Announcing the second-annual ‘Brigade Day at Summit’ May 29: Agenda, Talks, Logistics +Links

:calendar: 2019-05-29T15:30:00Z

Karass (n) — A network or group of people who are somehow affiliated or linked.

The day before Code for America’s 2019 Summit begins for everyone else, Brigade members will have a special day to themselves. The second annual Brigade Day at Summit’event, formerly known as “pre-summit” will take place Wed. May 29.*

Brigade Day offers members of the network an opportunity to gather in person and spend a day dedicated to developing skills and sharing knowledge and best practices. All members of the network are invited to attend , even if you are not registered for Summit.

Why hold “Brigade Day”?

The Brigade network’s magic lies in its ability for civic-tech volunteers and organizers across the network to learn from one another and forge professional connections and friendships that transcend geographical boundaries.

And while Summit as a whole is an excellent opportunity to make those connections, its structure, fast pace, and packed agenda makes it hard to get the entire network in the same space at the same time — along with Code for America Network Staff, the National Advisory Council, and local government leaders — to collectively check-in and continue to strengthen the vision we all share of making our local governments work better in the digital age. Think Brigade Congress , but encapsulated into a single day.

Everyone who can be at the table for this day of reflection, recognition, lightning talks, and breakout sessions, all focused solely on the health of the network, should plan to pull up a seat and participate.

Laura Biedger, who was recently elected chair of the National Advisory Council and serves as the Brigade Captain of Code for Durham, said Brigade Day gives the network time to reconnect and have downtime before Summit begins.

“Getting to talk with other people about how their brigades work, the projects we’re working on, and issues we’re trying to solve in our organizations and communities is the fuel that powers the network,“ Biedger, who works for the City of Durham, said about Brigade Day.

“We talk a lot about how different we are, but really we’re all the same,” Biedger said.

Brigade Day at Summit, 2018.

:question:Who is organizing Brigade Day?

The Brigade Day at Summit Advisory Committee is a group formed in early 2019 to lead the direction for Brigade Day at Summit. The committee is made up of 12 members, including two NAC representatives and one Code for America staff member.

We came together as a result of a sign-up form that was created and shared by the Network team (via email, TWICT, Slack, and the monthly newsletter) at the beginning of the year to solicit volunteers to participate on the Committee. Together, we ‘ve come up with the following ‘open space’ unconference-style agenda.

:date: Agenda for Brigade Day

Below is the planned agenda for the day.

NOTE: Brigade Day will take place in the “Salon 3/4” room on the 2nd floor of the Oakland Marriott City Center.

Time Activity
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Welcome & Introductions
9:30 a.m. Presentation of Brigade Network Census
10:00 a.m. Lightning Talks
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. -“ 12:30 p.m. Training Session
More details will be provided closer to the event."
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. "Breakout Session 1
More details will be provided closer to the event."
2:45 p.m. Group Photo
3:15 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. "Breakout Session 2
More details will be provided closer to the event."
Details are subject to change, so do check the Brigade Day at Summit Website for updates as well.

Me delivering a lightning talk at Brigade Day 2018.

:zap: ‘Lightning Talks

Calls for lightning talks on the Brigade Network and its values were solicited across the network in February and March, with a proposal form posted to Discourse, Slack, TWICT, and via email to Brigade Captains.

Lightning talk proposals were submitted, and lightning talks were selected based off of votes from the Advisory Committee.

Here are the lightning talks that were selected:

  • Carlos Moreno, Code for Tulsa.
    Volunteer and nonprofit civic tech as part of one ecosystem.

  • Felicia Betancourt , OpenOakland
    Put Your Data Where Your Mouth Is: The Interplay of Mission and Metrics in Civic Tech

  • Jerry Hall , Open San Diego and Increasing Participation in Free or Reduced Meals Programs for Public School Students

  • Jess Sand, OpenOakland
    Using “just enough” documentation to align teams at different phases of a project.

Breakout Sessions

Sessions will be announced soon. Check back as Brigade Day approaches!

Until then, we look forward to seeing you at Brigade Day!

On behalf of the 2019 National Advisory Council,

Carl V. Lewis

At-Large Representative, National Advisory Council
Founder, OpenSavanah.

This agenda was created as a result of three (3) meetings between the Brigade Day Advisory Committee, and several sessions of voting. We did our best to represent the diversity of viewpoints and people that make up our vast distributed Network when deciding on agenda items, and to reflect the interests of the Network as a whole.

** CORRECTION, 5/23/2019: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the date of Brigade Day. The event takes place Wed. May 29.


Thank you for making this beautifully-formatted and informative post @carlvlewis ! I had no idea that date tag existed, great find

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Carl - double-check date. I am pretty sure Brigade Day is Wednesday, May 29


Oof @JBStephens, somebody had given me the 30th but you’re correct; It’s Wed. May 29th. Fixing now!

Brigade Day breakout sessions and training details have been posted to the Summit website:

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Actually, FWIW, @carlvlewis - it looks like Brigade day happens on (not before) Summit. There will be simultaneous, separate Summit material on the 29th, starting at 9:30 AM. I have never been before, but it sounds like this is different than previous years.

Hi @tim!

So, there are workshops on the 29th yes, but the Summit mainstage kicks off on the 30th. But point well-taken! It’s confusing a tad.

Thanks for pointing that out.


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