Good interview in GeekWire today with Candace Faber, Seattle’s first “Civic Technology Advocate, a position that includes “spreading the power of tech to underserved sectors of city government and community groups, and promoting open government.”
Faber’s only been on the job for nine months, and in the first portion of the interview she basically covers what she hopes to accomplish in the role, which more than anything sounds like making the government more transparent (hooray!).
She also talks about nurturing both the tech community and the community at large, making them aware of all the resources and tools available to simplify their lives and make living in Seattle a pleasure.
She says her vision is to make Seattle a center of technology for change, via combining the disparate resources, knowledge base, experience and passion from the social and philanthropy sectors and meld it with the tech community’s energy and new insights. Not just, she says, creating digital processes but new ways of tackling civic problems.
The interview also covers the upside and downside of hackathons, her favorite social media platforms, the dangers of Seattle’s escalating housing market prices pushing out diversity (see: San Francisco), and other topics.
The interview is relevant not only for Seattle, but any city seeking to use its tech expertise more effectively in areas of civic responsibility and responsiveness. Not all the answers are here, but Faber seems to have a clear-eyed view of what the challenges and opportunities are.