Civic Tech – Of the people, by the people and for the people

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Civic Tech – Of the people, by the people and for the people
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What if governments invited citizens to help create new tools and services that fit their needs? What if citizens offered governments not only their voices but also their hands and help build tools that improve the communication and collaboration between citizens and public administration? Initiatives and city labs around the world demonstrate how such engagement translates into new forms of citizen participation through the use of new technology. What´s behind these new initiatives and city labs? What challenges do they face and what chances do they hold?
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know and a hello everyone and welcome to this session and the detector and the topic is heavily inspired by the work Steffen and I do Stefan Kaufmann tumor right he's just finishing his studies in Media Informatics and has been very active as a city cat can his hometown will in the south of Germany and he's going to elaborate a bit more on this experience the session I newly-acquired I
work at the of knowledge Fundation that's an international NGO working on various topics in projects around openness and I am also currently working on a project that closely related to the topic civic tech which I'm also going to mention of it later but before we dive into some practical examples it's important to quickly look at the definition of civic tech so and it's a pretty new field there's no ultimate definition of it yet there's not even in the 2 p the article about it yet as a let's take the term civic tech apart and and look at the 2 were to consists of civic meaning relating to the cities to the city citizenship or community affairs and tech fairly easy to show from technology so ergo this is what the definition of city attack could look like and sit exact digital to and acknowledging that improve public processes and systems to promote engagement between community and governments and promote the lives of individual citizens so civic tech helps citizens to better interact with the government partake in democracy and promote an open and transparent governing bodies and that's slightly abstract and have to admit and that's why we're leaving the abstract level now and go on and take a look at some examples and we have 2 examples and later on some more so the first
one here yeah this is often 3 1 1 of quite a hands-on tool that improves the communication between the the city government of local governments and the citizens I mentioned public sidewalk waste vitamin from of houses flowing and destruction of pavements and the lights but were level was lower so we're gonna call in the United States the service hotlines like 3 1 1 uh and um services like this uses Chicago's 3 1 service tracker this allows you to find out whether somebody already called in those
issues and whether that be assigned to the relevance to the authorities already and what's the status on them you can even get status updates of the system of response to the form of yours as so you will notify by you know whenever never
change cursor on this task uh
you already have seen this over and over again but still OpenSpending driven by community creates which images izations from which allow a completely different look on public finances from making batches more transparent and not only to citizens but all of them also to lawmakers from which take this as the 1st real opportunity to see what they're actually deciding upon so these are 2 examples of what is possible from Open Government and the committed committed community working together so those 2
examples already suggested attack can help to improve and a couple of things like the following for example
political participation by enabling citizens to connect with 1 another and with the electoral presentatives or looking at information provision and Viacom government websites for example we are able to access information 24 7 and that's something we already take for granted and and besides improving the way of communication between gas and citizens and technology can also increase the efficiency within government and so here's
some terms and concepts you might already know about and in the last couple of years the government of the opening up and started to leverage technology and a guess almost 100 % of German city nowadays and have their own website if not even specific apps and services but still when we compare online government services with commercial services there's this gap right and of course it's not fair to compare the the gospel of start ups and but still I believe there's a lot of unused potential and and of course there's some challenges as specific challenges that city are focusing debts and hindered them from developing state-of-the-art technology to lose and
and challenges that hinder them to be as innovative as they could be and let's take a quick look at those challenges while the 1st was a no-brainer cities our torus a tight budget and there's just
no way that a city can go ahead and let street falls in the streets fall into disrepair or cut school budgets to get e-participation or government 2 . 0 along and get away with that I'm also and if the government offers a service like for example 2 3 1 1 there's just no way that they can for example have the don't times the service of a government office has to be available all the time and for everybody so I you to the office through among services and requested dropped the the citizens will complain and on you you have problems of this fail often and very fast concept culture that's so very common in the starter of culture the former thing goes to the official and the city government can can do the so and finally had to be completely honest a governments are not very attractive choices for for employment if you've got a choice to go to a start up cultural from Silicon Valley company right they create flying hovercraft cars and have a ball pit and offers and compare that to a career in public service over if you've got an interesting procurement processes and stuff like that um most people have prior reduced evolved it's over the government deployment of the so after that serves as let's look at some approaches of Hobbes who may be overcome those challenges and let's take a look at the
1st challenge so cities on tight budgets right and if few streets as be if if you have to make budget cuts and you do not necessarily think about spending a lot of money on X and the 2 services and this is why it's very important to commemorate Edwards Tim O'Reilly already in 2 thousand and 10 sets and that governments and has to be a platform he says the government is not like a vending machine descent year did the distance put in Texas and that they get out services is not a really interesting model of how government ought to relate to its citizens in steps when government manages to become a platform as an enabler that provides information and data that others can build upon and create a wide range of tools and services it's much more efficient and government can focus on the real challenges so what's really interesting about this is and a year ago I was talking to someone from the eGovernment department in Cologne and they're doing great work there and this and that this lady told me have a couple of years ago we thought OK there's this left side of the city of Cologne and when the city's needs information
