Who's Involved with SmartOakland?

We're visionaries, public servants, entrepreneurs, technology strategists, data scientists, storytellers and educators working to create a Public Data Utility for Oakland resilience. We use art and science to combine location-specific data from the past, present, and future and deliver real-time insight so people can see and understand what's happening around them and make informed decisions for their future. Contributors add context to what constituents want to know using these new capabilities.

Why have we created the ability to change the future?

SmartOakland.org was formed after a group of us learned about lead poisoning in Fruitvale and the fact that the poison rates were 4xs higher than the people in Flint, MI.

This was directly on the heels of the Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire that killed 36 people, in Fruitvale, December 2, 2017.

We've learned a lot over the last year trying to get to the bottom of these housing safety-based issues and we've be able to create technology to help to start fixing things.

SmartOakland Team_04032018_12pm.png

The data and technology helps with this situation:

People are not aware of the impact their decisions make so they create life and death situations for children and society as a whole. For instance it only takes a split second for a child under 7 to be exposed to lead poisoning, sustain permanent brain damage, experience low quality of life and die early from heart failure, all because someone decided not to repaint their house, or they did it the wrong way. Our work helps people visualize and understand the connections between their actions and other people's lives.

SmartOakland.org is an evolution of the SmartOakland.net crowd-sourced collaborative sprint that brought public-, private-, and non-profit groups together to envision what a future Department of Transportation would offer for Oakland when it runs as a Smart City.

Michael Ford, who worked on Smart Parking through the Department of Public Works at the time was appointed by Mayor Libby Schaaf to lead the City's response to the 2015 Federal DOT Smart City Challenge. Ahsan Baig, who was the interim Chief Information Office of the City of Oakland at the time and is now the CIO of AC Transit, introduced Michael to Stephanie Hayden of Vision Architecture and their work began the next day.

Once the sprint to put a response together was over Stephanie, Michael, and many City and community members wanted to keep collaborating and coming up with solutions together so Stephanie used her Vision Architecture Meetup series to begin promoting Smart City Meetups hosted by Michael Ford at Oakland City Hall.

We're in our third year now and have see SmartOakland develop into a formal non-profit that focuses on what the constituents of Oakland want to see in services and community solutions along with working to connect these needs with public and private sector resources to deliver what they're asking for.

SmartOakland has gained more and more speed and is now functioning as a strategic planning, smart data-focused, platform designed to empower all Oaklanders with contextually relevant data to help them make real-time informed decisions about the risks and opportunities they will now see before them using our Public Data Utility.

Michael and Stephanie are Co-founders of SmartOakland and continue to host monthly Smart City Meetups but have now moved to host them in the City of Oakland's Civic Design Lab that was created for exactly this type of thing to have a home at City Hall.