I have two long-held beliefs: that cities are the key to solving some of society’s most difficult challenges, and that one’s vocation is often the most effective mechanism by which a person can build for a better world. I have been most fortunate to integrate these beliefs through my work with many forward-thinking, outward-looking organizations like Azavea, Code for America, and of course OpenPlans. Each experience has allowed me to create new value in civic life, be it a new piece of technology, a new way of doing things, or a new friendship. And I, too, am a better person for all of it.
Today I am excited to announce the next step in my vocational path. At the end of September, I will be joining the City of Philadelphia as Director of Civic Technology where I will work alongside some of the most innovative people in municipal government. The goal? Build and procure technology that works for people. Always start with user needs. Test assumptions. Develop iteratively. Keep it simple. Everything is about the user, because in the case of city government, the user is our neighbor.
This opportunity is also bittersweet. OpenPlans is the finest place I have ever worked and our team, all of whom I now count as dear friends, is world class. Keep an eye on this blog because some really incredible work is on its way. Oh, and by the way, we’re hiring.