and he he should visit call website so that we have like 8 numbers of users visiting our web said why should we offer our data our information by API is to others and then a couple of years later after that they thought well it just doesn't make difference where citizens or where people get the information from and the important thing is that they get right information so this about opening up in about being a platform where others can take information
field services and products around it I don't expect as city governments to build large at 10 thousands of apps for each service so there's this as a whole community and and companies start around stood reuse data we see that in there and we see that with transport data lot for example and that look let's look at the 2nd approach so there's little space for experience and failure is not an option of
course and people rely on your services and like they do with their services and the early and often approach said that's not something that works for you so instead of this uh what could be an approach for option here is to create a space for experience and that for example we know that from big companies that they have to create spaces then that that's where they tryouts that all but it doesn't have to be like as as sophisticated as so that you can really starts at and by just getting in touch with innovative spaces groups cities there's for example the case
can computer clap their groups all around Germany there's that knowledge for this network their civic hackers next Stefan just go out there and check with me that's a in your city and to go and talk to people and this and we're going
to look at some maps there in a couple of minutes the 3rd approach and with the attack people and the fact that and public administration might not be as sexy for them is working for a starter or an IT company and I think it's a good start to fix the number 2 and number 1 and number 2 and becoming a platform and then meeting people outside government at the 1st step of solving this problem I assume if you as a city government get more innovative you attract more innovative people and as a very good practice for that this Helsinki Helsinki is a prime example and in the last month the city was awarded the European Commission's prize for innovation in public administration
and they doing everything it's just mentioned if the opening up a great amount of data they are providing in really an yet in really good format so that people that it's easy to reuse and so third-party application developers to take the data and 200 in consumer products and as a monthly need called helsinki last developed as you can see the stick and the back and and Barrett city officials and developers have a chance to meet and exchange of other problems of stuff they're working on so
that has zinc is a really nice example and we're gonna share this slide that later on there's a link to really as a good article about what's apps actually get developed and while you're so when you open up up uh of cities in the Greek government as a platform to allow for the inclusion of for knowledge or cost onto collaboration between the Government and the people and that's not so much a new concept from if you think about
it 1st voluntary fire departments not back them back in the days leading hundreds of number and the idea of public Pfizer was was to perform your bucket chain and the people all over the place and you just we thought about ways on how to improve this classic fire protection approach so for example this new technology like new final 10 pounds and later on steam engines and overall and the idea that of fire protection was organized so these ideas rope or a doctor from 1 city to another ideas were exchanged innovation took place and if you take this idea
and um this historical example and up to through challenges we just all land it's not so hard to see the perilous thing about everyday citizens who do have the willingness on the means to make a difference and want to improve on the current existing opted for existing raised and give them the opportunity to do so forming some kind of voluntary tech reated and applying new tools and rethinking processes refrain going and 1 who how many of you do
even over Williams the to come the discovery be churches public transport and that's about it and this is 1 of the examples word or start frozen um you might have seen those real-time transit displays a bus stops of help you will find time to get a doomer before train or something it will be thing having them for 7 or 8 years but not at our university which is a big public transit up
so about 4 years ago from a couple students of figured you just need data right you you don't need a 200 thousand dollars euros and public display outside adjusted data in some way of displaying and so at the end the transit authority provided real-time transit data of view as a provider of monitorable schussing running anyway and what was to become Working Group investor life's work and created what using right here in boston serving the students university if you university students ever since so this is just 1 example from William and Stefan brought from war but let's
look at the various simplified graphic so in an ideal world that it would kind of look like this engaged citizens and city governments that instead of isolation from 1 another they have to so were they connect and interact and said again the space in the acting and is the space where the magic happens so as to the gaps provide data like example and people build stuff like the students in all and as city government promotes apps developer community or even better they implement and adapt that's so let's look at some more best practices of collaboration between gas and engaged community like in New York for example the of the of the basic book so cool example and when the City of New York on the to upgrade of bringing the NYC . gov website into 1 more user-friendly
spaces they might have New Yorkers to act anybody could prototype their ideal city website and then they took those those results which stem from experience interacting with the old website and to his inspiration to operate the mercy of cover-ups
and as an example I really like cough from America borrowed from this classical fire brigades again approach number and a credit their own everyday program so those all over the United States brigades teams of volunteers
