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SXSW: Obama touts tech, others examine pitfalls

Lamont Wood | March 14, 2016
Government, the private sector and non-profits should work together to apply technology to address the nation's problems and to enhance civic engagement, said President Barack Obama.

Marilyn Strickland, mayor of Tacoma, told the same session that municipal employees must be assured that they are allowed to fail, even with public money. "When they succeed, success can be so amazing," she said. She told of using data maps to see if county municipalities were sharing the burden of homeless welfare projects.

"Cities have not been wild about sharing data for a long time since the story was not always a good one. But people respect you if you own it rather than hide the bad news," Strickland said. "If we want government that people trust, you have to put the data out there even if we don't like it. The question is, will we be barriers to progress or innovators in a dynamic world?" she asked.

The SXSW Interactive conference, part of the larger annual SXSW event, continues through March 15, with hundreds of sessions, exhibitions and showcases covering technology. The rest of SXSW covers music and cinema and continues through March 20. SXSW also includes a trade show and a job fair.


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