CityCampKC takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Jon Kohrs' journey to founding Stand Up For Good last year at CityCampKC was unscripted, but that's an expected outcome for attendees at the civic unconference. The event, held in cities around the world, gathers "doers, makers and hackers together with local gov officials for a day of learning, discussing, imagining and building," according to the site.
Kohrs, a UX and web development manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, attended South By Southwest Interactive last year and heard from Al Gore, Sean Parker and Code for America about doing good with tech. He followed up with a Code for America event in Kansas City, where he heard about CityCamp. By that time, he knew he wanted to take action, but wasn't sure how.
CityCamp provided him the inspiration and connections to make good on a question he kept asking himself: "How do people stand up for what they believe in?" He met his co-founder, Jerry Jones, who is the community organizer at Communities Creating Opportunities, at the event. They realized "volunteering is really hard," Kohrs said in a recent interview, and Stand Up For Good grew out of that problem.
The company's mission is "to mobilize anyone looking to make a difference in a coordinated way," according to its website. It allows people to create causes and get others to "stand up" for initiatives that are important to them. Without CityCamp, Kohrs isn't sure it would have happened.
"If you're looking for purpose, there's no better place to collide with like-minded individuals," he said. "There's people like you trying to do this." He'll take the stage this weekend for a 5-minute Ignite talk on his startup's story that he hopes will inspire similar collaboration within what the event's site promises will be "a year's worth of engaging conversations jammed into a single day."
Sarah Shipley, founder of Kansas City-based education and advocacy group BikeWalkKC, demoed the area's first bike station at last year's event and will be talking about all that can happen in a year if attendees go after their idea. The event "inspires you to take the first step," Shipley said today.
The event takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, with a social breakfast at 8 a.m. and cocktails from 5 to 7 p.m. Buy tickets—$30 for general admission and $15 for students—and learn more about the event at citycampkc.org.
Credits: Photo by Zach Bauman via Facebook.