Joining the Presidential Innovation Fellows

Very exciting news this month as I’ve been accepted into the second round of thePresidential Innovation Fellows.

The timing couldn’t be better. Thanks to the efforts of [so many] in the administration, the first round of PIFs, and many others before this new round, it comes directly in the wake of the President’s recent, official proclamation that all data be open and API-enabled.

I have to give credit to the format of this program as well. What PIF allows is exploration: find datasets we can build examples from and build them. And while this freedom to explore might be revolutionary enough in bureaucratic circles, I’m encouraged by an answer I gave during my first interview. When asked “What app would you want to build?” my answer was, “I don’t want to build one.”

The government isn’t our nation’s App Store. Yes, applications like RFP-EZ came out of the first round of PIFs, and it’s incredible. But what makes it incredible is not the application itself but how it provides greater access to smaller contractors.

Portions of this new doctrine state While it might not cut down the need to explain the potential value, how APIs might

I’ll be starting around mid-June. If there was any hesitation to my decision, it was all in not working everyday with my friends and colleagues at Ushahidi, especially after the launch of BRCK, the new Crowdmap, and with SwiftRiver (link updated) due out next month.

I’m sure the experience will give me plenty more to talk about on this blog and looking forward to sharing the process.