Great Connections at Kansas City GovUp

Just returned home from the Kansas City GovUp. A hearty thanks to Megan Price and Stephen Peteritas for putting on a great gig!

The location provided a nice atmosphere and the food was terrific!

But, more importantly, it was about the people and the connections made, often when you would least expect it.

I met Ashley, a special education teacher from Kansas City, KS and introduced her to GovLoop. I was also able to bring to her attention the Kansas Families Together organization and the Parenting Children With Special Needs magazine, both of which she agreed would be great resources for the parents of her students.

Also present was Sarb, a database developer with the USDA and Oscar from the Veterans Administration, as well as several others whose names I failed to get – next time I’ll do better!

It was also great to see a good turnout of young people, several of them recent college graduates.

Dane Stangler, from the Kauffman Foundation, provided an overview of the Foundation’s work and specifically talked about the Fast Track program and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Many other topics were discussed throughout the evening, including crowd sourcing, open government and Code for America.

Throughout this week I had attended the Army’s Operational Knowledge Management conference. During the conference we heard a couple briefings on how unclassified, open source technologies were used to effectively manage and collaborate relief efforts during Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE in Haiti. I was able to relate that, and the conversations tonight, by introducing the Ushahidi Open Source Crowdsourcing tool.

Of course, the conversation was not all business. Stephen is back on his “home turf” and looking forward to seeing the Chiefs play on Sunday and an opportunity to be part of a continued winning season.

In a brief entertainment interlude, I shared the “game crack” of Minecraft, hoping to snare a few more hapless gamers into the web of mining and building.

I’m already looking forward to the next Kansas City GovUp and meeting more local area GovLoop’ers.

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Bob King

@Lauren – I took a few pictures of the awesome food spread. They’re pretty dark so I’ll need to lighten them up in Photoshop. I know Megan took some pictures.