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What problem can we help you solve today?

Problem | Solution | Done.

When the next disaster hits will you be ready?

Sadly, natural disasters are taking an increasing toll on communities everywhere. Fortunately, open source disaster response tools are helping to level the playing field.

We have multiple open source solutions to improve disaster response and recovery that stand ready to help when the next disaster hits.

Healthcare spending in America is growing at an alarming rate while health outcomes are barely improving and in some cases actually declining.

We offer a suite of open source tools that help communities better focus their public health efforts and significantly improve outcomes and ROI’s.

The innovation economy is quickly becoming a tale of two cities: Those that embrace it and those that don’t.

The maker movement is at the heart of this renaissance and initiatives like makerspaces, hackathons, and Maker Faires are very effective at building the organic, grassroots community that allows the innovation economy to thrive.

We are experts at launching these initiatives and are available to help you bring them to your community.

About Civic Ninjas

We are technologists, developers, designers, thinkers, entrepreneurs, tinkerers, and makers – all ordinary folks just doing our part.
We are part community, part organization, part business but we are mostly a group of like-minded folks working to make a difference.

We celebrate what works and work to fix what doesn’t driven by an underlying belief that community makes the world possible.

Our Focus

We are focused on entrepreneurship, the maker movement and civic technology because they are transformative movements that are democratizing how we live, work and play.
We see these movements as not only things that work, but more importantly things that can make huge differences in people’s lives, opportunities and communities.

Our Secret Sauce

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We connect people by starting conversations that make the world a smaller place.
We inspire community by producing engaging transformative events.
We create solutions by developing code and other tools that solve problems.

As Civic Technologists we see a massive disconnect between citizens and government. The resulting us versus them mind-set undermines possibility and limits opportunity. We are focused on bridging this divide by using technology to build community, increase civic engagement, and ultimately better connect citizens with government. We believe it is easy to see the ultimate impact civic technology can have when you view it in three steps; give citizens transparency, give citizens a voice, then give citizens ownership.

As makers, we see the Maker Movement as an opportunity to reinvent, reprioritize and reinvigorate how we shape the world. Much of the world consists of consumers who are mainly focused on acquiring things. In contrast, makers are producers who are shaping and transforming the world around them by solving problems, creating value and disrupting the status quo. Not long ago, a movement of this nature would have been impossible but today, we have the tools, technology and opportunity for anyone to be a maker. Makers are inventing our future and we believe the more makers we have the better our future will be.
As entrepreneurs, we see the impossible as possible. There is no greater force than the power of entrepreneurship to transform the world around us. We believe that building an organic, grassroots community around entrepreneurship is one of the fastest ways to democratize access, inspire participation and improve lives. In the last few years, the face of entrepreneurship has completely changed. Advancements in technology are putting the power of producing unimaginable innovation in the hands of the every-man and reducing the time, cost and knowledge required to pursue the next big idea. This is why we believe supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship wherever possible is core to the Civic Ninjas mission.

Our Solutions

Below is a selection of some of our more transformative solutions. All of our solutions are similar in their intent to address government, community or municipal challenges through technology but differ in development and implementation. Additionally, all of our solutions are open sourced under a creative commons license making them freely available to individuals and communities everywhere.

Some of our solutions were inspired by partners who reached out to us with a challenge or opportunity they faced in their efforts to improve lives and outcomes in their communities. Other solutions were directly inspired by “pain points” we, as Civic Ninjas, experienced in either conducting our daily lives or trying to fullfill our own mission to improve communities.

Problem: Many communities are poorly prepared for disasters and governments are struggling to keep up. To make matters worse, our growing dependence on iPhones and other electronic devices has changed how we must think about disaster response. Communities now need to answer, “How will survivors charge electronic devices in the wake of a disaster?

Solution: Citizen Power Brigade

Problem: Spending on healthcare in America is growing at an alarming rate but health outcomes are barely improving. The problem is that we are looking at the wrong end of the health challenge. Healthcare is a very expensive tool used mostly after a health problem. But what are the conditions and inputs that caused that problem in the first place? And what if we could stop that problem before it happens?

