Last month, Ashley was selected to participate in The Civic Tech Leadership Program, placing CivicFleet among the six exceptional project teams, and eight honorable mentions, selected for the program from a highly competitive group of submissions.
Civic leaders, organizations, funders and citizens are increasingly recognizing the power of technology to connect people, improve cities and make government more effective. The civic tech ecosystem is a convergence of a multitude of fields with a shared goal to advance open government and community action — a goal that resonates with the mission of ELab.
The Civic Tech Leadership Program, hosted by the National Democratic Institute in collaboration with Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, was launched with this shared civic tech goal in mind. Bringing together young innovators in the U.S. and across the Middle East, Ashley Amin, Founder of Civic Fleet, competed in the month long, bilingual program. By connecting civic activists interested in using technology in their work with technology experts who wish to use their skills to build a more democratic world, the Civic Tech Leadership Program aimed to encourage and facilitate cross-cultural collaboration between young innovators in the two regions. Culminating in a bilingual video pitch competition, Ashley and her team competed and won the opportunity to participate in the in-person Innovators’ Exchange Mission in Silicon Valley and Washington, DC.
During the trip, Ashley met with prominent change-makers, entrepreneurs, civic tech experts, and government leaders operating at the forefront of the global civic tech ecosystem. She said, “It was a great opportunity to learn from other leaders in the field, share our approaches to problem solving, and hear about the challenges we all are facing in using technology to make positive change for our communities.” During one meeting with Madeline Albright, she shared the reasoning behind the pin she wore that day. She explained that it was a snail today because “democratic progress is slow” and that we all have a role to play to steadily continue pushing forward and creating the change we wish to see in our communities.
The National Democratic Institute, in collaboration with Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law launched the Civic Tech Leadership Program in the Fall of 2016. This program was made possible through the Stevens Initiative, with support from the U.S. Department of State and the Bezos Family Foundation. For more information: http://www.ndi.org/civic-tech-leadership-program