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Civic Tech Can Help Build a Stronger City

By: Susana L. Vasquez
Published: April 1, 2015

You know when there is a perfect intersection between passion and profession—when the things you spend your time on 60 hours a week align with those things you feel are important to make the world, and Chicago, a better place. Such is my experience with LISC Chicago, a nonprofit whose mission is to “connect neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier”.

It is my honor and privilege to be a new member of the LISC Chicago Board of Advisors. In this role, I hope to bring the vast array of resources that Microsoft has in our YouthSpark, DreamSpark, BizSpark and Digital Literacy programs to those who need it most in Chicago. In the following blog by LISC Chicago Executive Director Susana Vasquez, you’ll learn about how LISC Chicago is cutting edge and leading the way in Civic Tech-the intersection of “big data”, innovation and applications to make our city stronger and our citizens more engaged and connected. I have known and worked with Susana since 2009, when we collaborated on large software grants for nonprofits supported by LISC. Since that time, I have watched LISC Chicago and Susana and her team grow to become national leaders. It’s a pleasure to introduce Susana’s guest blog today.

- Shelley Stern Grach

I do not code. I do not hack. My smart phone is merely above average.  I use it primarily for email and, yes, phone calls. For two decades I’ve worked in an industry – nonprofit community development – that came late to technological innovation and is still scratching its head about the significance of big data, let alone the term “civic tech”. We’ve prided ourselves, instead, on our people skills: listening and engaging and planning to make neighborhoods stronger. What does tech have to do with that?

Quite a lot, it seems. More and more, I am realizing that “civic tech” can make us stronger, that the future of our city depends on how well we learn to use technology.

Read the entire blog by Susana Vasquez, executive director of LISC Chicago, at Microsoft Chicago.

Posted in Staff and Board News, Areas of Work, Neighborhoods

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Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier.

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