Promoting Peace With a Mobile App

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Today is the U.N. International Day of Peace.

But my social media feed is filled with images and news of the violent protests that happened last night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It is this dichotomy that leaves me wondering if the ABQ Kindness mobile app that our team is creating for Mayor Richard Berry can help spread a mindset of kindness within our cities.

Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Mayor Berry, came up with the idea for the app, which will be added to his city’s growing suite of civic mobile apps, while he was attending the 84th U.S. Conference of Mayors, where he joined leaders across the national in signing a resolution to achieve 100,000,000,000 Acts of Kindness.

He sees Albuquerque’s initiative as an opportunity for community to come together to help reach that goal.

“My hope is to make kindness a habit for people,” says Mayor Berry. “By encouraging and recognizing people for being kind, we hope to dramatically change mindsets to become one of the kindest cities in the nation.”

The ABQ Kindness mobile application will make it simple for anyone to record acts of kindness in the moment, including school children and a growing list of organizations and companies who have signed on to participate in the city’s kindness challenge which is being led by the city’s Youth Advisory Council, pictured above.

“We are going to need to deploy technology so we can track acts in a meaningful ways,” says Mayor Berry. “We are investing in this app to help lower the cost for other cities to deploy technology to track their acts of kindness in their community as well as provide an engaging system to keep people reporting.”

Imagine what might happen if today’s technology can remind us that while our communities grapple with significant social issues that must be addressed, there are also simple acts of kindness happening around us every day? I, for one, am hoping that this app can help make the International Day of Peace an everyday occurrence.

This column also appears on Huffington Post and LinkedIn Pulse. Portions of this content were originally published on Inc.com.

3 Ways Branded Mobile Apps Help Cities

My latest post to our official APPCityLife blog, talking about what we’ve learned from our civic clients on how official, branded apps can help cities.

APPCityLife: What's APPening®

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As initiatives go, Open Data is still in its infancy, with most early-adopters only two or three years out from the release of their first data sets. As the CEO of APPCityLife, a civic tech company supporting the delivery of those data sets into useful civic mobile apps and tools, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the Open Data movement from those early days and have learned a bit about what has worked well for some of our early clients. Here are three reasons I believe that every city with an open data initiative should be producing and supporting official mobile apps from some of their own open data feeds.

High Quality Open Data

ABQride1One of our earliest open data projects was through a public/private partnership with the City of Albuquerque. As an early adopter, a major concern of the city’s administration was ensuring the open data produced would be consumable and…

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