CityCamp NC is one of the important innovation events housed in the Triangle. It encourages citizen participation and transparency in government. Citizens, businesses and government met to improve quality of life through technology.occurred May 30-31 at the amazing James Hunt Library on NC State’s Centennial Campus. This third annual event expanded from the Triangle to the state. CityCamp is designed to Three prizes were offered for the three best ideas: $3000 for first, $1000 for second and $500 for third.
The primary purposes were to stimulate with Thursday morning speakers and collaborate through group interaction and development of ideas.
The event began with keynote speaker Adriel Hampton of NationBuilder which creates technology to build communities. Open government communities advocate for open government principles. He discussed how technology helped transform government towards greater transparency from hype to reality.
He cited the state of Utah efficiency initiatives that reduced 35 data centers to 2, saving $4 million. Utah’s own IT staff and CTO completed this activity without outside help in 18 months.
Another example he spoke about is called PulsePoint, a project that uses GPS and infrastructure of local government services. This cell phone app maps where automated defibrillators are located to help when someone is experiencing cardiac arrest.
The We the People project allows American citizens to create a petition for the White House. Once the petition has 100,00 signatures in the first 3 days, is listed on the website the White House will provide an official response.
Further advances include legislation which helps to access open data from governments: President Obama recently issued an executive order stating the public data should be open as a default and that it should be machine readable (so it can be accessed).
What’s next is to increase open data laws. There are eight cities that have passed open data legislation. Raleigh is one of those cities.
In the future city and state government can take responsibility to provide access to this data (building localized wifi, for example) as a service in the same way as it provides utilities today.
City Council Member
Bonner Gaylord of the Raleigh City Council, an advocate for open government, began by mentioning to Carlson’s law—innovation that happens from the bottom-up is chaotic and smart while innovation that happens from the top-down tends to be orderly but dumb. Incremental adjustments and the fail-forward orientation (bottom-up) is more effective that pre-planned and requisitioned (top-down) processes. Government and elected officials are generally risk-adverse, however those in government at City Camp are working against that mentality and bringing innovation to towns, cities and states.
People can get involved and be proactive instead of the usual reaction, which is to be reactive and angry with a government that is seen as not being effective.
CityCamp is partially or fully responsible for some successes in the city of Raleigh:
These efforts are collaboration between City of Raleigh employees and early adopters like those at CityCamp these last two years.
Following these and other speakers, ideas were presented and participants voted on the top 20.