Seamless @ Code for America: Civic Hack Night, San Francisco

Code for America is a US non-profit organisation that believes in making government services simple, effective and easy to use. Their network builds innovative technology solutions that focus on the main areas where government has a direct influence on our quality of life such as health, safety, justice, economic development and community engagement.

I was privileged to be invited to do an impromptu presentation at their recent Civic Hack San Francisco meet-up to give an overview of the state of play in the Australian local government sector. Some of the topics covered were:

Do more with less. In the face of shrinking budgets and greater resident expectations, councils must embrace modern technologies and start delivering services online to improve performance while reducing costs.

Make online the most appealing option for residents. To see uptake in online services, the experience must be more beautiful, more convenient and much easier to access than any other channel, otherwise people won’t use it.

Reduce the complexity of council sites. Success relies on reducing the number of decision points for residents when visiting a council website. I demonstrated the recently launched City of Ryde website as a great example of a task-focused, app-style website that simplifies interactions.

Collaboration is the key. Despite most councils facing the same challenges, they are all trying to solve them in isolation. We need to do a much better job of collaborating at a technology level, so we can achieve faster, more cost-effective innovations.

This is what Seamless is facilitating with our OpenCities platform.

I was so pleased to be able to share Seamless’s knowledge and experience with other attendees and we very much look forward to getting involved in more civic innovation events. Please contact Rodney at Seamless to discuss collaboration opportunities.

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