This book is meant for public servants and people working inside government who want to connect with innovators and technologists outside of the bureaucracy. It highlights strategies they can use to collaborate with people doing interesting and valuable work that can benefit or support the mission of government.

This book is organized into four main sections.

The first section discusses how these new kinds of collaborations with local technology communities fit into a long tradition in government of tapping into expertise from outside of the bureaucracy.

The second section uses the results from a survey of current and former city government officials to highlight specific benefits of working with outside technology groups, and details several case studies which describe how cities are successfully collaborating with these groups.

The third section lists some of the challenges and limitations of working with outside technology groups, and also draws heavily on survey responses from current and former city government employees.

The final section lists some specific strategies and tactics that can be used by government employees to identify, communicate, and collaborate with the members of their local technology community.


You can help make this book better by opening an issue if you want to suggest a change.


This book is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. See the license details here.


The cover photo is available under a Creative Commons license courtesy of Flickr user Kevin Burkett.

Author's Note

Heartfelt thanks to Jessica McKenzie for her assistance with editing this book. Her thoughtful insights have made this work eminently more readable.

The ideas and recommendations articulated in this book are mine, based on my experiences working in state and local government, and working with local technology groups in cities across the country. The positions, strategies and opinions expressed in this work do not represent those of any government or organization that has ever employed me.

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