Are you getting excited for Minnebar? We are too! Don’t forget to submit a sessionvote for sessions you like, and set your alarm for tickets (first release is this Thursday at 2pm!). If you’re wondering what to expect from the day, check out our Ultimate Guide to Minnebar14.

If you have never been to Minnebar before, one of the things we do to kick off our day is called Sesssion 0. All other sessions throughout the day are a break-out or ‘choose your own adventure’ style. Session 0 is a little different. We start our day together with a dynamic leader in our Minnesota technology community, and this year we are honored to be joined by Sharon Kennedy Vickers.

Sharon serves residents in the City of Saint Paul and the global civic technology community as Mayor Melvin Carter’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). As CIO, she helps the City of Saint Paul leverage data and technology as a strategic asset to create more equitable, innovative, and resilient communities.

Sharon began her career as a software engineer at Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and the University of Minnesota. She served as a CIO for the Community Action Partnership, a national nonprofit organization providing social services to three southern metro counties in Minnesota. As someone intentionally focused on creating an inclusive innovation economy, Sharon is co-founder of Techquity, Co-Organizer of Code Switch (a civic hackathon) and Open Twin Cities, a civic technology group and Code for America brigade.

Sharon is 2018 Bush Fellow, which expands her capacity to lead a “tech for good” movement, harnessing the power of inclusion, technology and community assets to drive equitable economic opportunity and growth for all Minnesotans. She aims to make Minnesota the best place in the country to launch and grow technology products that have a positive social impact.

Her session is entitled “Code Switching: Designing, Developing, & Deploying Technology as a Source for Good.” Check out a little more about her session here:

The technology industry has had a number of unpopular issues pile up in recent years – from data privacy to fake news, election meddling and clickbait content.  All of this points to the need for the industry to realize that with great power comes great responsibility.

Technology can be a formidable source for good with the power to advance the well-being of humanity everywhere. How do we as technologists, ensure our code is a source for good?

Let’s examine the good, bad and ugly to discover what is possible when technologists are intentional about building a better world for existing communities and our future selves.

We are excited to have Sharon to help kick off our day, and can’t wait for you to join us at Minnebar14 this April 27th at Best Buy’s Corporate Headquarters!