dedicated timeand expertise especially to advocate for open data and open government and also making that happen by developing applications that make use of open data so since solutions usually do not really you just apply to once it to just 1 city Trudeau's predates networks from the team's exchange information what's been working in 1 city and find out what's going on elsewhere uh and um whether they can re-adapt to redeploy that for their own city meeting the demands of their own
citizens the this is just 1 example you become originally this was an apt for Chicago over citizens could find out where they could get vaccinated for free and how to get to those fixations clinics but public transit so when a flu outbreak occurred just problem months later in Boston at the Chicago flu shot up was just
really adapted repurposed and replied forces in Boston but in a day and a half the public health emergency declared and the 36 hours that application have been really predecessor readers retrieve large for Bostonians this is another example corpus of Adelphia use a smartphone app that have been used in Atlanta already from which a blog writers to track and classifier there from the roots of rewrote roots and those of much submit the monomers form and to the Regional Planning Council which can then use this data to better plan and um improve on bike infrastructure so does the 2 examples are elected brigades that detect brigades outside governments are community groups that meet on a regular basis and they also connected government but there's this 2nd really nice an approach of program
and off um code from Eric as well it's a fellowship program and a fellowship program and gets teams that didn't start up teams there's a designer Product Manager development and they they really get into city hall so they work within governments and for at you and they collaborate on new apps and they foster new approaches and and yet active problem solving it within city hall and and what's really interesting about this is when they
arrive the challenges often not predefined because if a challenges predefined you can also go through procurement process right so they're really a nice thing about this concept of progress is that it's a very open progress so the teams arrive and what they do is they interview city of Fisher's the interview citizens to figure out the case where had their problems are challenges that could be sold by us and that would you can see here in the back is to a team of Philadelphia and ready to roll up their sleeves and the and said that Boston now
so and the outcome of a fellowship year in Boston 2011 and the Fellowship team created this and platforms a platform for parents and it helps parents to answer the important question of which
Square is right for my kids and and date they asked around in the city and they're really found that education is a is a big issue you the process is very the and and that the process of of screws election but it's also that fairly complicated so they made this database this system that enables parents to quickly as search for a good school you have a couple of filters and what's really interesting about this example is that it's actually an implemented that that's an ongoing process and it's really used by citizens in Boston to
define direct school for decades and is also promoted by the city of Boston they also had an wallpaper campaigns at the posters set up in the city to show people OK this is an example and if you wanna go to the to the website there's always the links in in the corner and check it out it's really it's a really nice example and what's cool about
Boston is that the city has its own Innovation Incubator as all of you know
them and he's in Boston as well so there's a lot of that knowledge stamp and an Viet this at that Boston MA Office of New Urban Mechanics internal agencies connect with without intrapreneurs with academia and a pilot projects and that address the residents needs so they're collaborating
with MIT with industry and they already introduced several interfaces and systems for example and then at called Street pump and look at that's the relief and fun at and and so what's critically about this process there were 2 2 researchers from the bark the Berkman Center who as studied said that New Urban Mechanics and office and a set of crucial is that the innovators the people who and I have to take charge uh will have to take care about innovation that they're very close to the mayor's office that they are not in some Department far away but that they are lecture things move faster if you have had to major or another high-level application that has a driver of process they and follow them onto it said it's amazing that they they just rolled out there fellowships for 2014
and they're doing great work it's it's to people who co-chairs of the office and OK so now you might think here alright after those examples in the US that only works in the US but and that let me give you an example of the proof is essentially wrong that's the what you can see behind this and text is elusive from the
laboratory of analysis you that in Mexico City and and it's selected just started getting 6 months ago and it's also amazing initiatives so the man decided OK he once this space and for innovation for creative city and in his city and he started to that and then here's a quote what the me has about the lap and its function so the latter is city will facilitate interaction between citizens and governments to rethink the city together generating a bank of ideas and solutions to build a city that supports and stimulates imagination a creative city so what he did was
he invited or he he he invited 19 people added that the lab has 19 staff and from various fields like artists and planners technologies is they all have different backgrounds and they also have 6 phallus like similar to the fellowship so they work at a closely together with city departments and enters slap a does not only work on cold projects of these 2 projects they also work on that every day like they paid the walk into the streets in and ask people OK you as a pedestrian in this big city I call you feel like how good government help you have to improve your and get your your your daily life so and they also showcasing that a wide open data is important by the work of together with the city departments and today are drafting and policy for uh an open government that agenda and so let me show you a OK depicts if you can see here is that code ago policy that program and the team in the background and they had this massive had the effect they where the city opened up 15 datasets and learning 500 something developers uh wanted to come to the heck did they they unfortunately only had space for 300 but it's amazing that it's a huge city and said a lot of people are interested in helping with their skills and to improve things in the city and the lack them the chance that you the lab this kind of this uh interactions space and
