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Civic innovators explore creative space at CivicMeet Sacramento

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In what could only be initially described as an experiment, nearly 40 participants gathered at The Urban Hive on Tuesday evening for CivicMeet Sacramento, an event sponsored by civic startup Public Innovation.

Breaking into a new space of civic co-creation, five teams developed innovative proposals to address unmet public needs in under 45 minutes. This proof of concept validates the model Public Innovation has adapted from Bay Area efforts such as Code for America and the San Francisco Urban Prototyping Festival, and given the green light to move forward with future projects.

The five teams each designed a poster to describe their idea. Their innovations comprised:

(1) Humanizing Homelessness: an effort to provide a voice for the homeless through public chalkboards, so that neighbors can better understand the individual circumstances of members of the homeless population.

(2) The Civic Exchange: an online platform where government agencies can post innovation challenges for which anyone can attempt to sove and be awarded prize money.

(3) Interconnect: a public transportation strategy that integrates streetcars, public parking, and bike lanes to expedite travel among Sacramento’s highest demand nodes.

(4) CivicWiki.org: a simple, online interface that provides users with current information about public services irrespective of what level of government provides the specific service.

(5) Where’s My Ride?: a mobile app that crowdsources geospatial information from public transit riders to provide users real-time information regarding scheduled arrivals.

So what now? Public Innovation’s model employs a three stage innovation process for new ideas: (1) generation, (2) development, and (3) deployment. Tuesday’s meetup focused on the generation of new ideas. Subsequent meetups will both generate other ideas, as well as provide the opportunity for previous ideas to be refined.

Some of these innovations will be developed at the National Day of Civic Hacking Hackathon, which will be held at Hacker Lab on June 1-2, 2013.

To learn more about Public Innovation, CivicMeet Sacramento, or the National Day of Civic Hacking, please contact Ash Roughani at ash (at) publicinnovation.org.


Editor’s Note: Ash Roughani will be a guest in a Sac Press Live Chat on December 12 at 2:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: The “News Digest” goes out every Tuesday morning and highlights our best stories, photos and videos from the week prior. Sign me up.

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