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The rapid shift in technology, regulation and an upsurge in urban populations are presenting governments with unprecedented challenges. Advances in technology have heightened citizen expectations for 24/7 support and private sector speed. The sharing economy and the legalization of cannabis have stirred new licensing and permitting obstacles; while at the same time, denser neighborhoods have increased pressure on departments to deliver the same services on a larger scale.

To aid governments with these and other challenges Accelarate, Accela’s annual govtech conference, will converge innovators from across the public sector in Atlanta on Oct. 10-13 to provide insights and strategies under the theme of Governing the Future. Keynotes, workshops, panel sessions and networking opportunities will explore the current issues affecting government and how leaders can leverage digital tools and tactics to plan for the future.

“Governments are faced with a reality that technology is rapidly evolving and moving faster than governments have historically been equipped to handle. It’s not just the pace of change, it’s the unpredictable nature of change that is hard for governments to manage,” said Accela’s Executive Chairman Mark Jung. “Governments have an opportunity to learn from private sector innovation, their successes and failures, and leapfrog years ahead from how they are currently operating.”

Accelarate 2018 keynote speakers that include CareJourney President Aneesh Chopra, who served as the nation’s first U.S. Chief Technology Officer and as Virginia’s former secretary of technology. Chopra, author of the book Innovate your State, will share advice on using data and digital innovation to improve services through private sector partnerships and civic engagement. Dustin Haisler, the chief innovation officer at e.Republic, will also be a keynote speaker and deliver insights from his experience role leading e.Republic Labs, an initiative by the public sector media company that seeks to educate, accelerate and scale technology innovation throughout government. Haisler previously served as the chief information officer and later as the assistant city manager for Manor, Texas.

Chopra and Haisler will be joined by Accela leadership and an array of influencers in the public sector IT space. There are more than 20 cities, county and state governments that will be speaking and hosting sessions. As key components of Governing the Future, Accelarate session tracks include Accelerating Growth, Government at the Speed of Business, Best Practices and Success Stories, and Collaborative Government.

Government at the Speed of Business: Emerging Regulation

Notable sessions for Emerging Regulation include presentations from the city and county of Denver that highlight the launch of Denver’s licensing portal for short term rentals, and a presentation from Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), that outlines how Michigan used Accela’s Civic Solution for Cannabis to issue its first medical marijuana licenses in July.

Accelerating Growth: Next Generation Economic Development

Taking a look at grant funding, Grand Rapids, Michigan, jumps into the category of Next Generation Economic Development with a session about the city’s grant management system. Grand Rapids developed the system to allow staff to pull reports for funding applications, gain performance insights, handle payment processing and crosscheck agency compliance with federal regulations. With more than $6 million collected in federal grants, the system has benefitted the city with faster processing and a clearer understanding of its grant process.

Collaborative Government: Government Experience

For Government Experience, Accelarate also has a number of standout sessions on tap focus on the evolving interactions between government and residents. Leaders from El Paso, Texas, will speak about the city’s battle with the Zika Virus and its use of mobile apps to manage citizen requests tied to trash and recycling containers.

Best Practices and Success Stories: Digital Service Transformation

For Digital Service Transformation, Charlotte County offers visitors a behind the scenes look at Babcock Ranch, its smart city community filled with 19,000-plus homes and 6 million square feet of commercial space. The area is completely powered by solar, embraces sustainable building, modern infrastructure with high-tech amenities like autonomous vehicles, high-speed connectivity and was constructed using Accela’s solutions for land management, licensing and case management.

Hosted at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, Accelarate 2018 will have these and other sessions throughout its four days. The event is open to those who manage Accela products, and Accela customers.

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