It is with great pride that we present Code for Canada’s first annual report. This been a year of considerable growth and positive change. We marked our first anniversary and established our organization as both a Canadian non-profit startup success story and a keystone in the national civic tech movement.
This success has happened quickly, but it didn’t happen overnight. It started in late 2012 with a community organization we founded called Urban+Digital. Our goal then, as it is now, was to bring civic-minded leaders closer together with the burgeoning tech and design community. As we convened conversations between these groups, we looked to the efforts of similar organizations around the world, including Code for America, Civic Hall, the Smart Chicago Collaborative, Code for Australia and many others.
These organizations formed as a response to the growing demand from residents for more compelling and effective digital public services, and for more opportunities to shape public policy and programs.
Governments too, were hearing this demand. Digital service and civic innovation departments were formed inside the public service in the United Kingdom and the United States. And over the past year and a half, the Canadian federal government, provincial governments in Ontario and Alberta, and several cities have followed suit.
With the rise of the civic tech movement, and a demand for digital public services, the time was right for the founding of Code for Canada, which we launched on April 5, 2017. With our roots in Urban+Digital, we now continue to bring people together, including the tech and design community, public servants, and engaged residents to find new ways to work together.
We have found success by identifying the conditions for change, by believing in our mission and the civic tech philosophy of building with, and not for.
We have been fortunate to find an active group of supporters and influencers, and have worked closely with them through our commitment to open collaboration and connection.
We have found inspiration and best practices through our membership in the global Code for All movement.
We look forward to the year ahead, to further growth in the civic tech movement, to continuing success in fostering better public services for Canadians, to connecting local civic tech communities nationally, and to an even greater awareness, interest, and engagement in using new digital tools and processes to build a more prosperous, sustainable, and equitable Canada.
Co-founder and Board Chair, Code for Canada