Hands-on civic engagement to occur at second annual Charlottesville Civic Innovation Day
Last year’s Civic Innovation Day was such a success – with over 60 civic innovators from age 18 – 65 – it was decided to continue the event for a second year and move to a larger venue. Civic Innovation Day, to be held at City Space, invites technologists, designers, and citizens to tackle a specific public problem identified by local municipalities and organizations.
This year’s event includes topics ranging from public transportation, fire response, prevention and awareness, and historic preservation.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with WillowTree for this event that will bring together civic institutions and engaged citizens. In an era of toxic political discourse, we want to offer a positive, collaborative, and hands-on civic engagement opportunity that leverages our region’s talented civic innovators,” said Lucas Ames, founder of Smart Cville.
To facilitate this, local institutions will present challenges to CID attendees who will use technology and user-centered design to develop solutions. Six local entities will be sponsoring four challenges at the event: JAUNT, Charlottesville Area Transit, University Transit System, Albemarle County, and Charlottesville Fire Department.
During the day, teams will form alongside challenge partners to develop solutions to the problems presented. Each challenge partner will have someone in attendance to serve as an “expert” on the problem in order to guide teams and answer questions. All challenges have also been assigned a project fellow to facilitate work and foster continued engagement after the event. This year’s project fellows are Nathan Day (Data Scientist, Hemoshear), Ben Skinner (Research Assistant, UVA), and Jillian Regan (Consultant, Rillian). The project fellows program is being led by Smart Cville volunteer Taylor Erwin (Analytics Architect, Willow Tree). Parallel to the challenges, a series of workshops will run to educate participants on issues related to civic tech, user-centered design, and civic engagement. At 5pm, teams will report out on their progress and propose a plan for future work.
“The City of Charlottesville i-Team is excited to be part of this event to work with the community and tap into their creativity. We are always looking for innovative ideas to make the City a better place,” said Maya Kumazawa Budget & Management Analyst and i-Team member. Alongside presenting sponsor WillowTree, the City of Charlottesville i-Team,Ting, Crutchfield, and are official sponsors the event.