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Governments Worldwide Working for the People: 2014 Accela Engage Customer Award Winners

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When Abraham Lincoln spoke the phrase, “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” he envisioned a government that existed to better serve its own constituents—one that was open to change and innovation, and would better the lives of every citizen. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the wave of cynicism that’s so popular these days, there are government agencies around the world that consider improving the lives of constituents a top priority, and are creating new and innovative technologies that embrace that populist ideal by making it easier for citizens to engage with their governments. The Accela Engage Customer Awards were created to honor agencies that are using technology to build better communities by providing online and mobile services, which streamlines processes and enhances collaboration. This year, Accela recognized nine government agencies with awards in a variety of categories. 2014 winners include: Mobility Award: Baltimore...
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Changing Civic Engagement for Good: Accela Construct App Challenge Winners

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From voting to volunteering, civic-minded citizens have been committed to improving our society since its inception. But far beyond joining town hall meetings and handing out flyers, emerging technology in the hands of brilliant developers provides us with new and exciting ways to bridge the gap between citizens, businesses and the government agencies that serve them. To help accelerate that innovation, Accela hosted its 2014 Construct App Challenge , which called on our best civic-minded developers to build apps that help create more informed and productive communities. Participants were able to submit in two categories, New Civic Apps and Existing Civic Apps, and the top three apps in each category received prizes totaling $25,000; grand prize winners will also receive mentorship and, sales support, and received a chance to participate in the keynote session at Accela Engage . This year’s winners are: New Civic App Category Grand Prize Winner: Inspector...
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Guest Blog from Appallicious: The Case for Comprehensive Open Data Legislation

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On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 63 people and injuring nearly 4,000 residents. The quake also caused an estimated $6 billion in damage and displaced over 12,000 people. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the earthquake, and though we don’t know for sure when the next “big one” will hit, we now have access to resources and tools to better prepare and recover from disasters like these. At the White House last week, Appallicious unveiled one of these new tools during a disaster technology event -- the Disaster Assessment and Assistance Dashboard, or DAAD . This new online tool creates a “shareable economy” to aid in economic stability post-disaster. DAAD utilizes open data to assess community resiliency and promote pre-disaster preparedness, allowing for more resilient economic recovery in the wake of a disaster by creating a more robust and locally...
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What Not to Miss at Next Week’s Accela Engage 2014

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Accela Engage 2014 is almost here! Here's a quick guide to some can’t-miss activities for those of you still planning your schedule: Keynote Speakers: We are fortunate to have some innovative and dynamic keynote speakers, including Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and proponent of civic technology, Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America, Greg Martin, Managing Director of Accenture’s Global Regulatory Practice, and Eric Koontz, Project Director for Woolpert focused on Accela implementations. Over 60 sessions: Peruse our online agenda to plan which sessions you would like to attend. Be sure to check out the State of the State of Open Data session with Tech Evangelist Mark Headd and Director of Solution Architecture Seth Axthelm to learn how easy it is for your agency to get started publishing open datasets, as well as the How to Protect Your Infrastructure with Accela Asset Management panel with...
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On Open Data, Platforms and Public/Private Partnerships

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Mark Headd and I were asked by Professor Peter Robertson to share our perspectives at the upcoming Academy of Management Conference . Unfortunately, our Engage Conference precludes us from attending in person, so we filmed a brief video to send on our behalf. We had a chance to discuss the Accela Civic Platform and CivicData.com and to share our thoughts on: Challenges and opportunities agencies face when building open data How standardization is essential to fostering innovation The value of open data to agencies, developers and citizens How public/private partnerships foster innovation How a platform approach is essential for scale How civic engagement and collaborative governance improve communities These things are inextricably linked. Opening data fuels civic hacking and innovation. Standardization brings cross-jurisdiction visibility and scale and leverage to civic developers. Collaboration and true partnerships between agencies, developers and vendors like Accela incubates these civic innovations. A platform-based business model...
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Guest Blog from Buildingeye | Accela Engage 2014: Startup Pioneers of Open Data to Converge In San Diego

The Open Data movement is primed to fundamentally shift the paradigm on how citizens interact with their governments. This will be the primary focus for the upcoming gathering of government officials and tech startups: the Accela Engage 2014 conference in San Diego, CA from Aug 4-8. As of now, state and local governments have been utilizing antiquated data management technologies, which have historically made it difficult for the average citizen to access public information. However, this may not be the case for much longer. For example, San Francisco, CA , is one city that’s paving the way towards a more efficient, convenient, and open government via the city’s Entrepreneurship-In-Residence program. This revolutionary new approach is guiding the city of San Francisco against the status quo, placing the task of managing public data in the hands of capable private sector companies. However, instead of outsourcing to overseas firms or using major...
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