Jeffersonian Dinner with Bill Eggers, Author of “The Innovators and Technologies That Are Transforming Government”

8 years ago   •   2 min read

By Marcia Kadanoff
“What government innovation in the last ten years has most changed your life?”

In July, Civic Makers and the City Innovate Foundation co-sponsored a “Jeffersonian Dinner” — a loosely structured exchange of ideas around a central theme with a group of dynamic, engaging professionals. All attendees are asked to prepare an answer to one question to get the conversation started; side conversations are discouraged and everyone is asked to direct their comments to the entire group.


  • Judi Brown — Co-founder & COO, CivicMakers
  • Stu Drown — Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Accountability, Government Operations Agency
  • William Eggers — Director, Public Sector Research at Deloitte
  • Lawrence Grodeska — Founder & CEO, CivicMakers
  • Hillary Hartley — Deputy Executive Director, 18F
  • Peter Hirshberg- Member, City Innovate Foundation
  • Marcia Kadanoff — Chief Strategy Officer and Member BoD, City Innovate Foundation; Co-Author, Maker City Playbook
  • Jay Nath — SFMOCI — Chief Innovation Officer, City and County of San Francisco
  • Tim O’Reilly — Founder & CEO, O’Reilly Media
  • Jen Pahlka — Founder & Executive Director, Code for America
  • Brian Purchia — Principal, Purchia Communications LLC; Co-founder, CivicMakers, Member BoD, City Innovate Foundation
  • Michael Wilkening — Undersecretary, California Health and Human Services Agency

Roundup of Responses

“When government does the wrong things it really impacts our lives; they also end up staying on a path wasting taxpayer dollars,” said Tim O’Reilly. “Before we write any policy, I’d like to see discussions that flush out the social impact and outcomes — discussions that engage a wide variety of constituents. I want a world where citizens say, ‘I get so much for my taxes, I can’t wait to pay them!’”

“The technology we have has actually put more distance between us,” said Michael Wilkening. “We have more frequent but less important discussions over email and it’s not a good way to communicate anything meaningful.

“I’ve had client groups tell me, ‘I had a project that I knew would be over-budget, not completed in time, and produce something we couldn’t use,’” Wilkening continued. “This is something agile product development and open innovation solve for.”

“I think the next step is reimagining government, connecting the services and mediums of our infrastructure — the infrastructure that shapes our whole civic world,” said Bill Eggers.

This entry originally appeared on the City Innovate Foundation blog

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