Solution: HealthAround.Me
Problem: In an emergency seconds count. For fire fighters, mobile mapping tools and other technologies can carve precious seconds off response times. Unfortunately, a majority of fire dispatch systems in America are well over 25 years old and cash strapped municipalities simply do not have the money to upgrade them. How can we augment these legacy systems and provide citizens best possible care without breaking the bank?
Solution: FirePi Dispatch
Problem: In a disaster, Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) personnel have to work in extremely tough conditions, often working at night in unfamiliar areas with no light, power, visible landmarks or even street signs for navigation. To add to the pressure, any mistakes can cost people their lives. How can technology be used to improve disaster response and allow US&R personnel to work faster and more efficiently?
Solution: Open Search Map

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

- Margaret Mead

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

― Jane Goodall

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

– Albert Einstein

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

– Richard Buckminster Fuller

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

- Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

― Steve Jobs

Our Community Services

Events

From conferences to hackathons, fireside chats to Maker Faires, Ignite Talks to Startup Weekends and everything in between our Ninjas have produced some incredible events. We stand ready to help produce these transformative inspiring events in your community.

Community Building

We are available to help you strategically look at your community building needs. Some of these services include needs assessments, stakeholder mapping, asset mapping and other related services. Whatever your community building goal, we stand ready to help.

Workshops & Training

We produce/facilitate workshops and training related to our mission. Some of the topics we cover include: Innovation & Community Building, Civic Technology 101, Maker Movement 101, Entrepreneurship 101, Human Centered Design and Design Thinking.

Our Technology Services

At Civic Ninjas, we believe that the availability of technology services is a critical component in the continued growth and acceptance of open source civic technology. Not every municipality has the time or in house resources to support this technology stack so we have developed a comprehensive suite of services to augment available municipal resources.

Install, Configure, Integrate, Support

Our ICIS Officers are deployed either remotely or on-site to provide install, configure, integrate and support services to municipalities that require services unique to their situation. IT infrastructure varies significantly from city to city, and integration with legacy municipal systems present unique challenges.

Make It So!

Not everyone has staff that can readily fork a GitHub repository, configure a VM, spin-up a database instance and then SSH into a server. We have turnkey solutions to deploy many open source civic software solutions in the cloud. We want to make your deployment of these projects as easy as saying, “Make it so!”.

Help Desk/Support

Help desk/support services are critical to the mainstream adoption of open source civic technology. We offer tiered support for many applications. These services also include automated trouble ticket support, remote call center support, and remote and on-site training.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

– Richard Buckminster Fuller

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

- Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

― Steve Jobs

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

- Margaret Mead

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

― Jane Goodall

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

– Albert Einstein

Our Programs

Ninjas

Our Ninja Program is central to our existence. We have developed tools and techniques to help us identify civic technologists, makers, community builders and entrepreneurs that are doing great things. Our Ninja Program is our way to recognize and thank them for their amazing efforts.

Corps Cities

As the Civic Ninjas footprint expands, we are identifying cities with both a growing number of Ninjas and a local commitment to our organization. These cities will be designated as Civic Ninja Corps Cities. In these cities we will provide various resources and infrastructure to support local initiatives.

Ninja Dojos

In some of our Corps Cities we are setting up Civic Ninja Dojos. These spaces function as both office space for our Ninjas as well as co-working/maker/community/event space for the community at large. We also make our Dojos available to host community events free of charge.

Our Friends

Friends

Our Stories

Civic Ninjas at the National Maker Faire

This summer Civic Ninjas was invited to the Inaugural National Maker Faire in Washington, D.C that grew out of the Inaugural White House Maker Faire held last year. We were honored to be asked to participate. Seeing the Maker movement’s potential was exciting. Taking a seat at that table was also exciting.

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You say you want a revolution?

