Technical.ly Philly

Civic

Oct. 31, 2011 10:00 am

OpenAccessPhilly forum brings civic technology leaders together

How technology and civic participation intersect in Philadelphia was the central focus of a forum hosted Friday by the OpenAccessPhilly public/private stakeholders group.

Mayor's office representative Jeff Friedman and Fuzebox consultant Paul Wright kickoff the OpenAccessPhilly forum.

How technology and civic participation intersect in Philadelphia was the central focus of a forum hosted Friday by the OpenAccessPhilly public/private stakeholders group.

Held at the University City Science Center Quorum space, a variety of city and private speakers gave five minute presentations on the work they were doing relevant to the group’s mission of citizen-driven change infused with technology, part of the evolution of the Digital Philadelphia plan from the city’s IT agency.

Those at the podium included Mayor Michael Nutter, communications director Desiree Peterkin Bell, whom we interviewed Friday, new Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid, Dell Boomi general manager Bob Moul, Independents Hall co-founder Alex Hillman and Azavea president Robert Cheetham, who announced the winners of the OpenDataRace.

Those morning speakers were followed in the afternoon by breakout sessions focused on four areas the OpenAccessPhilly group has focused on:

  1. Civic participation and innovation
  2. Free information flow
  3. Digital Inclusion
  4. Infotech business growth

“We are in a business and that is the business of government and public service,” Nutter said during his speech. He highlighted PhillyStat, PhillyRising, the city’s use of social media, particularly Flickr, and 311. “We’re hoping to make technology integral to the city and trying to welcome our employees and agencies to do so.”

“What is new and innovative today can be old hat three months from now,” Nutter said. “So we need to work together.”

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Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a cofounder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Wink worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. He writes regularly about news innovation and best business practices on his personal blog here. The bicycle commuter loves cities, urban politics and squabbling about neighborhood boundaries.

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