Ep. 51 Make It So: Civic Hall Labs

August 23, 2017

Elizabeth Stewart, founding executive director of Civic Hall Labs, empowers technologists who put people first, amplifying the “civic” of civic tech. On today’s show, Stewart joins Douglas Rushkoff for a conversation about technology innovations whose value is measured in their contribution to the public good. It’s a type of thinking that asserts the means of tech innovation to be just as important as its ends. We’ll learn about Elizabeth’s work and how Civic Hall labs is fostering participatory, human-centered collaborations to solve difficult societal challenges.

Throughout this conversation Elizabeth highlights a number of tremendous resources for Team Human listeners engaged in building technology for public good. Start at CivicHallLabs.org for more info. One project you’ll find is Pro Bono Tech which connects local New York City area digital professionals to public sector organizations needing help. The program provides a useful model for starting a pro bono tech program in your own town or city.

Also mentioned on the show is a project called JustFixNYC. Here NewYork tenants can implement everyday technology to empower themselves against abusive landlords.

Other resources mentioned in this episode include:

Civic Tech Field Guide –  an expanding resource tools, methods, and partnerships in the area of civic tech

https://openideo.com/ – global collaborative community problem-solving

http://acumen.org/ – invests “patient capital” in social impact projects committed to improving the lives of the poor.

https://www.invisionapp.com/ – a prototyping and collaborative design tool.

Opening today’s show is a monologue about the urge to react to the constant churn of attention-grabbing media. Should we have a “reaction” ready for every crisis? Or is there value in slowing down enough to really “respond” to the complicated events unfolding in a frenetic world.

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