Trends Online Kickoff Meeting
Code for Boulder kicked off the Trends Online project on Wednesday in collaboration with the…
On a snowy Saturday in February, 54 members of the Boulder area gathered for a day of ideation, active listening, and problem solving. The goal: identify ways to improve and increase the engagement citizens have with local government, with a focus on the topic of housing.
Code for Boulder volunteers were joined by city and county staff and community members for all-day event at Impact Hub Boulder. This was all part of the international event, CodeAcross sponsored by Code For America. Entitled “Crafting Civic Tech: The Housing Edition,” Boulder’s CodeAcross event focused on the topic of housing issues within the local area. Watch a 90-second overview of the day, produced by City of Boulder’s Channel 8:
Ryan Martens of Rally Software, a supporter of Code For America, introduced the group to the Design Thinking methodology that would shape the day. Ronica Roth then led the series of exercises, including empathy interviews, problem statement creation and brainstorming solutions in small groups. Attendees paired up to engage in “empathy interviews.” They listened and noted the concerns of their partners. Among the stated concerns were:
Becky Boone, Code For America fellow, is conducting an in-depth exploration into the needs and challenges of improving community engagement in Boulder.
Becky shared her findings with the group. Read all of Becky’s community engagement problem statements.
Participants engaged with each other and the overall group with earnest enthusiasm and intention.
“The Code for Boulder Civic Tech Forum was excellent because we were encouraged to stay in the place of inquiry, rather than racing superficially to find the solution. We worked in small teams with other community members who care deeply about an issue. Each group identified two core ideas which we presented to the full group.
I am focusing on senior housing issues, and I am thrilled that two very concrete and needed tech solutions arose from our discussions today.”
Neshama Abraham, Board Member of Our Home-Colorado
At the end of the day, seven groups presented their problem statements and proposed possible solutions to the attendees.
“Listening is a critical skill to develop – it was a great setting to practice listening.” Dina Robin
While participants kept one eye on the snowstorm, the artifacts of the day were gathered up to be documented. David Driskell assured attendees that they would be shared with the Housing Process Subcommittee. Stay tuned: Code for Boulder will publish another story soon that will share follow-up activities from the event.
Photography generously donated by Luis Carducci