Civic Software Foundation is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2013 with the mission of creating practices and supporting technology that is built on principles of ethical data use and societal impact. CIVIC brings forward innovative team models and sustainable approaches to critically examine human and digital infrastructure as a living ecosystem, where the outputs reflect the values and priorities of their creator.
CIVIC only accepts projects which are aligned with their organizational mission to serve diverse and equitable constituencies, and where the ownership of technology remains open-source or in the custodianship of the public sector. We specifically adapt industry-standard practices to build value in the public interest and deliver competitive software that stands in contrast to dominant models of extraction and or venture-backed economies of scale. We are not advocates of open data in many circumstances. However, we are always advocates of contextual frameworks which address the intersectional needs of those who are represented in or impacted by the data and uphold their autonomy as individuals and as collective entities.
In our applied work, CIVIC both uses and teaches Context-Aware Systems principles, which represents an actionable methodology for addressing systemic barriers to common issues of embedded bias, data provenance, and governance structures. These processes are highly participatory in nature and build beyond the first wave of open data and “civic tech” culture to create context that allows for iterative and reflexive systems while improving requirements for technical validation, citizen privacy, and auditability of data sources, analytics, visualization and decolonial AI futures.