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Uncle Sam Wants YOU...to be a Hero Hacker

Uncle Sam Wants YOU...to be a Hero Hacker

about civic hacking, open gov, service.

Round Three of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program is now accepting applications from creative, energetic policy hackers, entrepreneurs, user experience experts, designers, frontend developers, backend developers, system architecture wizards, data wranglers, and more to serve their tours of duty to radically improve the delivery of government digital services.

Why should you (yes, YOU) take time out of your busy schedule to apply (deadline: April 7)? Three important reasons:

1. Uncle Sam Wants YOU…to Help Millions

Working with Innovation Partners inside government agencies Rounds One and Two of the Innovation Fellows program touched millions of lives in important ways:

Innovation Fellow Projects: Contributors and Beneficiaries Infographic of Presidential Innovation Fellows projects and their beneficiaries

Here’s a taste of what these projects do:

  • The Green Button initiative gives American families and businesses secure and easy access to their own utility energy information, giving them opportunities to save energy and money.

  • The Blue Button initiative provides individuals with secure online access to their own health data.

  • FBOpen gives small business owners with a new, easier way to learn about and compete for Federal contracts.

  • Project Open Data unleashes freely-available data from the Federal Government that was previously difficult to find and use (think National Parks, climate, and government spending) back to the taxpayer.

  • Disaster Response and Recovery leverages technology to provide with a helping hand (tools, apps, services and more) when they need it most.

  • Work at the Smithsonian Institution gives Americans their own history, digitized.

  • Adverse Drug Effects gives doctors the information they need to treat patients safely.

2. Uncle Sam Wants YOU…to Work With Amazing People on Big Problems

Innovation Fellows come from many backgrounds and have a wide range of skills, but they share two characteristics: excellence and dedication. Do you long to work with a team that constantly challenges you? Do you long to work with peers who are all top-of-class problem solvers and creative minds?

And not only are the people you’ll work with extremely technically and creatively intelligent, but they’re also a group of people who have chosen to use their precious time and energy in exchange for a reasonable government salary to move their country forward. Instead of disrupting the dog clothing market, you’ll be disrupting government bureaucracy and improving services for millions of people. You want a more participatory democracy? Here’s your chance.

As an Innovation Fellow, you will have extraordinary leverage to solve big problems and implement game-changing solutions. Some of the projects in the diagram above were not planned, but discovered as opportunities in the course of other projects.

3. Uncle Sam Wants YOU…to Serve and Return

Becoming a Fellow is a commitment to work as hard as you can on behalf of the American people. It is a commitment to patiently run through walls that exist in the government bureaucracy. It is a commitment to spend a lot of time in DC.

But it is not a never-ending commitment. You are not signing up to become a permanent Federal employee. You will contribute your industry and entrepreneurial expertise to improve government and take what you have learned from other Fellows with you when you leave.

So What Are YOU Waiting for?

Apply by April 7, 2014. Throw your hat into the ring to make digital services in America an extension of the civic innovation that Franklin and Jefferson pioneered while collaborating with some of the smartest, most dedicated people you will ever meet, solving some of the most important, challenging problems of this generation.

Even if you choose not to apply, please help spread the message.

Please republish this article or the following links to promote the Presidential Innovation Fellow program:

P.S. Consider saving the taxpayer money by contributing to Innovation Fellow open-source projects…

The Fellows’ projects are in the public domain by default and can be found at github under the team Presidential Innovation Fellows.

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