We’re delighted to share an exciting new chapter for TICTeC.
TICTeC stands for ‘The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference’. Since 2015 mySociety has convened an international cohort of those who build, use and research technologies that aim to enhance public participation, transparency and accountability, in order to openly and honestly examine how digital civic interventions are shaping society.
Discussion leading to action
Now, thanks to financial support from the National Endowment for Democracy, TICTeC is expanding from an annual conference into a continuous programme of activities and events that will run across the next 18 months, primarily remotely.
The aim is to discuss and tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the global civic tech/digital democracy sector — and once they’ve been identified, we’ll grant participants the funding that will enable them to work on solutions.
We’re calling this new programme TICTeC Labs and it consists of two streams:
1. Civic Tech Surgeries
Regular online convenings bringing together the global civic tech community to discuss challenges facing the sector, to share existing research and experience, and identify evidence gaps and other needs.
Each Civic Tech Surgery will be around two hours long, and open to participants from around the world; there will be six surgeries across the next 18 months, each focused on a specific theme identified as a key challenge for the global civic tech sector.
The first Civic Tech Surgery
Public-private collaborations: how can civic tech work effectively with public and private institutions?
28 October 14.00 – 16.00 GMT+1
2. Action Labs
A collaborative and action-oriented process to take forward ideas generated in Civic Tech Surgeries and support initiatives that address common challenges.
Following each surgery session, a working group of expert individuals will be convened to lead the Action Lab for that issue area, feeding back to the wider pool of participants as they go. Action Labs members will work together to decide what would be helpful to produce in order to help the civic tech community with challenges identified in Civic Tech Surgeries.
Grants will be available to those who apply to actually produce the work identified by the Action Lab.
We’ll be opening applications to join the first TICTeC Action Lab soon, so do sign up for updates.
To help guide and promote the TICTeC Labs programme, as well as to make it as relevant and inclusive as possible to local and regional contexts and contributors, we have established a global Steering Group. We are delighted to welcome the following exceptional people to the TICTeC Labs Steering Group, and we thank them for their contributions:
- Neema Iyer, Founder, Pollicy
- Oscar Montiel, Independent Consultant (formerly The Engine Room, Codeando México, Open Knowledge etc)
- Matt Stempeck, Technologist in Residence, Cornell University, and founder and director of the Civic Tech Field Guide
- Isabel Hou, Open Culture Foundation and g0v
- Nonso Jideofor, Funding & Partnerships Manager, Code for All
With the help of the Steering Group we have now identified topics for the Civic Tech Surgeries and Action Labs over the next 18 months:
- Public-private collaborations: how can civic tech work effectively with public and private institutions?
- Ensuring civic tech is accessible: how can we lead and popularise best practice?
- Accessing quality information: how can we overcome barriers to accessing good data and documentation?
- Scaling and replicating civic tech: how can we overcome the well known challenges to achieving scale and replication?
- Tackling the climate crisis with civic tech: Where can civic tech be most impactful?
- Storytelling and reach: how can we amplify our successes beyond the civic tech community to evidence our impact through mainstream channels?
If you would like to join a Civic Tech Surgery as a discussant to share your experiences of, or reflect on, any of the above topics, then please get in touch. We will of course communicate dates for the Civic Tech Surgeries in due course, and you can hear these first by signing up to our mailing list.
We do of course still plan to host our usual in-person TICTeC global gatherings again in future, but at this stage we still think it is too early to start organising a conference with attendees from over 35 countries worldwide, whilst international travel is still so uncertain.
This is why TICTeC Labs is so exciting – we can’t wait to connect more meaningfully with the global civic tech community again and ensure that the peer and cooperation network we worked so hard to build through TICTeC conferences can survive and thrive in this period of uncertainty. We really hope you can join us for this new chapter.