On Sunday, March 10th, I will take the stage at SXSW in Austin to share my journey as a Civic Innovator. Over the last two years, I have been wrestling with defining exactly what my experience in leading innovation projects means for the world. My resume reads like a wonky government employee, yet the stories about my projects and experience tell a completely different story. This conflict is exactly where I struggle in defining what I do. Sure, my eight-year career working at the City of Richmond screams government employee, but when I am able to personally explain the motivation, impact, and process for each project, the application of my experience has value. It was when I sat down to submit a talk to speak at SXSW that I was able to boil down the elements of my experience into a tangible topic. It was when I re-read my post from October 21st, 2015 labeled “Cultivating the Karass: My Civic Innovation Journey”, that everything came together and my submitted proposal “Cultivate the Karass: Innovating Cities” was selected.

Derek Sivers — How to start a movement TED Talk

Recovering bureaucrat. Pioneered as Civic Innovator. Now serving a second term on City Council in Richmond, VA. Words are my own.