Radio: Summer tech program will introduce South and West Side kids to coding

Today I talked about the Smart Chicago Youth-Led Tech program at WBEZ. Here’s a description:

Now that the Memorial Day weekend is over, students around Chicago are counting down to the end of the school year. And for some, that means coding camp is right around the corner. All this week on Tech Shift, we’re looking at different options kids have to explore science, technology, engineering and math over the summer. We examine a new program from the civic tech group Smart Chicago called Youth-led Tech. Its goal is to introduce students on the South and West sides to coding, and to teach them how to translate their new-found programming skills into a job. Joining us to talk about that is Smart Chicago Executive Director Dan O’Neil, and Dr. Toni Irving, Executive Director of Get In Chicago, a violence prevention and reduction program.

And here’s the interview:

Here’s a download of the interview here, for posterity:

Here’s a pic of Navy Pier on a Spring day:


News: Proposed CUTGroup Testing of Ventra App

cta-tweet-logo_reasonably_smallToday the Chicago Transit Authority announced their partnership with Smart Chicago on testing their new Ventra app. Here’s a snip:

Smart Chicago is a civic group that is devoted to improving lives through technology. Its Civic User Testing Group has tested more than a dozen apps. The CUTGroup will create a pool of testers to use the app in real life to buy fares and manage their accounts by smartphone, providing valuable feedback to CTA, Metra and Pace ahead of beginning the first, larger group of public testing.

Testing includes functions to purchase fares, manage transit accounts and get real-time arrival and departure information for all three transit providers, all functions that will be launched in the first phase of the app.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the development of the region’s first-ever transit app and contribute meaningfully to the product that hundreds of thousands of transit customers will use every day,” said Smart Chicago Executive Director Daniel X. O’Neil.

Panel: “Design Thinking and Learning Together”

Today I participated in a panel discussion with Susan Patterson, co-director, KCIC, Knight Foundation; Kelly Ryan, CEO, Incourage Community Foundation;  Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation;  and Chris Daggett, president & CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

We talked about the work our organizations have done together in the Knight Community Information Challenge deep dive cohort.

Here’s video:


Panel: The Future of Story Telling in a Data-driven World

Today I participated in a panel in the Tech Breakfast Club: The Future of Story Telling in a Data-driven World. Here’s a description:

Experts from Narrative Science, the Smart Chicago Collaborative and Nuveen Investments will share examples of how marketers are marrying data and natural language technologies to automate routine reports and craft stories that haven’t previously been told.

Panelists were Katy De Leon, Vice President, Marketing, Narrative Science; Daniel X. O’Neil, Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative; and Andrew Champ, Vice President, Marketing Services, Nuveen Investments. Facilitated by Dan O’Brien, Chief Executive, Tech Image.

I talked about the raw info that is tossed off all the time by municipalities— building permits, restaurant inspections, and other daily detritus of the city. This stuff can be used as nodes of knowledge for those who are paying attention.