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Lead story: EIGERlab‘s IT Roundtable instrumental in Rockford becoming 35th Code for America Brigade City
Code for America Brigade (CfA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that attempts to bridge the tech gap between private and public sectors. Government sector technology is usually old and slow; sometimes 30 years old. The CfA’s goal is to bridge the gap.
According to Christopher Whitaker with CfA, “Rockford has the three key things needed to be a Brigade or civically-innovative city. First necessity is a city government that is open to sharing open data, which is the fuel for innovation; fuels transparency and business. Second is a space to meet, collaborate and hold events; EIGERlab, where the first Open Tech Challenge was held). And last, a technology community with the ability to take on the big challenges that face cities.”
Civically-minded apps that have been created:
Adopt-a-hydrant (Boston, MA) allows citizens to claim responsibility for shoveling out fire hydrants after heavy snowfall.
Adopt-a-Siren (Honolulu, HI) allows citizens to adopt a tsunami siren in their neighborhood.
Adopt-a-Sidewalk (Chicago, IL) allows citizens to claim responsibility for shoveling out throughout the winter or ask for help if they need a hand.
Dan Cataldi is pleased with the outcome of EIGERlab’s Information Technology (IT) Roundtable’s efforts. Dan shared, “Our community will now have the ability to collaborate and interact with the other 34 Brigade cities to brainstorm, create new initiatives and receive regional, national and now international exposure as a Brigade city. We are starting to create a brand which was one of the IT Roundtable’s objectives.”
Among the group’s newest interested parties is Chris Nwakalo. Nwakalo was born in Boston, then moved to Beloit, Wis., went to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and now is the chief brand and strategy officer for New Vybe Fitness in Loves Park.
“If you look at the iPhone, it’s changed the world in five years,” Nwakalo said. “When I went to Whitewater, I was surprised at the negative feelings towards Beloit. I hear a lot of the same things about Rockford. I want to learn more about Rockford’s issues and how we can use technology to address them.” Alex Gary, “EIGERlab launching Code for America Brigade in Rockford” Rockford Register Star, March 27, 2014
Jen Hall, who helps facilitate the IT Roundtable for the EIGERlab, said the brigade will begin by meeting at 9 a.m. every second Saturday of the month at EIGERlab, 605 Fulton Ave. The brigade is using Meetup.com to schedule more events under the group name “Code for Rockford.” For more information, contact Jen; firstname.lastname@example.org or (815) 975-0466.
See the “EIGERlab in the News” section below for the media’s coverage of the March 27 press conference.
Click below to open the PDF.