From Woz to new civic tech, here's the Good Tech Summit rundown - Technical.ly DC

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Jun. 19, 2017 12:59 pm

From Woz to new civic tech, here’s the Good Tech Summit rundown

Phone2Action used its first-ever Good Tech Summit to build more govtech connections and launch a new tool, SocialPulse.

Phone2Action cofounder Ximena Hartsock and Steve Wozniak speak at #GTS17.

(Photo via Twitter user @MarkKeam)

Two weeks ago, we told you that Phone2Action would be putting social tech front and center through its inaugural Good Tech Summit. Last Thursday, the Rosslyn-based digital grassroots advocacy platform hosted a full day of programming featuring heavy hitters like Apple cofounder Steve Wozinak, Facebook North America Marketing Director Michelle Klein, former presidential candidate and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Marty Moe, president of Vox Media.

According to Gabe Klein, advisor to Phone2Action and founder of CitiFi, this conference has been over a year in the making.

“[Phone2Action] feels like there needs to be more collaboration in the industry as it’s growing and in civic tech generally,” he said.

There were lots of big takeaways for last week’s summit. Panelist Dan Tangherlini, former GSA administrator and president of Seamless Docs Federal, said he felt especially lucky to be featured alongside O’Malley and Beth Blauer, executive director of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Government Excellence, because, he said:

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  1. O’Malley is remarkably cool, and
  2. Blauer is not only an expert, but a thoughtful person in the field of government performance management.

Overall, Tangherlini left his panel about smart cities convinced that the future will have us all, “increasingly applying [various] tools, being different kinds of technology, and techniques, to public service and us dramatically improving the outcomes overall,” he said.

#GoodTech17 featured several talks including how to effectively integrate tech to improve communities and government efficiency, and the effect of tech on evolving corporate cultures and strategies. Phone2Action then ended the day of panels with an announcement of its own — the reveal of its new SocialPulse tool.

SocialPulse provides a platform for organizations to create, launch and share campaigns via social media, and allows users to view and engage with their most active advocates, as well as monitor advocates’ connections with lawmakers.

“When constituents connect with lawmakers over social media networks, the conversations carry tremendous weight because they are public,” Jeb Ory, CEO of Phone2Action, told Technical.ly. “We are launching SocialPulse to surface these types of critical conversations, enabling organizations engaged in advocacy campaigns to instantly connect with, and amplify, the voices of the people.”

Many, like Gabe Klein, are excited about the new potential this tool will bring to grassroots campaigns.

“I think for the client it just makes it effortless to see what’s going on and basically almost get reporting in real time—and even alter campaigns in real time,” he said.

The summit ended with some good #dctech fun — food, drinks, music and even a little bit of drunk dialing.

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Nia Dickens

Nia Dickens is a writer and recent transplant to Philadelphia. She received a Fulbright grant in 2015 and spent two years teaching English in Europe. When she's not busy acclimating back to the fact that everything is open on Sundays, she's catching up on endless hours of TV, especially Jane the Virgin.

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