Recap of the Next Generation of Government Lightning Speakers

The participants for the lightning speakers came from a competition that took place on GovLoop, each participate had 5 minutes to talk about their job and the cool initiatives they are working on.

“Nature 3.0 – Using Technology to Connect People with nature”
Michael Gale, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Michael Gale of US Fish and Wildlife was up first for the lightning speakers. Michael spoke about using technology to connect people. “We can use technology to get kids and families to connect with the natural world, technology will be the key to get the next generation to explore wildlife and engage with the natural world,” stated Michael. Michael gave dozens examples of how US Fish and Wildlife is using QR Codes, interactive displays, social media to engage with citizens at national parks and protected lands.

Michael ran through a lot of great examples of how he is using social media at Fish and Wildlife and technology to drive change at Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Put the Action in Your Action Plan”
Emily Sadigh, County of Alameda, California

Emily started her talk by asking, “How many of you have seen strategic plans get written, but not get implemented?” Dozens of hands went up in the audience. Emily continued to explain her experience trying to have committees in Alameda County, California, to engage in climate change initiatives. In their first attempt to convince committees to take on a climate change initiatives in Alameda County, no committees agreed to take on an initiative. After taking a meeting facilitation class, the county decided to try again. The team in Alameda County decided to frame a meeting in which everyone in the county would feel a sense of ownership, in hopes of convincing the committee to select a set of climate initiatives over the course of the next year. The team accomplished this in one 90 minute meeting. At the end of the meeting, each committee selected an initiative. Emily's talk was a great reminder of how important it is to describe not only the value of projects, but describe how they will impact key stakeholders on a day-to-day basis. Emily did a great job explaining the back story to Alameda County.

“A Journey Into Blindness: The Blind Professional”
Teresa Shea, National Institutes of Health 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

Teresa say was the final participant in the Lightning Sessions. Teresa lost her vision a few years ago, and since then has become an activist for education and equality for the disabled. Teresa stated, “Yes there are laws in place, but do I really want to work at a place where they want me?” Teresa said that she ended up taking a job as a marketing director, and moved on to work at NIH. At NIH, Teresa found that there was not a lot of resources available for the blind. Teresa decided to start an organization called “Three Blind Mice,” which shares information for the blind, the membership is now up to about 50 members. The hope is to start a conversation about the blind, and 508 Compliance and Accessibility. Through Teresa’s story, she was able to tell a compelling story and express the ongoing need for equality and accessibility for the disabled.

If you want to check out the summit and were unable to attend, the conference is being live streamed on GovLoop, simply head over to the homepage of GovLoop and you’ll find links and resources to follow throughout the day. Since you can’t join us in person, we hope you’ll follow us digitally! Also, follow the conference using @nextgengov and #nextgengov, posting on GovLoop using Nextgen.

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