National Day of Civic Hacking Embodies Civic Innovation

In my work as a Civic Engagement Manager, people often ask about civic innovation, civic technology and civic media: What is it? How can I get involved? Code for Boston’s National Day of Civic Hacking (NDoCH) is one way to answer these questions. The National Day of Civic Hacking is the embodiment of civic innovation: citizens working together to enhance the community we live in with new and creative ideas. NDoCH is a terrific way to explore civic innovation, get involved and have fun over the course of a weekend.

I sat down with Kristen Weber of Code for Boston to hear about the NDoCH activities planned for this upcoming weekend (June 5-7). I want to stress Kristen’s point below that this hackathon is for EVERYONE. You don’t have to be a programmer, developer or designer – varied perspectives and experiences are what make these events great. I hope to see you there!
—Aimee Sprung

National Day of Civic Hacking Embodies Civic Innovation

  1. What is the National Day of Civic Hacking?

The National Day of Civic Hacking (or NDoCH) is a nationwide event that brings together technologists, government workers, community members, and concerned citizens to collaborate in a number of ways to improve their cities and communities. Locally – and with the generous support of Microsoft New England – Code for Boston is excited to announce that our NDoCH event will span Friday evening, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th at the Microsoft offices in Kendall Square.

We’ll kick things off Friday evening with an opening reception and welcoming address. Our overarching theme for the weekend is Community Engagement so, to that end, we’ll follow the opening remarks with project pitches that aim to address problems of community engagement and empowerment in our cities and municipalities. After project pitches, teams will form so that, come Saturday morning, participants can hit the ground running and start working to address community problems.

On Saturday, we’ll begin with breakfast followed by some panel discussions in focus areas. Teams will then have all day to collaborate and work on their projects before their pitches on Sunday.

This year, on Saturday evening, we’re trying something new by hosting a series of IGNITE-style talks at the Venture Café at Cambridge Innovation Center. The evening will run from 7-10 pm and features a generous donation of delicious local beverages from Aeronaut Brewing Co. of Somerville. We’re hoping for a lively, engaging evening of fast-paced, energetic talks from speakers ranging from Cambridge City Councillor Nadeem Mazen, to Holly St. Clair of MAPC, to Micah Martin of Resilient Coders (and many more!)

On Sunday, teams will gather once again at the Microsoft offices to finish up their project work and pitch their ideas, discussions, and projects to all event attendees. We can’t wait to see what teams come up with!

  1. Who can/should participate in NDoCH?

To put it simply: everyone! Despite the name, NDoCH is not just for coders. Like all Code for Boston events, we encourage designers, developers, writers, researchers, policy wonks, urbanists, engaged citizens, city planners, or government workers to attend and get involved. Anyone with a good idea who cares about his or her community is welcome. It’s a big tent.

  1. What do you hope to accomplish at NDoCH?

Since our overall theme for the weekend is Community Engagement, we’d love to have some solid, actionable takeaways as to how to best engage traditionally overlooked or ignored communities in bettering the cities in which we all live and work. There is no one Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, or Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for that matter. We are all individuals with unique perspectives and experiences about what makes our cities great…and what needs improvement. We’d love to come out of the event with a way forward to further engage community groups by leveraging our own expertise and municipal partner relationships to foster engagement and empowerment.

  1. What happens after NDoCH – will the projects continue?

After the event, it is our hope that many of the projects and discussions will continue as part of Code for Boston’s weekly hack nights. Our group meets each Tuesday evening at CIC and we provide a space for people to continue to work on honing or developing their projects. While much of the work we do is technology-focused, that is by no means the rule. Teams are free to attend hack nights to continue to hone technology projects, discuss policy, or brainstorm further ideas for community engagement. We like to say that Code for Boston is part mission-driven non-profit, part technology meetup, part advocacy group, and part social club, and neither of those distinctions is more of less important than the others. Come on by, we’d love to have you!

To RSVP or to learn more about NDoCH or Code for Boston, visit our event page:

Microsoft New England Picks: 5 Not-To-Miss Events This Week


Don’t let the rainy start to the week slow you down!  Here are our top picks for this week.

