Cambridge, MA: This Saturday, November 1st, Microsoft’s N.E.R.D. Center (1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge) will host a “Civic Tech Challenge” that includes a daytime hackathon (9am-5pm) and an evening reception (5:30pm-8:00pm) honoring local innovator Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital Partners. Proceeds from the event benefit Generation Citizen (dev-generation-citizen.pantheon.io/), an action civics nonprofit that provides an action-based civics education program to over 3,000 Greater Boston teens. Technology Underwriting the Greater Good (TUGG) is a co-host of the event.
The Civic Tech Challenge is projected to be Boston’s largest civic tech meetup, and will build off a growing local interest in applying technology to solve civic problems (catapulted by agencies such as the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, which will provide the welcome address for the Civic Tech Challenge). Event honoree and keynote Jeff Bussgang has himself advocated extensively for a civically engaged Boston innovation sector.
On the Civic Tech Challenge, Bussgang comments: “There exists tremendous potential for the tech community to engage in addressing Boston’s civic problems…and opportunities. Generation Citizen and TUGG leaders in focusing on that opportunity and this event will be a celebration for those laudable efforts.” More details about the event, and information about participating can be found at www.civictechchallenge.org.
The hackathon will pair students from the Generation Citizen program (hailing from Brighton High School, Boston Community Leadership Academy, Mary Lyon High School and Timilty Middle School, among other area secondary schools) with developers, designers, and digital marketers from Boston’s top tech companies and graduate school programs. Students will present the preliminary results of the civic action project they have been tackling through the Generation Citizen program, and hack-teams will spend the day working with students to create technology add-ons to bolster the students’ projects. The students will be able to use the infographics, data visualizations, and survey and outreach tools designed in the hackathon to accelerate their ability to be changemakers through Generation Citizen.
During the evening reception, hack-teams and students will present their creations to a Judging Panel of local civic and tech luminaries, and guests from startups and service providers in Boston’s tech sector. Cathy Wissink, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Technology and Civic Engagement, will kick off the event, Jeff Bussgang will provide a keynote address, and then Judges will highlight favorite projects. Food and bar service will be included. Members of the Civic Tech Challenge Judging Panel include:
· Steve Brittan, Principal, Sasaki Associates
· Tim Donahue, Principal, Polachi Access Executive Search
· Scott Ferson, President, Liberty Square Group
· Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief Information Officer, City of Boston
· Samantha Hammar, Director of Strategic Partnerships, MassIT
· Tom McClain, Chief Technology Officer, Old Mutual
· Travis McCready, VP of Programs, The Boston Foundation
· Ben Littauer, Angel Investor
· Carlos Selonke de Souza, Chief Information Officer of Retail Banking, Santander Bank
· Aimee Sprung, Civic Engagement Manager, Microsoft
The event is sponsored by ActBlue, Atlas Venture, The Boston Foundation, Ernst & Young, Goodwin Proctor, Grasshopper, Microsoft, Mintz Levin, Polachi Executive Search, Sasaki Associates, Silicon Valley Bank, Wilmer Hale, and Yesware.
Learn more and purchase event reception tickets ($50) at www.civictechchallenge.org.