“Tech people” get called into help solve problems that are rarely about tech. Ditto the solutions. Real change starts with people and processes, not products. Improving government service delivery happens when leadership does not mandate specific shiny solutions but rather when it empowers local people to tackle unshiny steps to rewire processes. And we need better understanding by leadership, residents, and media about this disconnect between what we value as “innovation” and what it actually looks like in practice. “Success” may look small, feel slow, and seem basic. But thin slices of small wins stacked high can build sustained, human-centered civic services and solutions that changes lives.
I could not agree more strongly. Technology can facilitate solutions, but it is rarely the solution. When technology is applied as the solution, it is likely to make the existing problems worse or cause new problems.