The ways that civic engagement is changing in Philadelphia was the focus of a short keynote I gave to help kickoff the Penn Public Policy Challenge at the Fels Institute of Government on Friday.
I focused on the public-private efforts that have been a defining part of the civic-minded technology community I’ve covered in Philadelphia for the last years. I spoke to about 40 mostly Penn graduate students who will be participating in the competition over the next few months. Find my notes below.
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Civic hacking is the act of using simple technical solutions to address or better understand bigger social problems. That’s something I found myself saying in an effort to better convey why open data and digital civic engagement isn’t just a distant issue for technologists but instead the conversation of transparency for today.
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Today is the most accessible moment in the history if mankind. We are new enough with tools that they are still used personally by many leaders but advanced enough that adoption is rampant.
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Define the mission underpinning the work of your news organization, and then allow yourself to experiment with new and potentially better ways of telling stories.
That’s my interest in finding new innovative storytelling methods, and so I was excited by the chance to share examples with nearly 100 reporters and educators who visited a session I cohosted during a national news innovation conference in Atlanta last week.
Know why you’re doing your coverage and find the method that best creates that outcome. While that may mean a beautiful, highly produced product like the Serengeti Lion web interactive from National Geographic, depicted above, my focus here is sharing low-cost or free ideas for inspiration.
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Before the full Online News Association conference kicked off in Atlanta, I was on a panel discussion about lessons from local reporting online during an event Google held for members of the media.
I was joined by Joaquin Alvarado from the Center for Investigative Reporting, Thomas Wheatley from Atlanta’s Creative Loafing and Bryan Leavoy from WSB-TV and the moderator Daniel Sieberg from Google.
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For the third time, I was granted the great honor to present an award at the Philly Geek Awards this past Saturday.
I put together some wrap coverage of the event here. Find previous presenting here.
Watch my presentation below (thanks SACM!).
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I’m only as good as my audience is — if they’re the audience you want to know about your work and I have more of them than you do, you want coverage from me. That’s the value proposition of media coverage as I tried to convey it on a panel discussion I was a part of yesterday.
I was proudly asked to be on a panel about media relationships at the first ever day-long Philadelphia grantee conference from the Knight Foundation. The logic was to offer some programming and bring together the 100 or so grantees that Knight has touched in Philadelphia. Held at the Barnes Foundation, I was honored enough to be in the audience, set aside speaking.
Full Disclosure, I was there because Technically Philly is a grantee — Knight was a generous support of Philly Tech Week.
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Textizen CEO Michelle Lee giving her lightning talk before our panel on civic innovation, which featued, from left, Michael Brennan of SecondMuse, Brigitte Daniel of Wilco Electronic Systems, Keya Dannenbaum of ElectNext, Alex Hillman of Indy Hall and myself. Photo lovingly stolen from Aaron Ogle.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors held its annual Mayors’ Innovation Summit in Philadelphia last week, and I moderated a panel Friday morning focused on ‘civic innovation,’ a fancy phrasing for a new era of groundswell public-private partnerships growing out of technology and creative communities across the country.
As is custom, I shared beforehand some questions I wanted to ask the group, and while we didn’t get to all of them because we got into some good conversations, I figured I’d share my perspective on those questions.
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There are at least five big things I’ve learned about reporting for a living over the past few years since graduating college and some stories to back it up.
That amounted to my half hour talk and Q&A period with a classroom of students at my alma mater Temple University in the PhiladelphiaNeighborhoods.com capstone on Monday. I called myself the ghost of the near future — having graduated in 2008.
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Preparing for the Radio Times episode: at the table from left, Bob Moul, myself, Roseann Rosenthal and host Marty Moss-Coane
The regional distinction that the Philadelphia technology and business community is trying to carve out for itself is integral to the continued improvement of attracting and retaining talent, and that has little to do with the fool’s errand of trying to recreate itself as a far smaller, broad-based Silicon Valley copy cat.
That was among the bigger conversation topics on the hour-long Radio Times episode on which I appeared this week, along with Roseann Rosenthal of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital and Bob Moul of Artisan mobile.
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