CityCamp Raleigh Announces Second annual CityCamp to foster local government and citizen collaboration

Citizen-led “unconference” brings innovation and cooperation to the
capital city June 1, 2, and 3, 2012.

Raleigh, NC—CityCamp Raleigh announced the second annual, city-focused “unconference” that unites government, business, neighborhood, non-profit, and academic communities to create next-generation solutions for Raleigh. The event highlights the power of participation, promotes open source in local government and explores how technology can increase government transparency and participation. All citizens are invited to participate either before or after the conference by posting suggestions and ideas on the CityCampRal.org homepage under the ‘Submit Your Topic’ header.

“Last year we proved that CityCamp is a worthwhile endeavor and saw first-hand how innovative ideas can come from anyone in our community. We advanced the open government movement in Raleigh by bringing together technology professionals, citizens and local government,” said planning committee co-chair Jason Hibbets. “Proof of our success is in the passionate involvement we have from so many volunteers, city advocates, local businesses and returning and new sponsors like Alfresco, Red Hat, WRAL, and Salesforce.com.”

“The innovation and collaboration fostered at CityCamp Raleigh is indicative of the high level of citizen participation and quality of community and government interaction,” commented Mitchell Silver, Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director for the City of Raleigh, and CityCamp Raleigh Government Panel moderator. “The first CityCamp Raleigh had a substantial effect on the local community.”

Here are some of the ways the first CityCamp Raleigh was an inspiration or catalyst in helping to advance open government and create next-generation solutions locally:

  • The Raleigh City Council unanimously approved a resolution stating its intent to foster “open” government by encouraging the use of open-source systems and open access to data.
  • City Councilors agreed to provide $50,000 annually to fund an open data catalog. Raleigh city data will be digitally published and made ready for use by city residents, software developers or news outlets.
  • City of Raleigh website visitors can now sign up for a free service called MyRaleigh Subscriptions that delivers email and text alerts about topics such as street closings, public meetings, city projects, and events.
  • Help spur the TriangleWiki project – a free, openly-editable, community-owned website that gathers first-hand information on local history, events, greenways, parks and everything interesting related to the Triangle region.

Matt Miszewski, SVP of Public Sector for Salesforce.com, will be participating on the business panel this year. “As the former CIO for the state of Wisconsin, I’m passionate about open government, open data, and using open source as an economic engine,” said Miszewski, “Having participated in CityCamp events in London and Boston, I’m excited about the collaboration and discussions at CityCamp Raleigh to advance innovation in city government.”

Speakers at the event include DeLisa Alexander, Chief People Officer, Red Hat, Inc.; Jimmy Goodmon, VP/GM, Capitol Broadcasting New Media Company; Gail Roper, Raleigh Chief Information and Community Relations Officer at City of Raleigh; Lori Bush, Cary Town Council at-large representative; Kevin Curry, Code for America and CityCamp co-founder, to name a few.

Eight teams presented at last years’ CityCamp Raleigh to compete for the $5000 prize. Consistent with the 2011 event, the $5000 prize this year will be awarded on creativity, execution, and feasibility. Jason Horne, one of the winners from team Open It Up last year, is looking forward another opportunity to make a difference. “It’s not just the prize, though that was nice – it’s about a team of strangers coming together over three days to collaborate on a solution to help our community.”

The event is free to the public and kicks off Friday, June 1st at 1pm [doors open at 12pm, event starts at 1pm] at Vintage 21 downtown Raleigh, 117 S. West Street, and continues Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3, 2012, in the AIA building at 14 East Peace Street, Raleigh. Expect a similar format from the first CityCamp Raleigh. Day one begins with government and business panels. And – new this year – a lightening round of five-minute varied local interest presentations hosted by Ryan Boyles of Ignite Raleigh. The “unconference” format begins on Saturday from 9am – 5pm when solution exploration begins, and teams begin to form. Sunday from 10am – 3pm groups can gather for more workshops and collaboration before team presentations begin at 3pm.

CityCamp Raleigh participants provide input and share experiences on crime, trash, transit water/sewer, property taxes, streets (potholes, curbs), storm water management, parks and recreation, and other issues. Public engagement enhances the government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Citizens are invited to share input as early as today at citycampral.org.

Follow us on Twitter @CityCampRal or #ccral

Visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/CityCampRal

Admission free, but space is limited http://citycampral.eventbrite.com/

Sponsors include Alfresco, Red Hat, Inc., Salesforce.com, Runtime Expectations, and WRAL

About Jason Hibbets

Jason Hibbets is a project manager in Brand Communications + Design, at Red Hat, where he leads a team of writers who are the voices of the Red Hat brand. He also is the lead administrator for opensource.com and has been with Red Hat since 2003. Prior roles include ISV senior marketing specialist, support project manager, Red Hat Knowledgebase maintainer, and Global Support Services technical engineer. You can follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets

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