Before a line of code was written, a wireframe was sketched, or a GitHub repo was created, the first Friday at Code for America began with us away from our computers and traveling out of San Francisco to the Marin Headlands. With the help of our park guides and facilitators, we explored the park and swapped stories with other fellows. From our vantage point on a cliff above the Point Bonita lighthouse, we could just barely see the silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge through the fog.
This was also the first time that our city teams got together to strategize. On the Macon team, we recognized that we are covering new ground by taking Code for America’s philosophy to a smaller city. We are inspired by The Atantic magazine’s recent Start-up South roadtrip, which shows that you don’t need to be in Silicon Valley to launch your own company. In many of those cities a university was at the center of the technology community, inspiring us to look deeper into Macon’s connection with its local Mercer University. We determined that our own projects should be produced with local experts, both to make our work sustainabile and to send a message to the Silicon Valleys of the world: innovation can come from small cities, too.