Tuesday, June 2: 8am – 10am
@ Microsoft New England | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge, MA 
Twitter: @techbreakfast

Based on the popular TechBreakfast format, the Boston TechBreakfast is a “show and tell” format event where up to five different technologists will demo their technologies from a wide range of industries ranging from software to hardware, IT to Biotech, robotics to space tech. The event is “triple agnostic”. We don’t care if the technology is from a start up, a large company, a university, a government agency, or someone’s hobby. We are also agnostic as to the industry of the tech – it could be IT, biotech, robotics, aerospace, materials sciences, anything tech and innovative is cool. And we’re also region agnostic – even if you’re not from where we’re hosting, we want to see you and your technology!

civic media dayBoston Civic Media Twitter Chat
Tuesday, June 2: 1pm – 2pm
Twitter: @CivicMediaProj | #civicmediachat

In preparation for and in conjunction with the upcoming Boston Civic Media: Metrics and Methods meeting, we’ll be hosting a Twitter chat on June 2nd at 1pm!
This will be a fantastic opportunity to begin the conversation and to connect with others doing civic media research.
@CivicMediaProj will be tweeting out questions including “How do you continue to keep the subjects (communities) engaged after the project is finished? What do you owe them?” and “What is the interplay between quantitative and qualitative methods? How do you determine the best fit?”  Be sure to include #civicmediachat in your tweets to be part of the conversation!


Whitehead-Institute-LogoWhitehead Connects with Amy Schulman: “How to Cross the Street: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Noisy Intersection”
Tuesday, June 2: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
@ McGovern Auditorium | 9 Cambridge Center | Cambridge, MA 
Twitter: @WhiteheadInst

Whitehead Connects is an initiative that brings renowned biology and biotech leaders to Whitehead Institute for an engaging presentation and dynamic networking opportunity for participants.  Following the free, public lecture, participants will have the opportunity to meet Whitehead postdoctoral fellows and learn about their latest discoveries.

417323_10150669099006730_1856349906_nPersonal Democracy Forum 2015
Thursday, June 4 – Friday, June 5th
@ NYU Skirball Center | 566 LaGuardia Place | New York City

Since 2004, Personal Democracy Media has helped nurture a world-wide conversation about technology’s impact on government and politics, and society – providing a place to meet the people who are making that change happen, discover the tools powering the new civic conversation, spot the early trends, and to share in understanding and embracing this dynamic new force. Many of those who are challenging the status quo, learned what they know, or found people to collaborate with, by being a part of Personal Democracy Media.

civic hackingNational Day of Civic Hacking
Saturday, June 6 – Sunday, June 7th
@ Various Locations 
Twitter: #hackforchange

On June 6, 2015, thousands of people from across the United States will come together for National Day of Civic Hacking. The event will bring together urbanists, civic hackers, government staff, developers, designers, community organizers and anyone with the passion to make their city better. They will collaboratively build new solutions using publicly-released data, technology, and design processes to improve our communities and the governments that serve them. Anyone can participate; you don’t have to be an expert in technology, you just have to care about your neighborhood and community.




Microsoft New England Picks: 4 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Microsoft New England Picks: 4 Not-To-Miss Events This WeekIt’s (un)officially summer! Join us for these cool events as the weather heats up!

bvMotion Tracking for Medical VR with Polhemus
Wednesday, May 27: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
@ Venture Cafe | 1 Broadway | Cambridge, MA
Twitter: @BostonVRMeetup

Motion tracking technology allows the position of real world objects, including you, to be represented in virtual worlds. Precisely registering the position and orientation of your head, body, limbs and even fingers gives you a sense of self called proprioception that is key to making your mind believe that your body is present in another place. Motion tracking is also key for VR because it allows one to naturally move through and interact with virtual worlds in the same manner that you do in the real world. This month, Boston VR Meetup focuses on healthcare applications for precise tracking technology for training surgeons.

unnamed (1)KSA Lunch & Learn: Good News on Transportation
Thursday, May 28: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
@ KSA Office | 510 Kendall Street | Cambridge, MA 
Twitter: @kendallnow

Kendall Square continues to be the epicenter of innovation and success, as evidenced in the highlights below to be discussed by City of Cambridge and Cambridge Redevelopment Authority staff.

