss, in their own words, how they ...

Where does community organizing end and civic tech begin?

Earlier this month, we gathered 30 community technology practitioners from around the country together for a convening about the Experimental ...

Tools, Not Tech

The textbook definition of “technology” is all about “tools”. Not computers, not command lines, but, to quote  Wikipedia: "the collection of ...
Laurenellen McCann

Meet people where they are: new analysis on the top best practices in #civictech, according to the people who do the work

“Democracy is a conversation, not a monologue!” -- US Department of Arts & Culture Last month, I posted an open call ...

Launch: Experimental Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech: Meeting people where they are.

Today marks the publication of  a new book by Laurenellen McCann: Experimental Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech: Meeting people ...

Team

Consultant Laurenellen McCann ran the project. She's worked with Daniel X. O'Neil on the Smart Chicago tip.

Partners

Our partners in this project are the attendees of our convening and the organizations we've studied.

This project falls under Smart Chicago's work on the Knight Community Information Challenge grant awarded under their Engaged Communities strategy to the Chicago Community Trust "as it builds on its successful Smart Chicago Project, which is taking open government resources directly into neighborhoods through a variety of civic-minded apps"

Here's how they describe the project on their grant page:

Building on previous Knight Foundation investments in the news and information ecosystem, via the Knight Community Information Challenge, the Chicago Community Trust will continue to design, build and demonstrate the power of digital tools to the community and empower residents to use news and information to improve their quality of life.

Here's background on Knight's current investments in four community foundations: Foundations take on projects to improve local news and information. A snip:

For 2014-15, the challenge is doubling down on projects by four community and place-based foundations with a successful track record in this area, helping them go further and then sharing the lessons with other community foundations and stakeholders in the local-news and -information space.

Media

If you questions for the author, contact Laurenellen McCann. if you are interested in the work of Smart Chicago or our Deep Dive, contact Daniel X. O'Neil.