On Tuesday, I was privileged to attend a special event hosted by the United States Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra in San Francisco. It was a chance to meet with the CTO and his staff to talk about how to create jobs, and specifically how tech companies like Jive can help create opportunities underprivileged youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
If you've never seen Chopra speak, he's pretty amazing. He seems to constantly have a cuppa joe in one hand while pontificating with the other. He's an inspiring guy in different ways, and is masterful at creating coalitions that act in the common interest. He owns the Open Data movement inside the USG, charged with incubating creative new ways to bring data, technologists, and companies together to generate low- or no-cost solutions to important national problems. His office has been sponsoring a number of innovative hackathons and app challenges. You might have seen the recent Veterans Day Hackathon, which drew a number of app teams together to help Veterans find critical services and resources at zero cost to the taxpayer.
The focus on Tuesday was on how we in technology can help train and educate disadvantaged young people in STEM. It was a good, though high-level, discussion. Additionally, Mitch Kapor and Zach Sims (CodeAcademy) announced some exciting new projects like SMASH and Summer Code Academy + in support of the President's new initiative.
The bottom line is that government is really looking to us in industry to help define the agenda, innovate rapidly together, and focus on measurable results. That's a worthwhile request.
We intend to take him up on his challenge. Stay tuned to the Jive Talks blog for more on this exciting topic.