  • The paradox of good development: more people and less traffic: 20 years of the Kendall Square Annual Traffic Report
  • It’s obvious that more and more people are choosing to get around by pedaling – but how many more?  The new Eco Totem will provide real-time data, 24/7
  • Bike to the Future: what’s envisioned for making our streets available to all: The Cambridge Bicycle Network Plan & some highlights for Kendall Square
  • Kendall Square Eco District and Transportation
  • Update on Kendall Square Mobility Task Force

The format will include a brief presentation with a question and answer period to follow.

onein3GA + ONEin3 Present: Creating a Culture of Innovation – How Boston’s Biggest Brands Are Staying Entrepreneurial
Thursday, May 28: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

@ GA Boston | 51 Melcher Street | Boston, MA 
Twitter:  @GA_boston | @ONEin3

Some of Boston’s biggest companies are playing in the innovation space and making some big waves. Working for an entrepreneurial and creative organization doesn’t have to mean working for a startup – many large institutions value new ideas and are doing cool things right here in Boston.

Learn from the people inside these institutions who are leading the charge and pick up some tips on cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset in your career.

Join in for an interactive panel discussion with plenty of time for networking over drinks with fellow young leaders in Boston.

unnamedOpen Data Sci Con
Saturday, May 30 – Sunday, May 31st
@ Boston Convention Center | 415 Summer Street | Boston, MA
Twitter: @OpenDataSci

The Open Data Science Conference brings together the most influential practitioners, innovators, and thought leaders in the open source and data science fields in an effort to encourage the development and use of open source in data science.

Girls from New England head to Technovation Finals

technovation-logo-300x137On the first Friday in May, Microsoft was packed with girls. Yes, GIRLS! The 10th floor was filled to capacity with young women interested in technology and proud to show off the amazing apps they developed for a national competition called Technovation. I was honored serve among a truly stellar panel of judges:  Julia Austin (formerly Akamai), Kara Shurmantine (MassChallenge), Tracy Rosenthal-Newsom, (formerly Harmonix) and Pamela Aldsworth (Silicon Valley Bank).

Rachel Nicoll of Mass Tech Leadership Council’s Education Foundation shared that some of our finalists will be heading to California to pitch in the Technovation Finals for the chance to win $10,000!  She sat down to answer a few questions about Technovation and the interview is included below.

Share Technovation with a young woman you know today!

  1. What is Technovation?

Technovation is an international program that teaches mobile app development, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. High school and middle school female students work in teams of up to 5 to develop mobile apps to solve a problem in their local community. Teams work with a classroom teacher or coach at their school and a female mentor/role model as project manager from the technology or related industry. The program is free and open to all girls age 10-18 with any level of experience (“beginners welcome”).

  1. What kind of participation did we see from Massachusetts?

There were 40 teams from 18 schools signed up at the start of the season; 28 teams finished. A bit of attrition is normal, but the numerous blizzards and school closings really hit the teams hard. We are looking at ways to address the Technovation schedule and get the students in “Technovation-mode” earlier so this is less of an issue in the future. Let’s get 40 to finish next year!

  1. Tell us about the apps that won the MA regional competition.

Five teams  – 4 high school and 1 middle school – from the Massachusetts Regional Showcase progressed to the Semifinal round. There are 18 teams representing US/Canada at the high school level – our 4 Massachusetts teams represent almost 1/4 of that region!

AMEKA (Winchester High School) addresses the issue of impaired driving via their Safe Guard Driving app. Through a series of tests, users can ascertain whether or not their vision, reaction times, balance & cognitive ability are impaired or not. In the future, the app has the potential to be connected to ignition interlock technologies if partnered with an automobile company.

Seventh (Phillips Academy) created The Pack: Safety in Numbers, a comprehensive safety app intended for teenagers and young adults that addresses the problems of sexual assault, hazing, and substance abuse in unfamiliar situations. The Pack is an expanded, digitized version of the time tested buddy system, including a friend-compass and check-in code among its features.

Techtonic’s (Winchester High School) application, ENKI, is intended to serve as a bridge between members of the school community. Teachers are able to post assignments, students are able to communicate with their peers and advisors, users can interact with teachers and classmates using the messaging capabilities, and all users receive automatic updates. Students are able to interact with their peers as well as interact with their teachers in a scholastic environment. The academic atmosphere of ENKI ensures that these communications will solely be scholarly.

