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The Presidential Innovation Fellowship program, apply this Summer

Man, when I say my kids MUST learn to code because app developers and coders get all the best opportunities, I wasn’t lying.

And look at this: I just learned that the White House has launched a Presidential Fellowship program this summer that will assemble the best minds in private, public and non-profit sector “to improve the lives of the American people, saving taxpayer money, and fueling job creation,” the page dedicated to the new program stated.

There are five areas, but in a nutshell, it looks like the goal is to make sure people have access to government programs and in particular those with no reliable web access and who may rely on their mobile phones to connect.

A quick breakdown of the five projects:

  • MyGov -aimed on making the government’s 1,200 websites less focused on bureaucracy and more targeted on services and letting the people realize how to get access to them quickly, efficiently and easily. That project will last a year starting in July.
  • Open Data Initiatives – focused on creation of tools to help people find a health provider that takes their insurance fast, discover the best school for their interest etc. by opening up data mines owned and controlled by the federal government.  It is patterned off a past initiative where the national oceanic and atmospheric administration enabled entrepreneurs to create weather newscasts, websites, mobile applications, insurance, and more based on data it made available.
  • Blue Button for America- based on giving Americans better access to information about their personal health records, which is critical for our aging population.
  • RFP-EZ – for the creation of a tool that links innovative high growth companies with the government and providing a platform to enable them to pitch their service and products more easily with the federal government. [MY FAVORITE!]

AND

  • The 20% Campaign- for the development of a mechanism to get aid beneficiaries the help they need while bypassing corrupt regimes and avoiding fraud. “Until now, cash has often been the only alternative but it is expensive to disburse and particularly susceptible to corruption, fraud and misappropriation that can be hard to detect,” the site notes. “Advances in communication technology and innovative payments infrastructure now allow payments to be made through mobile devices, smart cards and other electronic methods.”  Good. No one likes waste fraud and abuse.

Interesting and it looks like the administration has come a long way from its earlier initiatives launched right after the 2008 elections which moved and mandated a bunch of government programs to update their websites to make them more functional and to include web-based service access.

Of course, while a wonderful effort, it left out the millions of those who had no internet access or computers in their home. We know from numerous PEW and Joint Center reports that “Minorities”, for example, and the poor still own and have access to mobile devices at a disproportionate rate to their population in the States, though they may not get broadband access in their home.

Therefore, this move may come in quite handy for that group as many rely on government programs and assistance for various needs.

But the effort needs the best and brightest minds and coders to work though. What a great thing to put on your resume if you get picked.

Politics aside, it’s a great plan for those who decry that the government is inefficient. Why be part of the problem just sitting around complaining  about it all the time if you have the skills and know-how to effectuate change?

Here’s your chance!

Anyone wishing to apply can go to the Presidential Innovation website to sign up!  Good Luck!

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