Philadelphia has hired its first ever Director of Civic Technology. The role is part of the CIO’s and the Mayor’s overall plan for innovation management in Philadelphia.
“By creating this position they are demonstrating their embrace of civic technologies,” said Tim Wisniewski. Wisniewski was hired as the Director of Civic Technology in 2012.
He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that will be focused on developing a government application framework.
“We really want to focus on a strategy around mobile development and modern civic application development so that we can build a sustainable solution within the overall innovation management strategy,” said Wisniewski.
Open But Focused Framework
“The members of the management team each have an area of focus. But it’s essential to tie it back to the overall strategy, that way none of us go too far off in our own direction. We want to develop a centralized plan. Instead of departments making their own mobile apps and spending funds we have a centralized strategy for developing these things so it reamins consistent. Plus this way we can take advantage of economies of scale,” said Wisniewski.
Why Does Mobile Matter?
“Technology has open so many doors that weren’t open before. These devices we carry around in our pockets are so incredibly powerful. So one of the main benefits of that is public engagement because the public already has these devices. Plus they are already interacting on various channels and we can meet them on those channels in methods that they prefer,” said Wisniewski.
“Philly311 is a mobile application that we launched back in September. We’ve seen an incredible amount of usage. It hasn’t really decreased the number of calls into our call centers, but it has increased the volume and opened up a new audience that has never called in before,” said Wisniewski.
“More people than ever before are engaged. We are empowering people to become community heros,” said Wisniewski.