2020 Impact Report
Our community is at the centre of everything we do and this year we saw it grow in new ways. While we’ve always had a steady upward progression of community members, 2020 saw interest in civic tech reach new audiences as a result of the global pandemic. People outside our usual networks began understanding the strong need for a both a digitally fluent government and civic engagement through technology. We’re jazzed to welcome so many new folks to our little corner of the world wide web.
people came to one of our Open Houses
are part of our Civic Makers meetings
are part of our online Slack community
follow our newsletter & social channels
This year, we re-booted Civic Makers, our volunteer-led program. We still wanted to work out how to make our communities better, as we did in the initial interaction but this time, we really wanted to emphasise doing so through the lens of civic tech.
We’re a group of people from many different backgrounds (designers, developers, writers, scientists, government folk) and anyone interested in getting involved in civic tech is welcome to join us.
As a result of COVID-19, Civic Makers was another program that was forced to pivot to online. This has actually worked super well in our favour with retention rates remaining high and folks from all over the country able to participate.
So, what’s our pilot project? Using data collected from They Vote For You, we’re building a website that tells the story of climate change policy in Australia.
We’re excited to use this project as a template for future work. The team is also working on forging new partnerships with other organisations that can help us make positive change.
CODE FOR ALL
Just as 2020 saw a new incarnation of Base Team for Code for Australia, so too was the case for our friends in the core team at Code For All, the global civic tech network to which we belong.
This year, we were super involved with the Code for All Summit. What was originally planned as a 1-day event in Poland turned into a 3-week event online. There ended up being 21 sessions with 30 speakers and saw over 150 participants from 30+ countries over the course of the event.
Finally, building on some great work completed last year, we’re running another international exchange with funding from Code for All, this time with our friends at Codeando México. We’re excited to explore how the Tech for Non Tech concepts and curriculum translate for use across Latin America.
We’re excited to see what 2021 has in store for the network!
“Code for Australia wasn’t able to attend our Summit in Poland, but with the move online, they ended up being our most involved partner both in organizing and participating in the event — they met weekly with our core team to plan the conference, and also gave multiple presentations throughout.” – Lorin Carmago, Code for All
Every six-ish weeks we open our doors (or, windows as the case turned out to be) to show what we’ve been working on – it’s a time of discussion, cross-pollination and inspiration. We were only able to host one in-person event this year before the pandemic struck. Shifting the events to online presented both upsides and downsides.
A positive of the new online delivery was that people from around the country could attend and hear all about what are Fellows and Base Team had been up to. The downside was the lack of mingling! It’s challenging to recreate the same energy that exists at in-person events. We’re going to keep experimenting in 2021 to see what works best for the team and our community.
Watch this year’s Open Houses over on our Vimeo channel.
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