Build it Locally, Spread it Nationally: the Opportunity for Open Source in Municipal Government

Jennifer Pahlka (Code for America), Bryan Sivak (Government of the District of Columbia)
Government
Location: D138
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)

If there was ever an opportunity to freely share software, it is among local governments. Software built for cities and counties is paid for with our tax dollars, and each of the 10,000 cities and counties in the US face more or less the same challenges, but face them individually, building or buying the same solutions one at a time. Efforts in the US and Canada are starting to address this issue, and at the same time enable a vision for the Open City. Come learn explore the opportunity to contribute to an ecosystem around open source civic software and the chance to code the next chapter of American history.

Photo of Jennifer Pahlka

Jennifer Pahlka

Code for America

Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, which is dedicated to the idea that government can work for the people, by the people, in the 21st century. She is an Ashoka fellow, and received the Internet and Society Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in 2012. Government Technology named her one of 2011’s Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in Public Sector Innovation and the Huffington Post named her the top Game Changer in Business and Technology the same year. She is known for her TED talk, Coding a Better Government, and is a frequent speaker. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media, and co-chaired the successful Web 2.0 Expo. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, Calif. with her daughter and eight chickens.

Photo of Bryan Sivak

Bryan Sivak

Government of the District of Columbia

Bryan Sivak was appointed by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on October 13, 2009 to the Cabinet post of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the District of Columbia. As CTO, Sivak leads the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), an organization of more than 500 staff that provides technology services and leadership for 86 agencies, 38,000 employees, residents, businesses and millions of visitors.

Sivak has over 15 years of experience in building software and internet technologies and organizations. In 2002, he founded and developed InQuira, Inc., a multi-national technology solutions company whose products are used at top private and public sector organizations including Bank of America, UK Ministry of Defence, Nokia and T-Mobile. During his tenure, he oversaw every aspect of the business from design and development of the product to sales, marketing and management activities relating to the overall execution of InQuira’s business plan and growth of the company. In 2005, he moved to London and opened the European office of the company, which he grew from zero to 30% of the company’s revenue in four years.

Prior to his work with InQira, Sivak founded Electric Knowledge LLC, which provided the world’s first Natural Language Search engine available on the web. The company’s customers included Bank of America and Fidelity Investments and several others. Electric Knowledge eventually merged with Answerfriend, which was the basis for the formation of InQuira.

Sivak holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Chicago.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • (mt) Media Temple, Inc.
  • ActiveState
  • CommonPlaces
  • DB Relay
  • FireHost
  • GoDaddy
  • HP
  • HTSQL by Prometheus Research
  • Impetus Technologies Inc.
  • Infobright, Inc
  • JasperSoft
  • Kaltura
  • Marvell
  • Mashery
  • NorthScale, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • OpSource
  • Oracle
  • Parallels
  • PayPal
  • Percona
  • Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.
  • Rhomobile
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • SourceGear
  • Symbian
  • VoltDB
  • WSO2
  • Linux Pro Magazine

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