WoCo (Phillips Academy) designed PraisePop as an interactive, social, and positive way to engage with the community. Too often people feel alone, excluded and unacknowledged due to negativity; PraisePop counteracts this by providing a method to spread positivity and inclusivity in communities by anonymously sharing uplifting posts.

Appily Ever After (Blake Middle School) created OpportuniTeens to connect non-profit organizations with teen volunteers. Using this app, teens can fulfill volunteer opportunities within local communities, organizations have a place to spread the word about these opportunities, and high school students can acquire community service hours to graduate.

  1. What’s next for the Technovation competitors?

Two of the MA semifinalists, AMEKA and WoCo, have been selected for the World Pitch Event in San Francisco on June 24th. They will pitch their apps live in front of a panel of judges at Yelp’s headquarters, competing against 4 other teams in the high school division for the top prize of $10,000.

Last year’s regional winning team, SKARA, competed in the Boston TechJam Pitch Contest and came in 2nd. They got a lot of great exposure and Constant Contact’s Small Business Innoloft hosted them over the summer to continue to work on their app. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Technovation team or two pop up on the roster for this year’s TechJam Pitch.

Civic Cocktail: What Role Can Technology Play in Our Cities?

Last week while in Seattle, our team had the opportunity to speak on a panel on a show that airs on the Seattle Channel called Civic Cocktail. Hosted by Joni Balter, the show features a panel of professionals to discuss diverse topics, with a set of three journalists and the audience posing questions. The topic of this segment was Civic Technology, with the perspectives from the City of Seattle (Rebecca Lovell), the civic tech space of Boston (Cathy Wissink), and Chicago (Adam Hecktman).

We covered a lot of ground in this panel, with one overarching theme emerging: while the specific applications of civic technology vary from city to city, there is consistently a desire to apply technology (and technology-related processes like agile) in metros to provide better citizen services, foster interaction between governments and citizens, and promote accountability and transparency with open government data.

Rebecca represented the city government of Seattle. She has the very cool title of Startup Advocate for the City of Seattle.  During the course of the conversation, Rebecca’s comments and examples highlighted the importance of government participation in the civic technology equation.  Rebecca also outlined the diverse roles that government plays in using technology to solve city challenges.

What roles does government play in civic tech? According to Rebecca, the city government can, first and foremost, play the role of convener. In Seattle, Rebecca has access to all the city departments. The points of view of multiple departments are needed to ensure that civic projects are useful to a range of scenarios, citizens and stakeholders.

Government can convene players outside of the city as well.  For example, Rebecca has a reach that extends into the private sector. City governments serve and partner with for-profit industry players. Given Rebecca’s role, she can bring those players, large and small, into the process to leverage their skills, experience, and resources.

One of the most important roles government can play (from the perspective of a civic technologist) is that of data stewards. In most cases, the city generates and provides the data itself. In other situations, it can encourage non-governmental organizations to contribute their data so that technologists have a more complete model of some aspect of a city.

Towards the end of the discussion, we learned that another key role of government in this space (that is often overlooked) is simply being present. When government stakeholders, especially city government, are involved in the civic technology process, they become part of the discourse that formulates the solutions to city challenges.  They help frame the thinking by working hand-in-hand with the citizens that are contributing their skills and thinking. Most crucially, by being present throughout the process, government players are in a great position to craft policy that accurately and appropriately meets the needs of the citizens they serve.

We enjoyed the chance to participate in this inspiring series that brought together such a diverse audience to discuss an important topic; we also hope to participate in future Civic Cocktail events the next time we get to Seattle!

The conversation can be seen here, and starts at 29:14.

Microsoft New England Picks: 3 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Microsoft New England Picks: 3 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

There’s always something to do in the Boston metro area! Here are our top picks for events this week:

InnerCity Weightlifting Opening in Kendall SquareInnerCity Weightlifting Opening in Kendall Square
Tuesday, May 19
@ Secret Location
Twitter: @ICWeightlifting

InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW) is a Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring hope and providing a path to success for the area’s most at-risk youth.

