citycamp

Highlights from CityCamp Colorado: Opengov techies give back with apps and expertise

Originally posted on opensource.com.

Smaller governments, typically those in rural towns, don’t have the IT capacity to foster serious innovation in citizen participation like governments in larger cities do. Two groups decided it was time to give back and have come together to share their technical knowledge and expertise: OpenColorado and Colorado Code for Communities will combine community, platform, and digital literacy to create a hosted service platform that includes open data with different web and mobile applications. Continue reading

CityCamp Raleigh Announces Second annual CityCamp to foster local government and citizen collaboration

Citizen-led “unconference” brings innovation and cooperation to the
capital city June 1, 2, and 3, 2012.

Raleigh, NC—CityCamp Raleigh announced the second annual, city-focused “unconference” that unites government, business, neighborhood, non-profit, and academic communities to create next-generation solutions for Raleigh. The event highlights the power of participation, promotes open source in local government and explores how technology can increase government transparency and participation. All citizens are invited to participate either before or after the conference by posting suggestions and ideas on the CityCampRal.org homepage under the ‘Submit Your Topic’ header. Continue reading

Announcing CityCamp Raleigh 2012

We are pleased to announce the event dates for this year’s CityCamp in Raleigh, NC. Save the date for CityCamp Raleigh 2012: June 1, 2, and 3. The planning committee is working on all the details, but attendees can expect a similar format from our first CityCamp—a day of speaking, an unconference, and teams working on solving a city-wide opportunity.

On Friday, June 1, we are planning on having two panels focused on how open source and open government are applied to civic participation and to business. Then, if we can pull it off, an inspirational lightning-talk session to leave attendees fired-up for the rest of the weekend.

On Saturday, June 2, we will kick off our unconference–where the agenda will be determined by those in attendance. Folks will pitch ideas to start off the morning, several workshops will be hosted, and teams will start to form around ideas on how to improve civic engagement or other civic-minded needs in the City of Raleigh.

On Sunday, June 3, teams will collaborate on solving a civic issue that can improve the quality of life in Raleigh. Simultaneously, CityCamp Raleigh will host a Triangle Wiki content sprint to add pages, images, and ideas to trianglewiki.org. At 3pm, teams will present and CityCamp Raleigh will award one winning team with a cash reward.

If your are interested in sponsoring, planning, or participating in this years CityCamp Raleigh visit citycampral.org for more details. We look forward to shaping the future of our city with you. Be sure to mark your calendar for the first weekend in June when together, we will make change happen the open source way. Registration for the event will be opened in early May.

Five organizing tips for a successful CityCamp

government and citizens

Image credits: opensource.com

Original appearance on opensource.com.

Joining the open source (and CityCamp) movement has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve been involved with open source for over a decade, but I never got involved in a community project in any significant way–until I found CityCamp. I haven’t submitted a single line of code, but I’m able to bring my project management and community-building skills to the table. That’s important because it highlights the fact that there is more to open source contributions than writing code. Continue reading

CityCamp Honolulu recap: Restoring trust in government

Originally posted at opensource.com.

The theme that emerged from the first CityCamp Honolulu, held on December 3 (the 17th CityCamp held worldwide), was restoring citizen confidence in their government. In a very collaborative and participatory atmosphere, organizers looked to citizens to generate ideas for the City of Honolulu’s upcoming Code for America project and to harness the power of design thinking to rapidly prototype ten topics generated during the unconference. Continue reading

This weekend: Aloha and open government at CityCamp Honolulu

Originally posted at opensource.com.

The City of Honolulu is calling all citizens to join the open government movement on December 3 and to prove the value of government data as a platform. They hope to entice citizens to shape the future of their city by identifying open government opportunities, discussing technology, and formulating solutions. Civic groups, designers, “govies,” techies, developers, and more are encouraged to participate. The organizers of CityCamp Honolulu are excited to host this open government unconference in preparation for a 2012 Code for America project. Continue reading

Combating duplication with open government

Originally posted on opensource.com.

The second CityCamp Colorado started off with two speakers from the City of Denver setting the stage for the day’s theme: enhancing access to government. Held at the Jefferson County Administration and Courts Facility on October 28, 2011, more than 70 people gathered to participate, learn, and advance the open government movement. After Tom Downey, talked about the power shift in open government, Deputy Chief of Staff Stephanie O’Malley for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock explained the importance for citizens of knowing how to find government information. Continue reading

Jumpstart your CityCamp planning

Helping other CityCamps with Documentation

There is a lot of momentum for CityCamp. We’re seeing other cities planning CityCamps in Denver, Minneapolis, and Honolulu (and more on the way). I’ve gotten a chance to interact with a few of the planners from some of these camps and give them tips & tricks on what worked well here at CityCamp Raleigh and some gotchas that we ran into.

As I’ve been talking with folks, one of the things they find most valuable is our documentation. Because we open sourced our project plan, sponsorship kit, logistics, and many other assets created along the way, other CityCamps are able to get going faster. They are able to re-purpose the work that we did and apply it to their camp. That’s the power of open source.

To make it easier, here is a list of documents from CityCamp Raleigh that may help other folks starting or even considering putting on a CityCamp: Continue reading

Things I learned from CityCamp

This article first appeared on citycampral.org

By Jonathan Minter / June 28th, 2011 /

I feel very fortunate to have been part of the planning group for CityCamp Raleigh.  Although I work for the City of Raleigh, I was part of the team as an average joe – not an “official city representative” – which allowed me to do things that have nothing to do with my day-to-day job responsibilities.  Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the everyday routine and shop for post-it notes and markers instead.

Here are some things I learned from the weekend and the planning that went into it.

  • I finally learned the value of Twitter.  I have been a Twitter voyeur for some time now and just set up an account a couple months ago.  Watching the real-time conversation from the audience about what was going on throughout the weekend made it a much more immersive experience.
  • I learned that there is a passionate group of citizens who are willing to not just talk about the problems our city faces – but are also willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work solving them.
  • I learned that the quality and availability of government data in standard formats is a foundation to lots of great things – namely an enabler to all those tech-savvy citizens who are willing to use that data to solve problems.
  • I learned that personal interaction between citizens and city employees can help city employees get exposure to the folks that ultimately consume our services.  As IT folks, sometimes we’re supporting the folks who support the folks who are on the front lines serving the citizens.  It always helps to be able to draw a line from where you stand to the people who will eventually be served by your organization.
  • Finally, I got a glimpse of what teamwork the open source way is all about.  There were no formal leaders, job descriptions, or top-down direction – just dedicated people who brought their skills to the project and jumped in wherever they could bring the most value.  We used technology tools based on their goodness of fit and experienced the freedom that comes from internet-based tools that interoperate with one another.

I’m looking forward to more interaction throughout the coming year and then another CityCamp Raleigh 2012!