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Calling All Nerds: How can we use our tech boom to create an equitable, integrated city?

We're sending out the nerd Bat-Signal: Tackle a local problem, get your ideas some airtime and win prizes to help you make it happen.

Have an idea to make the Seattle area even more awesome? Want to get it in front of Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch and CrunchFund general partner, Maud Daudon, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, and Geekwire co-founder John Cook?

Welcome to Crosscut's Community Idea Lab, a new way of doing journalism that aims to inspire and showcase your great ideas.

The Premise: Income inequality alongside a booming technology industry is creating social fracturing throughout the U.S. This has taken central stage in the Bay Area, which has seen a boom in income inequality and class polarity, and is starting to creep its way into the Northwest.

At Crosscut, we've been writing about all the things that contribute to this problem — income inequality, sky-high rents, insufficient social services — and plan to highlight examples of great initiatives and policies, both locally and across the country that are bridging the gap between the corporate world and civic engagement.

There's just one question we really need your help with: How can the Seattle area use its tech boom to create a more equitable and engaged community?

So fire up your creative engines

Have an idea for how to make South Lake Union more civically active? Think you've got a better way of using tech investment to keep housing affordable around here? Have an idea for unleashing the smarts of the Northwest's tech community? Want to create the coder equivalent of a volunteer firefighter brigade? We're looking for ways to answer this question locally.

These could be city or county policies, ways to address social services issues, apps that encourage civic engagement, corporate citizenship oaths ... the sky's the limit.

And you don't need to "be somebody" to submit an idea. We'll be looking for a diversity of ideas, both from experts on the subject and folks who can think outside of the box; who can look at a problem without seeing the "shoulds" that hold everyday professionals back.

There's only one rule. They must answer the question: How can the Seattle area use its tech boom to create a more equitable and engaged community?

Using the form below, submit your idea to Crosscut.com by midnight, May 30th for a chance to present it at our first ever Community Idea Lab, June 18th at Town Hall Seattle.

We'll pick the five best to be presented in five-minute talks at the event and a panel of judges, including Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch and CrunchFund general partner, Maud Daudon, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, and Geekwire co-founder John Cook, will give feedback on your ideas. Then it's up to the audience to vote on the winner.

What do you get if you win? Glad you asked. We're putting together a prize package to help you and your idea thrive. Here's what we've got so far. We'll be adding more perks as the month wears on.

  • Your idea broadcast on Crosscut.com.
  • Meetings with local elected officials and business leaders.
  • One six month part time membership at Impact Hub Seattle.
  • Sudden fame and eternal happiness.*

And, by the way, if the thought of voicing your master plan in public makes you nauseous, don’t worry; We will provide coaching and support for all of our Idea Lab speakers.

So, what are you waiting for? Chime in!

*Not guaranteed.

Crosscut's Community Idea Lab coverage is made possible by the generous support of Social Venture Partner’s Fast Pitch.

Berit Anderson is Managing Editor at Crosscut, where she follows tech, culture, environment, media and politics. Previously community manager of the Tribune Company’s Seattle blogging network, her work has also appeared in YES! Magazine and on the Huffington Post, Geekwire, Q13Fox.com and KBCS 91.3 radio. She served as Communications Director at Strategic News Service, a weekly newsletter that predicts global trends in tech and economics, and Future in Review, an annual tech conference which gathers C-level executives to solve global problems. You can find her on Twitter @Berit_Anderson or reach her at berit.anderson@crosscut.com.


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Comments:

Posted Sat, May 17, 8:05 p.m. Inappropriate

Michael Arrington, "founder of TechCrunch and CrunchFund general partner"?

I wonder if there are any conflict issues with being identified as a journalist and venture capitalist at the same time?

http://valleywag.gawker.com/techcrunch-kisses-michael-arringtons-ass-for-4th-consec-1573426855

spock

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