CivTech St. Louis is a collaborative of organizations and individuals that is dedicated to growing the civic technology ecosystem and data democratization in St. Louis. CivTech St. Louis is made possible by the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Living Cities, Code for America, and the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and local partners Rise Community Development, Open Data STL, and St. Louis County.

Objectives:

To grow the civic technology ecosystem of the St. Louis region and facilitate government’s embrace of community-built tools.

To foster a positive and actively engaging relationship between citizens and their government.

With, not for.

Users are experts in their own needs. The Collaborative will engage users in every step of development to ensure that it is building solutions tailored to real problems experienced by real people. If users cannot navigate a tool, then the tool is broken. To fix it, our CivX User Testing Group brings diverse citizen user groups to test technologies and give feedback for redesign. If you are interested in joining CivX, contact us.

Strategy:

  • Identify real user problems and begin solving them with feasible, high-impact technology tools.
  • Democratize data, with open data portals, standardized data formats, appropriate data privacy practices, and data literacy education.
  • Promote positivity and accountability.
  • Prioritize the effective (easy-to-understand) dissemination of information over “fancy” hard-to-execute, hard-to-measure tools. Don’t be afraid to iterate.
  • Integrate with existing systems when possible.

Why?

For the national partners, this initiative advances two goals:

Demonstrating what is possible when data and technology are intentionally applied to address problems affecting low-income people; and

Strengthening collaboration at the local level between civic technologists, neighborhood data practitioners, and government officials.

How do I get involved?

The Collaborative will be continually working on solutions and is open to whomever wants to contribute. To volunteer and collaborate, please email us at civtechstl@gmail.com. The best way to stay up to date is to follow our blog, Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and events calendar.