Thursday, June 3, 2010

Open Source Bridge - Thursday Keynote: Mayor Sam Adams on CivicApps

Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland
  • CivicApps for Greater Portland
    • interaction at last year's OSB kicked off regional effort to put Portland in the forefront of open source and open data
  • update on how Portland is leading in the area of open source
    • asked for city government to be an early client of open source work that is happening locally
    • also asked for financial assistance with open source projects
  • civicapps can change the relationship between the government and the people they serve
    • give people new tools to get at what they need
    • greater accountability
    • example: iphone app where people can take pictures of potholes--this gives the photo and the exact coordinates of the pothole
      • submitters get notification when the pothole they reported is fixed
      • idea of government reporting back directly to citizens is huge source of satisfaction
      • now the challenge is to provide this type of customer service on more platforms
  • civicapps has gotten a lot of national attention because it's regional--isn't specific to one city
    • portland isn't that unique--60K people who work in portland but don't live in portland
    • lots of other open data apps are specific to cities--not as realistic to the daily life of people
  • contests to develop apps around open data
    • area that needs a lot of work ("significant mystery to citizens") is the inner workings of the decision making process
      • e.g. city council issues being considered
      • city council agendas can have 60-150 items on them
      • mystery to citizens how the work actually gets done
      • need to make actual decision making easier to access and more understandable to citizens
  • have tried to surround these efforts around an economic development strategy
    • digital development is now one of the four targeted industries for economic assistance
    • investigated what local assets match growth trends regionally
  • portland's value proposition
    • not silicon valley and don't want to be
    • where portland can compete and win on a proportional basis is that there's a more diverse group of technology folks in portland
    • clearly is smaller, but especially around software, there's a greater diversity of different talents and approaches than anywhere else in the world
    • portland technologists are also very agile
    • passion in portland in these areas is huge--everyone involved tends to work together very well
  • how can portland's government help technologists succeed?
    • recession has hit some businesses, but software/technology has overall survived better than other industries
    • has been a lack of access to capital to bring best ideas to market
    • started portland seed business fund -- direct result of requests from software industry
    • -- more details on this fund
    • portland development commission -- funded "Portland Ten"
      • bootcamp that works with 10 startups
      • access to capital, connection to very best thinkers from around the world
      • "tough love"--helping ten startups get to a million dollars a year in revenue
    • survey will be sent out to people participating in all these efforts--really need the feedback to make sure we stay on track
  • "I want you to take over the world from your base here in Portland"
  • 25 people involved with civicapps here today to help people hack on data and apps
Rick Nixon - project manager for civicapps
  • first ever Civic Code Day
  • lots of people here responsible for lots of data for the city, trimet, civicapps web site
  • role of govt: supply data
  • role of citizens: do something with the data
  • seeking to transfer data collection effort to citizens as well
    • open source the web site, number of other efforts going on


halperncreative said...

Crowd-sourced civic communications with SeeClickFix

Matthew Woodward said...

Thanks--that looks like awesome stuff!Also reminds me I still owe you for the great logo you did for me. So sorry--I'll take care of it today or tomorrow!