Last month, SeeClickFix launched with the City of Cambridge. Through this partnership, Cambridge is empowering their residents to connect with each other and the city through technology.
Since the launch, we have reflected on Cambridge and the broader Cambridge area as a hub for civic-related activity — most specifically, civic technology. The number of exciting initiatives and incredible people is overwhelming, so we decided to make a list of awesome civic leaders in Cambridge (order doesn’t matter):
Anne Schwieger is a city planner and for the past two and a half years has been working at the intersection of broadband and cities. This past December, Anne began working for the City of Boston’s Department of Innovation & Technology as Broadband and Digital Equity Advocate. She serves on the City of Cambridge Broadband Task Force and also co-produces with Cambridge Community Television a series called Cambridge Broadband Matters.
Nadeem Mazen is an educator, entrepreneur, and community organizer. After graduating from MIT, Nadeem founded two small community-oriented businesses in Central Square: Nimblebot, a creative agency, and danger!awesome, a makerspace that brings creative expression and tools to the masses. In 2013, he was elected to Cambridge City Council in 2013 after an popular, rousing grassroots campaign (read more about it here).
Currently, his team is working to use basic shared documents and social media to organize around the Syrian refugee crisis. He’s using using laser cutters to create signage for pop-up events and civic engagement opportunities, including a recent “Ask a Muslim” pop-up.
David Eaves is a public policy entrepreneur, open government activist and negotiation expert. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of ReCollect, a technology company specializing in digital solutions for the waste management sector. At ReCollect, David has been really focused on finding ways to make information seamless to residents while also driving education. In fact, they created a new education video game to help with school and community outreach.
David has moved to Cambridge to be a Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Harvard Kennedy School to teach on the important stuff he knows best: Technology, Policy and Government.
*Also, he was our incredible Keynote Speaker at SeeClickFix’s User Summit last year! He had our government partners arm-wrestling.
Nigel Jacob is the Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics for the City of Boston. With an extensive background in collaborative, citizen-facing technology projects, Nigel Jacob co-founded the Office of New Urban Mechanics — a civic innovation incubator within Boston’s City Hall. The Office of New Urban Mechanics worked with SeeClickFix to power Commonwealth Connect across Massachusetts.
Because of his incredible work, Nigel was named one of the Public Officials of the year in 2011 by Governing Magazine.
Robin Chase is a best known for being a pioneer transportation entrepreneur. Most have heard about Robin as the co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest car-sharing company in the world. In addition, she is also the founder and former CEO of Buzzcar, a peer-to-peer car sharing service, acquired by Drivy.
Be sure to read her incredible new book Peers Inc: How People and Platforms are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism.
The Harvard Igniting Innovation Summit
The Igniting Innovation Summit on Social Entrepreneurship is the largest undergraduate-run conference on social innovation in the world. Their mission is to connect students, academics, and leaders in the field who are passionate about developing innovative solutions to today’s most pressing problems.
In addition, 7 of the 8 team members involved in the Summit are female-bodied — and 7 of the 8 team members are people of color. This speaks to some powerful more diverse representation to see in the future of civic technology and social entrepreneurship.
SeeClickfix was invited to speak at this past year’s Igniting Innovation Summit, where we sat on a panel “Bowling Again: Innovations for Community Revitalization”.
Karin Brandt is the Co-Founder and CEO of coUrbanize, a platform that helps communities and urban developers build better cities, together. She has a rich history in academia: receiving a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as a Bachelor’s from Iowa State University. In addition she was a researcher at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy where she co-edited Infrastructure and Land Policies. And, most importantly, she loves riding her bike!
Watch an interview with Karin here.
Erhardt Graeff is a sociologist, designer, and entrepreneur. In particular, his work focuses on the variety of ways media and technology can be used for civic engagement and learning.
His latest project is Action Path, a location-based app for civic reflection and engagement. He also works with Media Cloud, a joint project of the Berkman Center and the MIT Center for Civic Media, using which he led research on the impact of media activism around the death of Trayvon Martin.
MIT Center for Civic Media
The MIT Center for Civic Media is doing tremendous work in communities that civic technology doesn’t always touch. They work hand in hand with diverse communities to collaboratively create, design, deploy, and assess civic media tools and practices.
Their most recent and fascinating projects can be explored further here.
Nick Grossman is a technologist and entrepreneur focused on the intersection of the web and urban, social, and civic systems. Currently, he is an“Activist in Residence” at Union Square Ventures, leading advocacy initiatives that support web-based innovation.
Read more about Nick on his blog “the slow hunch”.
Jonathan Zittrain has been involved in all kinds of awesome at the intersections of civic technology, the Internet, policy, law, and academia. He is a professor of Internet law and the George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School, as well as a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, a professor of computer science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and co-founder and director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
Whew, right? One other thing: He’s been involved in many fascinating research projects when it comes to the past, present, and future of the digital age, but we highly recommend you read his book The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It.
First off, Mitch Weiss is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management unit at the Harvard Business School. He was the guy that actually created (and now still teaches) HBS’s course on Public Entrepreneurship.
Mitch’s past is particularly fascinating: he was Chief of Staff and a partner to Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino. While there, he helped shape New Urban Mechanics, Boston’s municipal innovation strategy, and make it a model for peer-produced government and change (including SeeClickFix’s Commonwealth Connect app).
Read about his latest project here.
Saul Tannenbaum has been a champion Cambridge resident for 30+ years. He has recently retired from a long, fascinating career doing Information Technology Architecture and Planning. Since retirement he’s be an active member of the Cambridge community — a true role model for civic service. For example, he is a publisher for Cambridge Happenings. In particular, he is interested in issues involving Central Square, the Cambridgeport neighborhood, government, politics and technology.
While at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government pursuing graduate degrees, Elsa Sze found Agora. Agora is a civic tech start-up reimagining democracy in the digital age by creating online townhalls for local communities. To Elsa, Agora is transforming current civic conversation in two ways: by diversifying it and by crafting a place for civic engagement online.
Ken Smith is the Founder and Head of Product of Rejjee, a replacement commerce platform that gets users deep discounts on valuables that have been lost like bikes or smartphones or even jewelry. Rejjee is already working with multiple law enforcement agencies on their SAFE Bike 2016 program.
Even before the City of Cambridge partnered with SeeClickFix, Scott Sanders was a top SeeClickFix user. He is ranked a “Digital Superhero” with 1,295 civic points with 15 issues reported, 3 closed, and 41 comments.
When he’s not SeeClickFix-ing, Scott is a food and CPG industry expert and Pricing Consultant at Simon-Kucher. Plus, on the weekends, he works on Bosco Chocolate Syrup, a family business he co-owns.
Another early SeeClickFix adopter, Jason Stockmann is a top SeeClickFix user. He is ranked a “Digital Superhero” with 1,275 civic points with 10 issues reported, 2 closed, and 70 comments.
Outside of SeeClickFix reporting, Jason definitely keeps busy. Check out his website here.