Intro to the Boston Social Impact Community with City AwakeIntro to the Boston Social Impact Community with City Awake
Tuesday, May 19, 6pm – 8pm
@ Impact Hub Boston | 50 Milk Street | Boston
Twitter: @GA_Boston @ImpactHubBOS @CityAwakeBoston @worldwidewolfe

In collaboration with City Awake and Impact Hub, this free class is an orientation to social impact and geared to get you acquainted with the exciting community of impact in Boston.

The event discusses what social impact is (and isn’t), do some hands-on, engaging activities, and provides you with some really great resources and tools that will empower you to have more of an impact in this great city, no matter what career you’re in or want to be in.

Battle of the Biotech BandsBattle of the Biotech Bands
Wednesday, May 20, 6pm – 10pm
@ Royale Nightclub | 279 Tremont Street | Boston
Twitter: @RoyaleBoston #biotechbattle

A fun, community-driven, networking event with fundraising efforts supporting the charitable foundation affiliated with each biotech band. This year, the 3 companies competing are Momenta Pharmaceuticals (Aural Gavage), PerkinElmer (Molecular Groove) and the Zac Mac Band (Ironwood Pharmaceuticals). Join us and support these 3 great charities!

Already in their third year, the BoBB is an amazing opportunity for biotech companies and innovators throughout Boston to rock out and partner with architecture, design, and building professionals. Cash Bar / passed hors d’oeuvres / ages 18+

Welcoming Young Inventors to Microsoft

This month’s Invention Convention was a whirlwind of innovation, inspiration, and excitement in inventing. We are always thrilled by the unique and uplifting stories that come from the convention, but Justin Strandell, a 4th grader from World Academy in Nashua, NH, particularly stuck out this year. We received a letter from Keith Strandell, Justin’s father, on how moved he was by Justin’s drive, confidence, and spirit throughout the Invention Convention. After speaking with Keith and meeting Justin, we are excited to share Justin’s story.

As a 4th grader at his school, Justin is encouraged to participate in the Invention Convention, with the help of the Young Inventors Program. Justin, originally terrified by the prospect of such a heavy task, sat down and thought of all the common issues he has to deal with, leading to him inventing PAGE: Personal Automated Gate Examiner.


Justin was inspired to create PAGE to help his grandfather, who sometimes left the gate open at home, letting the dogs escape. Justin had the great idea of sending grandpa a text or e-mail to his phone to let him know about the gate being open. He then used YouTube videos, Lego Mindstorms, and Microsoft technology to build a prototype. When Justin found out he’d be passing through the state level at this year’s Invention Convention, Keith, his father, mentioned, “he beamed from ear to ear.”

We invited Justin to our Technology Center in Cambridge, where he could showcase his invention. He has used products like Excel, Xbox, and Word on a daily basis, as well as to assist building his invention — he just hadn’t made the connection to real-life applications until now. We were pumped to show him that the technology he has been using is the same that full-scale inventors use on a daily basis.

After his visit, Justin wrote us this letter, so proud of his achievement:

Dear Microsoft, 

I am glad I go to do the Invention Convention, because I got to learn that even if you get stressed in the beginning I can still succeed in the end. I am really proud of myself for making it to the Young Inventors Program. Also, it was an honor to win the first Microsoft Technology Award given there. I thought it was wonderful to hear such nice remarks for an invention I just made for my grandpa. I had a really good time trying to solve my grandpa’s problem because it is a serious problem. Thank you for picking me for one of your awards.”

For more information on the MTC, click here.

To learn more about Microsoft’s commitment to youth and education, visit our YouthSpark Hub or follow us on twitter at @msftcitizenship.

Civic Conversation: How Data helps Neighborhoods Grow

Civic Conversation: How Data helps Neighborhoods GrowIncreasingly non-profits, community organizations, civic startups and cities are integrating data into their decision making process and this data is setting priorities, increasing transparency and identifying focus areas for innovation. Some recent examples of this include the city’s recent HubHacks event focused on data visualizations that the city will use in its decision-making, as well as the Boston Foundation’s Indicators Project.

