Save the Date & Announcements: Brigade Congress 2022!

Hello everyone!

As some of us are together for Code for America Summit this week, we’d like to take a moment to announce a few exciting details of our next big convening.

Drumroll please…

October 14-16th in St Louis

We’re excited to host this year’s Brigade Congress in St. Louis! Brigade Congress is a yearly event hosted by and for the Code for America Network community. Each year, we gather and host discussions, panels and keynote speakers, hold trainings, and have socialization time together.

We need your help to make this event a success! If you have time to help with designing this year’s event - fill out the interest form to get involved. We will need people who are interested in hosting thoughtful community conversations, have an eye toward the logistics of hybrid events, and who are eager to partner with Code for America staff to ensure the event’s success.

In partnership with OpenSTL, this year’s Brigade Congress will have several key differences from years past. Let’s highlight 5 of those now:

Five Changes for Brigade Congress 2022

Proposals and Direct Democracy

As part of our ReVisioning process, we’re implementing a huge change to this year’s event: deliberation & decisionmaking!

For decisions that our Network benefits from making together (e.g. adopting governance procedures, selecting locations for important events, weighing in on national actions) we recommend that our yearly Brigade Congress serve as an assembly where key decisions can be made (for both in-person and virtual participants). - Network ReVisioning Recommendation

Key decisions that we’re proposing to make at this year’s conference include: selecting the location of next year’s conference, making key decisions around shared Network tools, adopting the charters and purpose of the Brigade Organizing branches, and making changes to the Brigade MOU.

Does this sound interesting to you? Get in touch about joining the planning committee.

Collective Action

Each year, we host National Day of Civic Hacking - a day of collective action for the Network community to come together, make impact on a key issue, and welcome new faces to the civic technology movement. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to hold a collective day of action as part of Brigade Congress 2022 instead of a separate day-long National Day of Civic Hacking event.

We’re keeping the things that both Brigade organizers and new members love from the past few years, including:

  • Easy to access actions and activities.
  • Low-lift participation for Brigade organizers
  • Ways to welcome newcomers to the Network
  • Shorter event length; 6 hours on a Saturday is a long time! and;
  • How to continue impact beyond just one day.

Because of this, you can expect more details on the collective action as well as how participants can get involved, whether they plan to also attend Brigade Congress or not. Have thoughts or ideas about how this might work? Drop a comment on this post.

Hybrid event

This event will be a hybrid event, meaning participation opportunities will be available both online and in-person. We’re modeling the hybrid structure off the one adopted by Decidim Fest, where there are certain sessions available online and in-person on a main stage and some available in-person only.

Sharing Impact

Starting in July, the Network is launching our Summer Impact Sprints. By October, we expect to hear from each project that participated in the sprint during a presentation at Brigade Congress. This is something we hope you can share with your partners to demonstrate the kind of impact you can have together. The best part is that partners can learn about the Impact Sprint results in person in St Louis or remotely through the virtual option.

Transition to Network

Each year as we host Brigade Congress, we seek to transition more responsibilities and decisionmaking power to the Network. This year, we’re taking this intention the next step by creating structures for Network-driven leadership and organizing Brigade Congress itself through the Brigade Organizing Branches. A few things that we have in the works: (1) Setting up two working groups within the forming Collective Leadership Brigade Organizing Branch. These working groups will both be a place to plug in and pitch into the organizing, agenda-setting, and active creation of Brigade Congress and a place where institutional knowledge can be kept and where previous event organizers can advise, and future event organizers can shadow (2) Creating a playbook for future host cities to hold their own Brigade Congress event. Each playbook outlines the steps needed for a host to hold the event, how to remain accountable to the Network and Code for America, and other details any prospective host cities can consider when making the decision whether to host.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you either in-person or virtually in October!

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