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Questions? Read our FAQs
Overview: In collaboration with Georgia Tech, General Assembly is hosting POLIS, a speaker series featuring thought-leaders from the Atlanta civic tech and smart cities communities to discuss the intersection of computational technology, governments, data, and citizenship. The series focuses on themes such as sustaining new civic hacking efforts, emerging modes and sites of engagement, the role of governments in urban technological change, and more. The series is coordinated and moderated by Dr. Thomas Lodato, a research scientist at Georgia Tech working on smart cities and inclusive innovation in Atlanta.
What You’ll Take Away: How governments, civic hackers, and data scientists are using technology to reshape cities and the lives of residents.
Why It Matters: According to a Forbes article, smart cities have “a combined market potential of $1.5 trillion globally […] in segments of energy, transportation, healthcare, building, infrastructure, and governance.” In a 2015 article, Forbes also reports that “[l]ocal and state government will spent an estimated $25.5 billion on information technology this year [with] [c]ivic tech mak[ing] up just 24% of that […] growing 14 times faster than spending on traditional technology.” Combined, these trends illustrate the growing need and emerging role of data scientists, developers, and designers to work in and serve the public sector. As local governments of all sorts adopt computational technology under a variety of “smart” city efforts, and as citizens come to expect public services to operate like their favorite apps, understanding the potential of civic tech and smart cities may be vital to an array of new careers
About This Month’s Event: Sustaining the Hack
For the first event of the series, we are happy to focus on the theme of social sustainability within civic technology. From hackathons to monthly meet-ups, many civic tech projects require volunteer labor and casual, extracurricular involvement.
As such, maintaining projects long-term can be a challenge. This month features three speakers who are well aware of the challenges of sustaining civic tech efforts. The panel will focus on issues of organizing, managing, and realizing civic tech projects long-term.
Please note that we will be sharing all rsvp email with our partner Hypepotamus.
Luigi Ray-Montanez Co-organizer for Code for Atlanta & Lead Engineer at Vox Media
Luigi is a co-organizer and co-founder of Code for Atlanta, an all-volunteer civic hacking group established in 2014. He also serves on Code for America's National Advisory Council. During the day, he's a senior software engineer at Vox Media.
Dr. Thomas Lodato (Moderator)
Research Scientist in the Center for Urban Innovation,
Georgia Institute of Technology
Thomas is a research scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology and is affiliated with GT’s Institute of People and Technology (IPAT) and Center for Urban Innovation (CUI). His work focuses on two domains: (1) smart cities and civic technology and (2) future of work. In these areas, Thomas conducts research on open government data, the professionalization of civic hacking, smart city technical assistance, and flexible work practices. You can find him on Twitter at @thomas_lodato
People Making Progress
Mark's main work is to help adults with developmental disabilities find and maintain employment and live as independently as possible. He also runs the office of a small folk music production company and enjoys the occasional freelance web development project.
He leads a civic hacking project that is working with MARTA towards improving the experience of paratransit users in the Atlanta area.
Code for Atlanta
Shawn is co-organizer of Code for Atlanta, where she has served for two years. She also works as a front-end developer at cybersecurity company Cybraics. Her civic interests include parks and elections. Shawn can be found at http://mapsandapps.net/
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We understand that, sometimes, plans change. If you can no longer make it to a class or workshop, please email us at least 7 days before the scheduled event date. No refunds will be given to cancellations made within a week of the class or workshop.
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