CityCampSF 2011 – Ideas and Action

CityCampSF 2011 is just around the corner, and we’re looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, June 18! If you haven’t already, please register, and invite your friends.

CityCampSF is free, but we’re still accepting sponsorships. If you or your company would like to chip in (and be included in our promotional materials), please contact Jay Nath at Jay dot Nath at sfgov dot org.

TechCentralSF is hosting a pre-CityCampSF mixer and panel on “Gamification for Good” on June 17. You can get advance discount tickets here.

Have ideas for unconference sessions? List and vote on them here.

ThirdThurs.org, SFOpen 2011 and CityCampSF 2011

Lots going on with CityCampSF and our partner Gov 2.0 community organizations in San Francisco. First, if you haven’t already, grab a ticket to hold your spot for this week’s Third Thursdays SF civic tech networking event. Then, calendar June 18 for CityCampSF 2011.


Third Thursdays global now lives at thirdthurs.org.

Thanks to Luke Fretwell, the CityCampSF-sponsored Third Thursdays SF civic tech networking mixer now has a home at ThirdThurs.org. Other regions and groups that want to sponsor similar “no label” regular civic tech meetups in their communities can contact Luke (@lukefretwell) or I (@adrielhampton) for basic advice for listing on the new site.

This week’s Third Thursdays in San Francisco promises to be hot, with 70 of the top names in Bay Area civic tech from government, the developer community, and neighborhood and political activism already signed up. Early signups include mayoral candidate Joanna Rees and some of her team members, as well as folks from the Treasurer Phil Ting’s “ResetSF” mayoral campaign. Blockboard, a new app for neighborhoods, is hosting the event with free drinks and a beta demo to kick off the night. Blockboard’s founders have been mainstays for CityCampSF’s networking events, and we’re excited to learn more about the app.

Luke, with former Gavin Newsom advisor Brian Purchia, has also launched a new sf.GovFresh site and organized “SFOpen 2011,” a mayoral forum on OpenGov and Gov 2.0 issues, sponsored by Change.org, GovFresh, CityCampSF, Gov 2.0 Radio, Third Thursdays SF and more. It will be held at Automattic (WordPress) HQ, livestreamed, and moderated by tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Mitch Kapor. More from Gov 2.0 Radio – including an interview with Purchia and Fretwell, here.

Finally, we’ve got some great plans in the works for CityCampSF 2011, scheduled for June 18. Save that date, and we’ll have more details shortly. If you want to get involved volunteering with the organizing group for CityCamp and a concurrent hackathon, let me know at citycampsf@adrielhampton.com. Meanwhile, be sure to join the CityCamp groups on GovLoop and Facebook and the global mailing list at E-Democracy.org.

Transportation Nerds Unite!

Well more than 200 transit agency employees, developers and transit advocates gathered at Public Works in San Francisco today to begin two days of discussion, visioning and networking around healthy transportation systems.

Nick Grossman from OpenPlans kicked of the first day of TransportationCamp West unconference sessions, along with Jay Nath, innovations director for the SF Dept. of Technology, and SFMTA Deputy Executive Director Carter Rohan. Rohan pleased the crowd with news that data on available on-street parking spots would be released to developers next month through the City’s SFpark project.

The event continues all day Sunday, with an Ignite session tonight at Automattic Lounge.

Keep up with the latest news and shares at TransportationCamp’s blog, the Flickr pool, and #transpo on Twitter. CityCampSF is pleased to have helped support the event, and the great work by chief sponsors OpenPlans and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Max Ogden, Aaron Ogle and Michelle Koeth of Code for America, and the TransportationCamp session board.

Building the Movement

Craig Newmark, fresh off the launch of CraigConnects, with Entertainment Commission Director Jocelyn Kane; Zonability founder Leigh Budlong with Department of Technology Innovation Director Jay Nath.

Startup founders, developers, Gov 2.0 and transportation innovation enthusiasts, neighborhood activists and city workers helped lay another stone in the foundation of a sustainable civic tech movement in San Francisco last night, at the second installment of the Third Thursdays networking event. The informal gathering, organized by CityCampSF, OpenSF, GovFresh and Gov 2.0 Radio, aims to build a core Gov 2.0 community in the City through regular get-togethers that sustain and build ties between unconferences.

Thanks to a great turnout from the Code for America fellows and many more and a great opening presentation from the organizers of TransportationCamp, the event at Mavelous near Civic Center (and kitty corner from Twitter’s proposed new HQ) was a great success.

In other CityCampSF news, the umbrella CityCamp organization is now set up to take tax-deductible donations from organizations that want to help support the global network of civic unconferences, making it easier for local organizers to focus on community instead of sponsorships. This news quickly resulted in a $5,000 donation from Tropo, adding to strong support from open government advocates like Sunlight Foundation and GovLoop.