How Startup Weekend Tulsa Energy Edition helped start a revolution in how business problems get solved and how new startups are formed. Startup Weekend has a long and rich history in Tulsa and the upcoming Startup Weekend Tulsa Energy Edition is an exciting addition to the growing list of world first events held here. How we got to this point and how we started this revolution is a great story in itself. November 13th, 2009 – The first Startup Weekend in Oklahoma kicks off in Tulsa bringing together an incredibly diverse mix of energetic aspiring entrepreneurs ready to conquer the world. In one weekend that event practically revolutionized how entrepreneurs in Tulsa think about starting a business. The energy and excitement was off the charts, as people broke free from the shackles of dated approaches to entrepreneurship. Subsequent Startup Weekends were incredibly effective at introducing lean startup methodologies, human-centered design, open source software and other great tools and techniques for efficiently launching startups throughout Oklahoma. In addition, the world’s first Maker Startup Weekend and the world’s first Civic Technology Startup Weekend featuring the Raspberry Pi helped pull an incredibly diverse mix of folks into the Oklahoma startup ecosystem. Despite all of this success, one of the things we started to see is that even though entrepreneurs were doing a great job at launching startups at Startup Weekend, they weren’t always doing a great job at picking sustainable ideas. Oftentimes entrepreneurs were solving problems that did not exist or were chasing the proverbial golden goose by trying to be the next Twitter or Facebook. Additionally, we were not seeing many... read more

Citizen Power Brigade

Imagine yourself instantly caught in the next major disaster somewhere in the world. If you survive, who are the first 5 people you contact to let them know you are ok?Now imagine it is 24 hours later. All of your electronic devices are dead and there is no power to charge them. How do you let those same 5 people know you are still ok? Today we are very excited to introduce both a new approach to mobile emergency power for disasters, and a new type of first responder, the Citizen Power Brigade. With our Field Power Kit and a simple cable, we can turn a hybrid electric vehicle into the world’s cleanest and most fuel efficient source of mobile emergency power in a disaster. In one week using one tank of gas, one HEV can charge 8400 phones in order to provide up to 12 million minutes of talk time for survivors in a disaster. Besides charging electronic devices, the Citizen Power Brigade is available to provide emergency power to run medical equipment, appliances including refrigerators, and various other equipment and devices. Civic Ninjas developed a proof of concept of this exciting project as part of The Feast Civic Hardware Hackathon. We are currently looking for community partners that can help us take this project to the pilot phase. If you represent an organization trying to improve community preparedness and resiliency locally, nationally or internationally we want to explore ways to partner with you on this transformative project. Email shout@civicninjas.org to get the conversation... read more

The Feast Civic Hardware Hackathon

A team from Civic Ninjas has been invited to be part of The Feast’s Civic Hardware Hackathon that is focused on hardware technology to help in disasters. We are very excited to partner with some other great folks already involved with this exciting event. Some of the other partners/sponsors include: The Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, IDEO and Intel along with the Rockefeller Foundation, IKEA, and Sparkfun Electronics. Complete details about the event are available here: http://feastongood.com/2014/07/the-feast-hardware-hackathon-with-the-department-of-homeland-security-intel/ In addition to having a team invited to participate, Civic Ninjas’ founder Scott Phillips has been invited to serve as a facilitator/mentor on both Human Centered Design techniques and Disaster technology & Opportunities. Civic Ninjas is well positioned to participate with an experienced team that has already developed several other hardware and software projects to help in disasters. That team is looking forward to meeting teams from throughout the US during this hackathon and we are very excited about the prospect for some great outcomes with lasting impact in... read more

White House Demo Day

We are excited to share that Civic Ninjas has been invited to the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative Demo Day. The White House media advisory on this event reads as follows: WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, July 29, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Security Council, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate will co-host an event bringing together technologists, entrepreneurs, and members of the disaster response community to highlight innovations by the public and private sectors that will improve disaster response and recovery. The White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative was launched in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to identify the most effective ways that technology can empower survivors; first responders; and local, state, and Federal government with critical information and resources. The event will include remarks by Obama Administration officials and representatives from the public and private sectors. Further details include: Civic Ninjas is highlighting the Shining Light Project, a wearable device for emergency responder credentialing and disaster access control. The device has color-coded LEDs that indicate whether an emergency responder is allowed into an area based on geo-fenced GPS information. The Shining Light device uses Bluetooth Low Energy to tether to smart devices running a native app for real time device control. In addition to perimeter access control, the device can also show search grid locations and provide time-based go/no go signaling for personnel needing to cycle back to their Base of Operations. Similar in concept to Apple’s iBeacon, the Shining Light Project hopes to emerge... read more

What problem can we help you solve today?

Problem | Solution | Done.

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