San Francisco Launches Civic Accelerator Program to Drive Government Innovation
In an area famous for its technology start-ups and innovation, San Francisco's municipal government is looking to utilize the creative talent of the region's residents to improve its own operations. Brian Solis, of Mashable.com interviews Jay Nath, San Francisco's Chief Innovative Officer, to discuss the ways that technological innovation is being pursued and adopted.
Government is not commonly associated with the cutting edge of technology, especially within local government. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is looking to change that by bringing on people like Nath to bridge the technology and public sectors.
There are many reasons given for the new focus on technology. One, and perhaps the most blatant, are efficiency gains. For example, by using new systems of sensors, the city can now track its bus and parking systems to increase efficiency. Another benefit of incorporating technology Nath cites is the ability to bring greater transparency to government and civic participation. "We're no longer simply collecting taxes and providing a service," says Nath, "We're now saying lets work together and solve these grand challenges that we face...Hopefully it's a key signal for other cities that should be engaging in a very deep way with their community."