Society + technology = where?
September 18, 2012 7:55 PM   Subscribe

The intersection of technology and social services and policy: who are the innovators? Where and what are they innovating? Are there conferences like the recent XOXO conference for this sort of thing?

I'm a technology-minded, near-MSW-student who is currently active in child and family welfare organizations and I'm wondering if there are any creators or thinkers out there blending these two trains of thought. I'd be interested in reading about people in policy, academia... anywhere, really.
posted by youcancallmeal to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
If you're interested in the sexual health and wellness side of things, Sex:Tech is a great conference for people using technology to reach youth. Their speaker list from previous years (which includes both educators and policymakers) will give you an idea of who's been innovating and how.
posted by rhiannonstone at 8:24 PM on September 18, 2012

This gets a bit of play in Australia. Let me know if you more detail:

The Australia Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) conducted a series of studies on citizen satisfaction with e-government services, including a section on forward thinking.

There's also GovHack, which is about using open government data sets to create accessible applications for the public. A similar, more formal process about making government services more e-accessible was the Gov 2.0 taskforce.

With the gradual rollout of a fibre-to-the-premises network in Australia, the National Broadband Network, there has been some work on how this might impact on the delivery of a variety of services. There was a Parliamentary Inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network. You may want to browse the submissions page to identify who is suggesting which innovative ideas.

The NBN has already attracted a strong focus on "telehealth", delivering GP and other health services via HD video-conferencing. National ICT Australia (NICTA) do quite a bit of work in this area in geenral.
posted by kithrater at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2012

Not exactly what you're looking for, but Code For America does some things in this area and might help point you in the right direction.
posted by Ookseer at 10:54 PM on September 18, 2012

STATS-DC for education.
posted by jgirl at 4:38 AM on September 19, 2012

I'm fascinated by this issue, too, and have long tossed around vague ideas about doing eventual work trying to help social workers and technology folks communicate in order to build better technology solutions.

As an anti-example, my state was recently one to implement te new data system being sold by CGI-

It is has been a complete unmitigated fuck up. And we are apparently one in a long list of states who've had fairly disastrous implementations of SACWIS systems through this vendor. Apparently, this makes absolutely no difference in their ability to earn tens of millions from state and federal governments. Rant over.
posted by purenitrous at 3:22 PM on September 19, 2012

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