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The Civic Tech Field Guide With Matt Stempeck — ICYMI

Matt Stempeck, technologist in residence at Cornell University and curator of the Civic Tech Field Guide, joins ICYMI to discuss this comprehensive collection of tech projects for the public interest and democracy.

In 2016, Micah Sifry, Erin Simpson and Matt Stempeck (then director of civic technology on Microsoft’s Technology and Civic Engagement Team) collaborated to organize a taxonomy of civic tech. Their stated goal was to attract more participation, to move resources in productive directions and to understand the impact of such technology. Their work ultimately became the Civic Tech Field Guide.

Today, the Civic Tech Field Guide has become the most comprehensive collection of tech projects for the public interest and democracy, providing not only a directory of such projects but also a calendar of global conferences and events and access to regularly conducted research.

But what exactly is “civic tech?” According to Stempeck, civic tech is an umbrella term that includes gov tech but also expands beyond the government to include everything from public policy to political campaigns to nonprofits to urban planning. It is intentionally defined broadly as “the use of newly available possibilities for the common good.”

On this episode of ICYMI, Stempeck discusses the genesis of the Civic Tech Field Guide, its underlying principles, the importance of having a global perspective of civic tech and the need for a “postmortem” culture to learn from projects that have failed.



“In Case You Missed It” is Government Technology’s weekly news roundup and interview live show featuring e.Republic* Chief Innovation Officer Dustin Haisler and Deputy Chief Innovation Officer Joe Morris as they bring their analysis and insight to the week’s most important stories in state and local government.

Follow along live Fridays at 12 p.m. PST on LinkedIn and YouTube.

*e.Republic is Government Technology’s parent company.


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Dustin Haisler is the president of Government Technology's parent company e.Republic. Previously the finance director and later CIO for Manor, Texas, a small city outside Austin, Haisler quickly built a track record and reputation as an early innovator in civic tech. As President, Haisler drives exponential growth, implements new ideas and promotes a corporate culture that rewards creativity. Read his full bio.
Joseph Morris is the chief innovation officer of <i>Government Technology</i>’s parent company e.Republic and a national keynote speaker on issues, trends and drivers impacting state and local government and education. He has authored publications and reports on funding streams, technology investment areas and public-sector priorities, and has led roundtables, projects and initiatives focused on issues within the public sector. Joe has conducted state and local government research with e.Republic since 2007 and knows the ins and outs of government on all levels. He received his Bachelor of Arts in government and international relations from the California State University, Sacramento.