Civic tech gains momentum at CityCamp Minnesota

CityCamp-Minnesota2-300x144CityCamp Minnesota — back again for the first time in two years, constituents from various backgrounds, interests and cities gathered downtown Minneapolis at University of St. Thomas — Schulze Hall yesterday for a day of networking and communication.

The topics focused on strengthening our communities through civic engagement in the form of digital inclusion, open government, and collaboration among the private, public and non-profit sector. Decentralized in nature, 24 breakout sessions were organically formed by 150 participants, creating a highly interactive format rich with relevant topics.

We talked with the driving forces behind CityCamp for an in-depth conversation about the unconference, as well as some recent highlights for Open Twin Cities.

“Historically Minnesota has been a little behind the curve with open data…right now we’re seeing some amazing sparks of open date within gov entities on the state, city and metro level. I think in the next year we will see a lot of interesting data come out,” says Open Twin Cities co founder Alan Palazzolo.

“One of my goals is to see the Twin Cities as a national, really a global leader for inclusive civic tech…that’s really vital to E-Democracy’s mission in this,” explains event co-organizer and leader Steven Clift. “I think we’re going to see a lot more gov involvement. The state needs to prepare itself for for an era of greater openness in how to leverage open data, not just for democracy concerns, which are close to my heart, but also for economic efficiency.”

Bill Bushey, event co organizer and Open Twin Cities co founder, see’s opportunity to improve upon data access through the Data Privacy request process.

“I think the original circumstances that the Data Privacy Act (DPA) were designed to address have changed. I suspect they are due for an update.”

In the essence of action, the momentum continues today at an open hackathon from 10-5 at SoMakers/DevJam.


CityCamp Minnesota unconference to foster civic tech
Q & A with the Open Twin Cities founders
Hack for MN pushing open data in Minneapolis