As citizens begin to grapple with the information that is being collected, aggregated and used to generate new insights, questions are starting to emerge:

  • How do we decide what data to use?
  • Is this the right data to answer our questions?
  • Is this data set complete?
  • How can we combine diverse data set to reveal new insights?
  • Are the right people involved in the data aggregation or analysis?
  • How do we notify citizens of the use of their data?

Join us and The Venture Café for a conversation on Civic Tech on June 10, 2015, 5:30PM – 7:30PM at Microsoft New England (NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge). Together, we’ll discuss this emerging set of questions and consider the impact of data on our neighborhoods.



5:30 – 6 PM – Registration and networking

6:00 – 6:45 – Short Intro followed by short presentations by each of our speakers

6:45 – 7:30 – Breakout into small discussion groups

7:30 – 7:45 – Group readouts

7:45 – 9:30 – Post event networking

We encourage all who attend to join the conversation on Twitter using #CivicTechBOS. Register today at this link.

Young Inventors Urged to “Stay Crazy” and Make Their Dreams a Reality

Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman Addressing CIC (800x534)

“Stay crazy” was the advice given by Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman to the nearly 1,000 young inventors gathered at the recent Connecticut Invention Convention showcase event.

Kaufman would know. As a self-described “maker and breaker,” Kaufman emphasized the importance is being a little crazy—so crazy that you follow keep on inventing even when others may not see your vision. As the founder and CEO of Quirky, he has created a new paradigm for making invention accessible to everyone in a crowdsourced fashion. Kaufman’s unique concept and commitment to invention has led to profiles in the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, TIME, and many other publications.

Ben Kaufman was a fitting guest speaker for this annual event, now in its 32nd year, which is the largest of its kind in the country. An inventor all throughout this childhood, Kaufman remarked on the important support he received from his parents. Instead of quashing his fantastical thinking, they encouraged it.

In his talk to the young inventors gathered on May 2nd at the Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut (UConn campus), he remarked how he would have loved to have the support of an organization like Connecticut Invention Convention when he was a kid. The assembled K-12 students had just wrapped up a long day of enthusiastically showcasing their diverse range of inventions to the thousands of people in attendance.

But the main takeaway he wanted to inventors to have is that the process is not ending at the event when the awards are given out—it is just beginning. Commenting on the inventions he had seen throughout the day’s event, he stated how he would love to buy some of the inventions as finished products.

He wanted the inventors to be encouraged to continue tinkering with their ideas, and to treat them with a level of seriousness. He wasn’t talking to kids with fanciful ideas, but potential current and future entrepreneurs.

Connecticut Invention Convention (800x534)

Microsoft Accessibility Award Winners

Name: Cooper Dwyer
Town: Somers, CT
School: Somers Elementary School QUEST Program
Grade: 2
Invention: Pajama Weights

Name: Samuel Harmon
Town: Colchester, CT
School:  Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School
Grade: 5
Invention: Beep

Name: Eli Mathieu
Town: Colchester, CT
School:  Talcott  Mountain Academy of Science, Math & Tech
Grade: 8
Invention: Listen4Me

Name:  Logan Reese
Town: Naugatuck, CT
School: Cross Street Intermediate School
Grade: 5
Invention: The Shoe-matic Popper Box

Name:  William Seward
Town: Branford, CT
School:  Totoket Valley Elementary School
Grade: 4

Invention: The Safety Swing
Name: Liam Wrynn
Town: Ellington, CT
School: Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy
Grade: 3
Invention: Port Plug Pocket

Microsoft New England Picks: 6 Not-To-Miss Events This Week


The weather is heating up in Boston and so are the events in the area! Here our our top picks for events this week:

Technology Day and Energy Hearing1) Technology Day and Energy Hearing
Tuesday, May 12, 10am – 1pm
@ Massachusetts State House | 24 Beacon Street | Boston
Twitter: @BlueMassGroup

The Tech Hub Caucus, co-chaired by Senator Spilka and Representative Ferrante, will host the 3rd Technology State House Day on the subject of “Internet of Things in Massachusetts”. Meet leaders from the local tech and startup community and learn about Massachusetts-based companies leading the Internet of Things (IoT) technology revolution.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to technology that enables devices and applications (“things”) to communicate seamlessly with one another to become part of a connected whole that transfers data through the cloud and transforms it into useful information for people, business and institutions. Examples of IoT in Massachusetts are biometric wearables for healthcare, smart traffic lights for cities, and connected thermostats for energy.

