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Urban Innovation Weekend 1: Community Development and Public Art

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June 24, 2011 6:00 pm
June 26, 2011 2:00 pm
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998 Market St., San Francisco, 94102

Please join us for this special Summer of Smart weekend of hacking, speakers, discussion, and mixing!

A hackathon for everyone…where your work will be seen by the next mayor, and you can win a research residency and other prizes!

The best solutions always emerge from diverse minds coming together to solve common problems. That’s why we’re inviting the Bay Area’s best urbanists, artists, journalists, scientists, communicators, business and civic minds, and more to join leading developers and designers in prototyping and building ways to improve life for all citizens of San Francisco – and eventually, beyond. (Who Should Attend) List your skillsets and areas of expertise in your registration, and check out what types of people you’ll be working with in the attendee list.

Register below now, or at http://sosweekend1.eventbrite.com/

Join us for the first of three Urban Innovation Weekends as part of the Summer of Smart, an initiative of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (@GAFFTA) in partnership with San Francisco Department of Technology, Code for America, SPUR, The Bay Citizen, Change.org, GovFresh, Shareable, and many others!  We’ll be prototyping solutions to address pressing urban issues, and this first weekend will focus on projects centered around Community Development and Public Art.

Start with a keynote, hack and create, end with a party.

The weekend will begin with an introductory keynote address Friday evening by John Gage, 21st employee and former Chief Researcher at Sun Microsystems, and a champion of using technology to help achieve environmental and community goals – he helped coin the term “hackathon” more than 12 years ago. A second keynote by social innovator, activist, and entrepreneur Margarita Quihuis will follow. Two local community speakers will also speak, and then teams will be formed after introductions of all attendees, some icebreakers, and sharing of crowdsourced ideas for applications coming from CityCampSF, SFOpen 2011 and #SoSidea.  Teams are welcome to stay and work through the night, and Saturday will be a dawn-to-dusk workday before presentations and discussion Saturday evening.

We’ll close things out with a mixer party in the Warfield Building in Downtown San Francisco, where we’ll be right in the middle of the SF Pride Parade and its estimated attendance of over 1 million people!  We’ll discuss the applications developed over the weekend and all things tech, community, art, and Gov 2.0 – anyone is welcome to attend.

Community Development and Public Art

Public art becomes especially rich with possibility in an era of ubiquitous mobile devices, gamification, large scale video projection, and rivers of real time data. The dividing line between that which is “aesthetic” and works that changes behavior, provoke insight, or solve problems has become gray (the namesake of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts).  We’ll aim to generate public art through new means, catalog and increase exposure to existing art, and help redefine how artistic visions can continue to improve and shape civic life in San Francisco and beyond.
Community development challenges us to think about local people and places — and how to use technology for advocacy, understanding, or crowdsourcing community action. Our event takes place in San Francisco’s Mid-Market District community, one that is rapidly evolving, open to ideas, and a remarkable place to experiment.  Last year’s Great Urban Hack at GAFFTA helped set the stage for today. Our partner organizations each have diverse local and national community experience and will all bring different perspectives to the table.


Attendees of the hackathon get free admission to the party as well as breakfast and lunch on Saturday!  Donations for food are encouraged.


Submit and view ideas for all three SoS weekends here.


This weekend, and during our other two innovation weekends this summer, we will help take the transformative ideas generated at CityCampSF and turn them into action. We’ll be creating solutions for a better San Francisco through grassroots innovation and participatory hacktivism. Jay Nath, Director of Innovation for the City of San Francisco, will join us Friday night to break down the outcomes of the event and build upon the momentum and ideas it generates.


A key principle behind Summer of Smart is sustainability and recognition for the projects created.

– A select number of teams from Summer of Smart will be awarded GAFFTA residencies in the Fall/Winter of 2011 to pursue their work, as well as fundraising assistance and nonprofit fiscal sponsorship (if desired) through GAFFTA’s Research Program.

– This weekend’s applications will feed into the national Apps for Communities Challenge, with $100,000 in prizes.

– All applications created will be featured on The Bay Citizen, Summer of Smart website, GAFFTA’s website, and a number of other media outlets, and will be presented to San Francisco mayoral candidates as the summer progresses.



6-6:15: Community speakers: Tenderloin Technology Lab and Burning Man

6:15-6:45: Keynote speakers: John Gage and Margarita Quihuis

6:45-8: Introductions, icebreakers, idea-sharing, and team formation

8-10 (or overnight): Begin prototyping/hacking/creating


9:00-12:30: Working, breakfast

12:30-1:00: Lunch and keynote speaker: Jen Pahlka

1:00-6:00: Working

6:00-7:00: Presentations, discussion, feedback


10:00 am-1:00 pm: Idea sharing and mixer party during SF Pride

Who Should Attend
– Developers and designers
– Journalists and writers
– Video/audio editors and artists of all kinds
– Architects, engineers, urban planners/designers
– Community and public policy activists
– Media and social networking gurus
– Researchers, thinkers, idea curators
– Technology and urban art lovers
– Entrepreneurs and business leaders
– Students of any discipline
– Anyone who wants to improve their city!

About Summer of Smart

The Summer of Smart is an intensive, four-month experiment in urban innovation – the new Summer of Love. Over the course of this summer, urbanists of many disciplines – developers, designers, planners, journalists, civic leaders, community activists, and more – will come together to address the most pressing issues facing cities today. In the end, the leading projects will be publicly presented to candidates in the San Francisco mayoral race, along with an esteemed panel of experts, to generate a meaningful dialogue around the potential of new tools to create lasting change.



This event is made possible by the generous support of the San Francisco Foundation, Adobe Foundation, CraigConnects, and Exygy.


San Francisco Department of Technology

Code For America



The Bay Citizen

— full partner list


Keynote Speakers

John Gage

John Gage

As the former Chief Researcher and Vice President of the Science Office for Sun, John led scientific, technical, and policy efforts around computing.  During his tenure, he coined the phrase “the network is the computer” and hosted perhaps the world’s first-ever “hackathon” in 1999.  He is the co-founder of NetDay, which provides internet access to schools, libraries, and clinics, and a long-time champion of using technology for social good. In 2008, Gage joined Kleiner Perkins as venture capitalist focusing on “green” investments. Today, he sits the board of NetDay and Schools Online, and has been internationally recognized for his work by President Clinton and the Kennedy School of Government, among many others. Gage attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Graduate School of Business.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University California Berkeley, where also continued with his doctoral studies.

Margarita Quihuis

Margarita Quihuis

A social entrepreneur and mentor capitalist, Margarita Quihuis’s career has focused on innovation, technology incubation, access to capital and entrepreneurship. Her accomplishments include directorship of Astia (formerly known as the Women’s Technology Cluster) where her portfolio companies raised $67 million in venture funding, venture capitalist, Reuters Fellow at Stanford, and Director of RI Labs for Ricoh Innovations. She is currently a member of the research team at Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab and directs the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab where she conducts research in Innovation, mass collaboration, persuasive technology & the potential of social networks to change society for the better.


Jen Pahlka

Jennifer Pahlka is the founder, executive director and board chair of Code for America. Previously, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb, in conjunction with O’Reilly Media, and co-chaired the successful Web 2.0 Expo. Before that, she spent eight years at CMP Media where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine, and Gamasutra.com; there she also launched the Independent Games Festival and served as Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association. Jennifer’s early career was spent in the non-profit sector. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, California with her daughter and six chickens.