Stay tuned for upcoming news about CityCampSF dates, and hope to see you at the next Third Thursdays event!

CityCampSF: ‘The Grinder’

In our latest conference call on CityCampSF, we discussed a tentative date of May 21 for another event, using Civic Center space and a new action-oriented format proposed by Daniel Homsey, director of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network. Daniel calls this format “The Grinder”:


1. Solicit from community stakeholders (residents / community organizations / agencies serving the community) problems that they need a maniacally focused group of experts to help address

2. Problems should require a layered strategy to resolve (political / policy / technology)

3. Arrange for an expert in of the areas outlined in item 2 to be able to provide technical support all day at the Camp

Day of City Camp:

1. Opening Session: Introduction of Problems / Opportunities

2. First Round of Break Out groups form around each Problem / Opportunity – additional drill down

3. Second Round Break Out – team breaks into the three skill areas (political / policy / technology) – solution identification

4. Third Round Break Out – team designs actual solution

5. Fourth Rounds Break Out – team maps out implementation / project plan

6. All Team Report Out of Project Plans

Your thoughts and input are welcome. Additionally, if you’re working on a CityCampSF project, please keep attendees and organizers in the loop by updating to the CityCampSF Google group.

Big Chance to Support Open Data in San Francisco

Jay Nath, SF’s tech innovations director, would like to share an important opportunity to support Open Data legislation in San Francisco (THIS WEEK!):
I’m reaching out to you to ask that you support open data legislation that is being heard this Thursday in SF’s City Hall. As civic activists, you more than anyone else understand the potential of liberating government data. Here are some ways to show your support:
* Sign the online twitter petition [5 secs]
* Email the following people stating your support [>1min]
* Show up for the fun! See details [30min]

CityCampSF: What Now?

So, CityCampSF as a physical event in San Francisco has come and gone. I want to personally thank all of our sponsors, organizers and the great folks who came and contributed their knowledge and vision.

Change happens only through consistent effort, so let’s not let the passion and energy of yesterday’s event go dormant.

What now?

We’d like to have a citycamp in San Francisco every six to 12 months. Stay in the loop with the links below, and help us make civic innovation in San Francisco and the Bay Area an ongoing success. Share your reaction to the event with blog posts, photos, contributions to the wiki and other media. Tag contributions “citycampsf.” You can also e-mail contributions for the CityCampSF blog to citycampsf (at) adrielhampton.com.

Questions from CityCampSF

Another way to participate in the ongoing citycamps around the world is to answer questions that came out of the events. Here are two that you can add to and answer at the CityCampSF wiki:

  • How do we analyze use of open government data when it is often used without attribution? What are the metrics to show success?
  • What does open government/Gov 2.0 look like as a political/social movement? What legislation or direct action should stem from the movement?

Staying in the loop

CityCampSF – Why You Should Be There

CityCamp is a global movement of informal conferences bringing together neighborhood and nonprofit leaders and activists, entrepreneurs and technology developers, new media and traditional journalists, and municipal employees to brainstorm, teach, learn and plan how to promote civic engagement and improve our cities with emerging technologies.

CityCampSF on Saturday, October 16, is a free event driven by participants and attendees. At this event, we’ll be forming action plans for how we can improve San Francisco neighborhoods and governance in 2011, from social media to crime reporting to urban farming and public space.

San Francisco is an early leader in open government, Gov 2.0 and government social media, and a hotbed for civic entrepreneurs and innovative startups (see the DataSF App Showcase). At CityCampSF, we’ll be moving from organizing to action, forming working groups for real projects to better our neighborhoods and City Hall.

Today, you can suggest and vote on topics for CityCampSF, and you can register here for the free event (space is limited to the first 125 signups).

CityCampSF: Sign Ups, Planning Call

Are you interested in the future of civic engagement, emerging media and Gov 2.0 innovations? CityCampSF, Saturday, October 16, 9 to 6, is an unconference where we will:

  1. Bring together municipal employees, experts, programmers, designers, citizens and journalists to share perspectives and insights about San Francisco and the Bay Area cities in which we live
  2. Create and maintain patterns for using the Web to facilitate local government transparency and effective local governance
  3. Foster communities of practice and advocacy on the role of the Web, mobile communication, online information, and open data in San Francisco and the Bay Area, and
  4. Create outcomes that participants will act upon after the event is over

CityCampSF will be held at CitizenSpace in SoMa. It’s free, and you can sign up NOW here. I’m looking forward to discussing social media for civic engagement, neighborhood beautification and mobile apps, and promotion of public art and open spaces using location-based services. The unconference format means the agenda is participant-driven, so please come ready to share. If you would like to help with the event, please join our next planning call:

    Friday, October 1 at noon Pacific Dial-in Number: 1-213-289-0500 (Los Angeles) Access Code: 268504