The event will feature live technology demonstrations running throughout from local tech firms and home-grown startups showcasing innovative IoT technologies and devices changing the way we live and work. During the second half of the event, “Table Talk”breakouts will be led by tech companies and key legislators to focus on specific IoT applications relevant in MA today.

Homeless Empowerment Project Annual Gala and Fundraiser

2) Homeless Empowerment Project Annual Gala and Fundraiser

Tuesday, May 12, 6pm – 9pm
@ Microsoft New England | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @sparechangenews

The Homeless Empowerment Project Annual Gala and Fundraiser is an annual event that celebrates and raises funds for the Homeless Empowerment Project, a 501(c)(3) not for profit that publishes Spare Change News. The Homeless Empowerment Project empowers homeless and low-income individuals by employing them as vendors to sell Spare Change News, a newspaper that focuses on issues facing homeless and low-income individuals and social justice issues in general.

The event features musical entertainment, a live and silent auction and prominent speakers. Food and alcoholic beverages will be served.

Tickets are $60 per person and $35 for Students and Seniors(65+). You can also buy a ticket for $60 to sponsor the attendance of a vendor. All tickets purchased at the door are an additional $5.

To buy tickets, send a check payable to The Homeless Empowerment Project: The Homeless Empowerment Project, 1151 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, or through our website,

Understanding ISO 27018 and Preparing for the Modern Era of Cloud Security3) Understanding ISO 27018 and Preparing for the Modern Era of Cloud Security
Thursday, May 14, 8am – 10am

@ Foley Hoag LLP| 155 Seaport Boulevard | Boston
Twitter: @FoleyHoag

We’re joining a seminar on May 14 presented by Foley Hoag LLP and a panel of industry experts on ISO 27018, the new international standard governing the processing and protection of personal information by public Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). Even though this new standard is voluntary, it is widely expected to become the benchmark for CSPs going forward.

As the first and only international privacy standard for the cloud, ISO 27018 addresses the means of keeping customer information confidential and secure, as well as preventing personal information from being used for advertising or data analytics without customer approval. More importantly, adherence to ISO 27018 demonstrates that a CSP’s cloud privacy policies and practices are consistent with the industry’s best practices, both in the United States and the EU.

4) Inspire!Boston – Kelly Brush FoundationInspire!Boston - Kelly Brush Foundation
Thursday, May 14, 6pm – 9pm

@ Microsoft New England | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @kellybrushfdn

Inspiration fuels the Kelly Brush Foundation. Be a part of the inspiration by joining the Foundation for an uplifting evening of cocktails, heavy hors d’oeurves and a celebration of the stories made possible by their supporters’ generosity.

5) Agile Games 2015
Saturday, May 16-17, 8am – 8pm

@ Microsoft New England | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @AgileNewEngland #AgileGames

Agile Games 2015

The Agile Games Conference is an annual event hosted by Agile New England that provides an immersive exploration of some of the more interesting, playful, and fun concepts behind Agile Software Development. We all acknowledge that work is important, but shouldn’t we be able to have fun while doing it?

Agile games are activities focused on teaching, demonstrating, and improving Agile and organizational effectiveness using game theory. Using games, we can model complex or time-consuming processes and systems, examine why they work (or don’t work), look for improvements, and teach others how to benefit from them. Games can model just the core of a process or model, leaving out unimportant factors.  They can involve collaboration, brainstorming, comparing variants, and of course retrospectives.

Cambridge Youth Leaders Luncheon6) Cambridge Youth Leaders Luncheon
Saturday, May 16, 11:30am – 3:30pm

@ Microsoft New England | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @CambMAYouth

Cambridge teens in 8th-12th grade are invited to attend the 2015 Cambridge Youth Leaders Luncheon featuring a keynote speech by Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz and a special performance by The Hip Hop Transformation. Have your voice be heard and network with other youth leaders in Cambridge. Your ideas will be heard by city leadership and will directly inform the creation of a new Youth Summit later this year.

Register now at

Please bring a student or government issued ID.

Connect with CambMA Youth Leaders: @CambMAYouth | #CambMAYouth |