Building Michigan’s Civic Tech Community

When I first heard about the Michigan Citizen Interaction Design project at Michigan’s School of Information, I knew I wanted to collaborate with the people behind it. The project is an experiment in civic technology and engaged learning, and involves teams of SI students working in partnership with the city of Jackson, Michigan to create new information tools and services. Their project has involved a range of websites and apps, as well as working with Jackson to create an open data policy for the city. I’ve long been interested in the issue of online engagement as well as open GIS data.

In order to share their work and encourage a broader discussion of civic and planning technology in Michigan, a group of students, faculty and staff from SI and the Urban and Regional Planning program planned a one-day conference we called #micities held on October 4th, 2014. The event had over 100 attendees and a keynote by Garlin Gilchrist, the Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement for the City of Detroit.

See the full program, many of the slide presentations, photos, and other materials about the event on the conference website

Photos: Alex Rosen

Author: Rob Goodspeed