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Tag Archives: Civic Innovation

Amazon, Google…and Accela? The Power of the Platform

Kathryn Vargas
Amazon, Google and Accela are three distinct companies with one core commonality. We have all built platform solutions that are unique to our industries. Maury introduced the Civic Platform in August at Accela Engage 2014, and we gave more detail in a recent blog post, “What Does the Civic Platform Mean to Me?” Because the Civic Platform is so powerful, and encompasses so many solutions, with value to many different types of people, over the next several months we will post several series of blogs to demonstrate the power and value of the Civic Platform, and how it can benefit you, your agency and your community…. Continue reading

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

Rob Cassetti
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,… Continue reading

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Working on a New Vision of Democracy at CivicMakers

Megan Lunetta
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,… Continue reading

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Looking for the Next Great Civic Startup: The Accela Civic App Challenge

Mark Headd
At Accela, we’re committed to finding ways to leverage the talents and ideas of civic entrepreneurs and open data hackers to benefit the governments we serve. We believe that fostering the creation of new civic startups has enormous potential to benefit public sector agencies, and we’re committed to finding ways to do this. That’s why we were thrilled several weeks ago to launch the Accela Civic App Challenge. The ProblemThe biggest challenge facing governments in adopting new civic technologies is the absence of an easy way to incorporate new solutions into their existing IT infrastructure. Creating a framework in which civic hackers and entrepreneurs can build smart new apps that can easily be adopted by governments has proved daunting and has caused some in the civic technology community to worry about the movement’s future viability…. Continue reading

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Finding Our True North: Bringing Customers, Partners and Developers Together at PDC 2014

Jeff Stiles
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…. Continue reading

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If These Walls Could Talk: The Case for Open Housing Data

Erica Harvill
Accela is partnering with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Code For America to launch the House Facts Data Standard. Today, Jack Madans, Community Manager for Code for America, shared his thoughts on the partnership, the standard and the case for open housing data: With an average of 36 million Americans changing homes every year, we’re a country constantly on the move. But too often there’s more than meets the eye at an open house. Broken plumbing, faulty heat, pests, or absentee landlords are just some of the unpleasant surprises that arise after the lease or deed is signed. More seriously, poor ventilation, asbestos, mold, and lead constitute hidden hazards that can lead to poisoning and chronic disease…. Continue reading

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Bring Code for America to Your City

Erica Harvill
We’ve been doing a lot of great work with Code for America (CfA). Whether participating in civic hackathons or partnering for their 2013 Fellowship Program, we’re working together to demonstrate our commitment to civic innovation. Our friends at CfA are actively seeking local governments who want to participate in their 2014 Fellowship. As many of you know, the Code for America Fellowship is a year-long program focused on civic collaboration and innovation. The Fellowship partners talented teams of developers, designers and entrepreneurs with change agents from local governments to address a range of civic challenges. Benefits to cities include: Catalyst for innovation New perspectives on issues your city is facing Products &… Continue reading

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