August 09, 2013
Geri Joyce Killarney
In 2012, when I was a visiting professor at HKS and HLS, I taught a course called Solving Problems Using Technology. (For the second term, my co-teacher was the wonderful Mike Hooper of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.) The class provided an overview of the use of technology in governance and put students to work with the residents of Dudley (a neighborhood in Boston) designing applications and systems that could be useful in solving particular problems on which the neighborhood wanted to focus – like “How do we involve residents in urban planning processes?” and “How do we get more young adults involved in neighborhood governance?”
There were many great and memorable things about that class for me, and I think for some of the students too. (At least that’s what they told me.) And the whole thing simply would not have happened without the active engagement of the co-chairs of the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Chris Osgood and Nigel Jacob. Their open, collaborative, energetic presence was essential. Clearly, something special was going on in Boston’s City Hall. Read more...