Code for America’s 2021 Summit is happening May 12-13 with pre-Summit workshops on May 11. This year, our speakers will lead sessions in four tracks: Design + Delivery, Civic Innovation + Data, Operations + Management, and Technology + Policy. In this preview, we’ll be focusing on Operations + Management. This track offers candid stories from leaders and managers, including the practical advice and tactics they need for changing organizational culture and shifting the course of a longstanding bureaucracy. To find out more, we spoke with track lead Don Castellucci, the Chief of Staff at the Tech Talent Project, and content committee co-chairs Arlene Corbin Lewis and Ryan Ko, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and Chief of Staff at Code for America, respectively.
What does “designing an equitable government, together” look like in the context of this track?
Operations and management are critical to equitable outcomes. At Code for America, we have a saying that originated in our Clear My Record program: “Justice is getting the implementation right.” Essentially, this means that it’s not enough to have the right policy or the right technology—they must both come together to ensure that outcomes are equitable and just. In order for our governments at all levels to deliver for everyone, they must be representative of our cities, states, and country. It will take all facets of government coming together—from finance to human resources, procurement to intergovernmental collaboration—in order to ensure that the implementation is done right.
What unique value does this track add to attendees’ Summit experience? Which attendees is this track best suited for?
We have curated this track to highlight best practices across governments, where public servants are delivering equitable and just outcomes by focusing on operations and management. We hope that this helps attendees see the breadth of operational excellence that exists and helps deliver government services for better outcomes. We have examples from human resources, finance, and procurement, as well as cross-functional topics like collaboration, innovation, and community engagement. We think there is something for everyone in this track—especially doers who get stuff done!
There’s a misconception that government is not a place where innovation often happens. What intersections of innovation and government will we see in this track?
On the contrary—innovation exists broadly across government. It often appears in various silos, but every single day, every single moment, public servants are finding creative, groundbreaking ways to navigate the complex systems that exist to deliver services in a country the size of the United States. We are so excited to be highlighting a few examples in this track, especially those driving towards equitable and just outcomes so that government can live up to its ideals.
Want to see more of the Operations + Management track? Check out all our session descriptions here or browse through a sample of sessions in this track below:
- A Procurement Pathway to Equity
- Start Where You Are: Leveraging Community-Based Talent to Power Digital Services Efforts
- Funding Innovation in Civic Tech: Lessons Learned and Best Practices
Hear from speakers in government, non-profits, and the private sector, like: Lorena Molina-Irizarry, the Director of Operations for the Census Open Innovation Labs; Honey Dacanay, the Executive Director of Benefits Delivery Modernization for the Government of Canada; and ShaKeia Kegler, the Founder of GovLia. These speakers and many more are eager to engage with you!