said to very quickly 2 examples of the fellows in the city have been working on the 1 this informat and they are releasing their ads in 1 month and they're going to presented to the media and so informat cut across sources information about the commas in Mexico City and helps the governments to and it's collectors information because in such a big city it's sometimes difficult to keep track or there's a lot of data and information the government this doesn't half and the 2nd axis you can see here are the same as in Mexico City caps and this as some of you might know it's always a bit tricky as tourists to figure out whether a sufficient not so they built this really that weight have and that quickly tells you whether an ICAP is office's or a gas or if it's energy cap so just to very small
approaches and that and that that kind of introduces a year of open data of the detector to the different city departments because they work together very closely with that follows an well so they examples and Mexico City now all textual and spectral so this doesn't work only in the United States and Mexico but also on so you but about how we approach is and what you could maybe the governor up for your city a few of the condition detector please do and the last 2 years we held annual bottoms comes to see a picture of 1 of them here we have 300 people because almost marginally more than Mexico City of number of you're able to connect to connect interests of its citizens researchers and government officials
from also but then the city that half of dedicated Open Data are government upside at the end so after having established contacts to the Saudi officials and having them released datasets as open data and be published on our website just as in the media fixed as raw Donaldson 2 or maybe I just another permanently solution that regard have up and running for what I'm but just as in as Intermedia fixed until the city had an official open that up the portal which which they have by now some another quick fix this uh this is similar to the Boston
School of project just about slightly versus user interface from the city the official tool for for checking free kindergarten spots it is just a glorified list for us so if you if you do not notice to attend classes in army images down there and the bus stops only 5 days 4 and 5 times a day and you probably uh
so I have to get for that and then have trouble so this mafia was our 1st step creating a more user-friendly overview and we hope you'll be able to reintegrate that into the official OMB to McGovern upside to make the lasting improvement instead of just a heck but that expands on the official and service
process and so what you can do is you can
click on OK OK this and this and that age group and then it field this you OK where spots for kid available so that the red crosses says so that there's no free and you have it that that you cannot like that that they closed later and that did it it's not open for kid and said the green and and the green things you can click he ended a direct you to the and context for another kindergarten by a few years as a member of video so all booked for ages so if you become a grounds for to right as the variances on China's territorial 2 as of yet be working on that so
this map as an example for the goes you can achieve rather quickly the SIS model is hasn't been a large scale projects it was for a time during Open Data they uh and um 1 more thing that I'd recommend for city government a river from our administration contact persons artificially allowed to join us on our meetings which are usually on the weekends or during the evenings and lot of use of my being on the clock so from this makes for very fast exchange of beef enable
to to get information you feedback very fast and present them allowing us to develop and publish much faster than uh if you had to you know back and forth through the promise of of course you never quite left public transit some of the short officials what could be possible for this experimental map from the city's transit authority was willing
to go let us welcome critic process the layout and to publish just get US Open Data also examples like this years of life map moralists that shows you go busses running actually have more positive than that but some exams like this can can often service stall openness to the administration allowing them to bed across gene duplication of what is possible if they open up data and implement the government as a platform so the last couple of slides so what do those examples show us what this shows is that collaboration is
key if just keep that matches that is somewhere around the internet and no 1 knows about it it doesn't help the citizens of the city so it's important that the different stakeholders collaborate that governments and governments of features or people that work in the public administration that they talk about the issues that problems they're focusing on and that they share insights and give this information to civic hacker community for example who and bills concepts and prototypes selected key demand order the real-time map and at what they do is they reuse status so they haven't yet made use of data the city provides so it's also very important that cities open up and that they provide resources for civic actors and there's also start ups some companies that's important in this process because and there's this point when you develop an ad it's fun in the beginning so the civic hackers most of them I want you to start and it's fine the beginning but then if you really have to
implemented into the city systems it's a kind of gets work so it's really important to also have start ups and companies and people who get paid on board to implement productise apps from the community and so did I I really believe dividers and collaboration and better civic tools
could be and provided also when it comes to data like sometimes when cities provide data it's hard to use and for developers because it's big do not have an API yet or it's not in the right format so that's something you can easy sold by getting in touch and talking to 1 another and there's already a couple of cities in Germany where it is where this is happening in order for example in Cologne had in million we're in touch swifter as city of berlin and officials from there so this collaboration and getting in touch and talking to each other is very important and said that we really like this concept of our communities connecting tech communities all over Germany so that's why give knowledge started a program in February called code for Germany and where and gets a
network of civic developers of techies designers people interested in open data and it's not a it's not a word show network at all it's actually a
network of a right now 11 of knowledge that's all around all across Germany and 2 more to more incubating so I'm sure there's a lab and the city near you they meet on a regular basis they work on and on greater and greater apps not not always that the biggest uh the those super high scale projects but like very
easy kind of a small-scale quick wins and say if you checked the code Germany website you can also see on what the different labs working on and and and yeah you can the country do I did last and yet find 11 EU and so on and and get out what more can say let's roll up our sleeves and get going thank you very much would you like
that but in the end