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CivicMakers Movement Spreading from Coast to Coast

This originally appeared as a guest post on TechWire.net on October 15, 2014. What’s your latest gripe about government? Maybe you can’t figure out how to make a quick online payment for that parking ticket from last weekend? Or you missed the public comment period on the massive construction project next door because it was scheduled for 2 p.m. at City Hall? Could be that you’re just tired of the endless bickering between two political parties that don’t really seem to represent the views of any real Americans. Considering the inefficiency of our government services, it’s no wonder that the hallmark of this political age is overwhelming civic cynicism. And recognizing just how broken our representative democracy is, it’s no surprise that disparities in wealth and justice in the U.S. have never been so acute. It can be depressing and overwhelming, but there is another, more hopeful trend emerging in...
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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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Looking Ahead to Accela Engage 2014

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Accela Engage 2014 is less than two weeks away, and more than 550 customers and partners have registered to attend. The office is filled with excitement and anticipation, and we’re looking forward to our biggest and best event yet. Attendees share what they love most about Accela Engage. This year we’ll be sharing our latest enhancements, from the Accela Civic Platform and our open data portal to our new solution offerings for pet licensing and legislative , resource and recreation , and right of way management. Based on attendee feedback, we’re offering even more sessions and hands-on training classes than in years past. This year, we’ll have over 60 user product presentations in addition to 50 hours of Accela software training with multiple sessions of our most popular training classes. We will also have some dynamic keynote speakers: • Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and proponent of...
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Working on a New Vision of Democracy at CivicMakers

Working on a New Vision of Democracy at CivicMakers
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In a world of civic cynicism and disconnection, a surprising group of people came together to discuss a new vision for democracy. The first Inaugural CivicMakers Salon was held this week at the Runway Incubator in San Francisco. The challenge posed to event attendees was to answer this question: What should real democracy look like and how can technology help us get there? A new conversation about the opportunity to use technology to bridge the gap between government and citizens is being encouraged by events like this. To kick it off we heard from one of the event organizers, Lawrence Grodeska, Director of Nonprofit Community at Change.org, "I'm so inspired by the 125 people who came together to share their vision for how technology can help improve democracy. It's clear that people want to talk about this, and I hope CivicMakers can help bring this conversation back to every tavern,...
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Finding Our True North: Bringing Customers, Partners and Developers Together at PDC 2014

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We just wrapped our ninth annual Partner and Developer Conference , and across the organization folks are pretty jazzed. We headed north to Tahoe, and while the weather was overcast and rainy for the bulk of the event, we all gained a lot of perspective from speakers and attendees alike on our collective purpose and potential to bridge the very disparate and disconnected worlds in which our government customers and their customers & citizens live and work We spent time with partners new and old, and the consistent feedback was positive. As we opened the General Session, I asked how many audience members (both partners and Accela employees) were attending for the first time. I’d guess the number to be between 30-40% of the audience, and that’s a fantastic leading indicator for our ecosystem expansion and success in partnering efforts across the organization Our President and CEO, Maury Blackman ,...
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Looking Back at Accela Engage 2013: Civic Engagement Trends and the Value of Open Data

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I’ve had a chance to reflect on Accela Engage 2013 and wanted to share a few key takeaways. It was my first year attending the conference, and I was delighted by the energy and level of active participation throughout the week. Over 450 customers representing more than 100 agencies around the world made it a priority to attend to learn about our strategy and plans, to network and to learn. First, a quick synopsis for those of you who were not able to attend this year. Our CEO, Maury Blackman, opened his keynote by showcasing the power of engagement between government agencies, citizens and businesses. Engagement was a common theme throughout the week, and is the reason we renamed our user conference Accela Engage this year. Accela CEO Maury Blackman delivers the keynote address at Accela Engage: 2013 User Conference. During his keynote, Maury discussed four key trends we’ve talked about...
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