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If You Like IT Status Quo, Summit May Not Be for You

Agile methodology, digital services, human-centered design — these concepts and more will be addressed by a roster of speakers at an agile-government conference in Sacramento next month.

For vendors, there are lots of moving parts and changing practices in California gov tech — especially since Gov. Gavin Newsom’s shakeup of the procurement world with the introduction of his “Request for Innovative Ideas” concept in state IT contracting.

Agile Government Leadership (AGL), a nonprofit industry association, is hoping to spark a conversation with government innovators from the public and private sectors with its Agile Summit in Sacramento, a daylong conference designed to shed light on the latest in iteration, agile methodology, user experience, human-centered design and the catch-all “digital services.”

Why should vendors attend the May 23 summit?

While this event is not about any specific proposal or organization, there is a trend toward digital services organizations across the U.S., noted Bill Maile, AGL director of government relations, in an interview with Techwire. “We are bringing together speakers from all over who have experience with these topics.”

The AGL event is, in keeping with its name, broken up into small, interactive pieces as opposed to being presented as one big speech. The morning session will feature a series of “lightning talks,” which Maile likened to TED Talks — “short, topic-specific conversations.” The roster of noteworthy speakers from the public sector will include some familiar names and some impressive pedigrees:

Krista Canellakis, chief innovation officer for the city/county of San Francisco;

Ann Dunkin, chief information officer of Santa Clara County;

Rob Klopp, former CIO of the U.S. Social Security Administration;

— Former California Assembly member Lloyd Levine;

Chaeny Emanavin, director of the Office of Innovation for the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS). (Emanavin was the presenter at Monday’s Techwire quarterly briefing at the Crocker Museum in Sacramento; see related story.);

Adam Dondro, agency information officer for CHHS.

Most of the afternoon will be “dedicated to open and facilitated discussions, where participants and speakers alike have the opportunity to learn from each other,” Maile said.

The event, which is underwritten by corporate sponsors, chose speakers and topics “based on their merits and ability to objectively inform the community and benefit the public sector,” says the event announcement/registration page. “No person or company is paying to present content on stage.”

AGL says the conference will be of value to technology profrssionals; government innovators at all levels; state, local and county IT personnel; public-sector CIOs; and civic technologists.

The topics include:

• Public service innovation

• Talent and workforce development

• User-centered design

• Lean methodologies

• Iterative development

• Product management

• Open source

• Open and participatory government.

"If you are inspired by California’s future and potential to modernize, please join the conversation," Maile said. "If you like the status quo, it may not be for you."

Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C.