(Cross-posted from John’s blog)
I’m super, super excited to announce that I’ve joined the board of directors of Code for America, an organization started by Jen Pahlka two years ago aimed at getting some of the smartest and most motivated techies & designers among us working on solving some of the core problems facing our communities. It’s a non-profit organization full of awesomely smart and talented and motivated folks who actually make things that can create lasting change in our cities and states and country and world. (Sound like anything else I’ve been involved in? ).
It’s a humbling organization to join, because they’ve already made such amazing progress. They’ve got an amazing group of CfA Fellows working with city governments this year — projects in Boston and Philadelphia and Seattle; and one with the federal government as well. They’ve picked even more cities to work with next year in an expansion of the program. They’ve started the Civic Commons as a way to help governments share and take advantage of code that already exists.
More importantly, they’re showing how to build an organization that’s both civically-oriented and sustainable over the long term. In my view, CfA is helping a new generation of entrepreneurs and builders to figure out how to create products and organizations that can change our relationship with our cities and towns — not every startup has to be about maximizing financial returns.
So I’m really excited to join the organization — because of what it’s done in such a short time, because of what it represents today, and because of the promise it holds in unlocking so, so much positive and needed change in how we relate to our governments and our selves in the future.