Home Featured Events POLIS Series: The Rise of the Smart City Era

POLIS Series: The Rise of the Smart City Era

by Angela King

Learn how smart cities are leading the way for smart communities, August 17th.

According to a Forbes article, smart cities have “a combined market potential of $1.5 trillion globally,” and local and state governments spent an estimated $25.5 billion on information technology in 2015. These trends illustrate the growing need and emerging role of data scientists, developers, and designers to work in and serve the public sector. As local governments adopt “smart” city efforts, and as citizens come to expect public services to operate like their favorite apps, understanding the potential of civic tech opens the door to an array of new careers.

In collaboration with Georgia Tech, General Assembly is hosting POLIS, a speaker series featuring thought leaders from the Atlanta civic tech and smart cities communities to discuss the intersection of computational technology, governments, data, and citizenship. The series focuses on themes such as sustaining new civic hacking efforts, emerging modes and sites of engagement, the role of governments in urban technological change, and more.

The series is coordinated and moderated by Dr. Thomas Lodato, a research scientist at Georgia Tech working on smart cities and inclusive innovation in Atlanta.

Sustaining the Hack
For the first event of the series, the focus will be on the theme of social sustainability within civic technology. From hackathons to monthly meet-ups, many civic tech projects require volunteer labor and extracurricular involvement. As such, maintaining projects long-term can be a challenge.

This month features speakers (see below) who are well aware of the challenges of sustaining civic tech efforts. The panel will focus on issues of organizing, managing, and realizing civic tech projects long-term.


  • Learn about Atlanta events, efforts, and initiatives and find out how to get involved with civic tech and smart cities
  • Learn best practices and emerging domain trends
  • Learn about new career opportunities and portfolio projects


  • Check-in & Networking 7:00 – 7:10 pm
  • Panel/Lighting Talks 7:15 – 8:30 pm
  • Q&A and Networking 8:30 – 9:00 pm

Register here!

About the Experts

Dr. Thomas Lodato (Moderator) Photo

Research Scientist in the Center for Urban Innovation,
Georgia Institute of Technology

Thomas is a research scientist at Georgia Tech and is affiliated with GT’s Institute of People and Technology and Center for Urban Innovation. His work focuses on smart cities and civic technology, and future of work. In these areas, Thomas conducts research on open government data, the professionalization of civic hacking, smart city technical assistance, and flexible work practices.

Luigi Ray-Montanez Photo

Co-organizer for Code for Atlanta & Lead Engineer at Vox Media

Luigi is a co-organizer and co-founder of Code for Atlanta, an all-volunteer civic hacking group established in 2014. He also serves on Code for America’s National Advisory Council. During the day, he’s a senior software engineer at Vox Media.

Mark Noonan Photo Program Manager, People Making Progress
Mark’s main work is to help adults with developmental disabilities find and maintain employment and live as independently as possible. He also runs the office of a small folk music production company and enjoys the occasional freelance web development project.

Co-organizer, Code for Atlanta

Shawn is co-organizer of Code for Atlanta, where she has served for two years. She also works as a front-end developer at cybersecurity company Cybraics. Her civic interests include parks and elections.

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