6 episodes

Rebuilding Government is a podcast about the people, technology, and missions redefining government. From local officials to government technology founders, we're diving into how people are reinvigorating our public institutions. In collaboration with UNIT Innovations.

Rebuilding Government Teske Media

    • Government

Rebuilding Government is a podcast about the people, technology, and missions redefining government. From local officials to government technology founders, we're diving into how people are reinvigorating our public institutions. In collaboration with UNIT Innovations.

    A Recipe for Democracy ft. Pete Davis, founder of the Democratic Policy Network

    A Recipe for Democracy ft. Pete Davis, founder of the Democratic Policy Network

    Civic life in America is on the decline. In the past few decades, trust in the media and politicians has decreased dramatically. Adults volunteer less often, and kids are less likely to take a civics class in school. It’s not that people don’t talk politics -- but that we no longer feel equipped to take up our problems with the people in power.


    Today, I’m talking to writer and activist Pete Davis, who’s dedicated his life toward this problem. He's campaigned for minimum wage increases and prison reform, founded a venture-backed tiny house startup and a neighborhood social media platform, and is now forwarding a national policy platform to mobilize grassroots democratic reform around the country.


    His work is organized around two frameworks: democracy, equal participation in power, and solidarity, a commitment to forging a shared destiny. We chat about the problem with NextDoor, connecting local to national issues, and how college students can develop a mission.


    Find us on Twitter @RebuildingGovt and your host @jasminewsun.
    Relevant resources:



    Find Pete on Twitter @PeteDDavis or his website http://civicideas.org/
    Democratic Policy Network: https://www.democracypolicy.network/
    Current Affairs Podcast: https://www.currentaffairs.org/podcast
    An Unreasonable Man, a documentary about Ralph Nader
    Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam
    Rebuilding Government is a podcast in collaboration with UNIT Innovations (@unitinnovations) and Teske Media (@teskemedia).

    • 56 min
    A Pipeline to Public Service ft. Rachel Dodell, Executive Director of Coding It Forward

    A Pipeline to Public Service ft. Rachel Dodell, Executive Director of Coding It Forward

    Today on Rebuilding Government, I’ll be chatting with Rachel Dodell, the Executive Director of Coding It Forward, and Nik Marda, a Stanford student and 2019 Civic Digital Fellow, about bringing young technologists into government.
    We all know that government technology isn't always the most up-to-date. But it may shock you to learn that only 7 percent of U.S. federal employees are under the age of 30.


    The nonprofit Coding It Forward is trying to change that. Their trademark program is the Civic Digital Fellowship, a technology, data science, and design internship program that sends innovative students to DC to solve pressing problems in federal agencies.
    We discuss the birth of Coding It Forward, government hiring, and how a stint in Washington offers incomparable experience for the mission-driven student.


    Find us on Twitter @RebuildingGovt and your host @jasminewsun.


    Relevant resources:



    Find Rachel on Twitter @rdodell and Nik @nrmarda
    Coding It Forward: https://www.codingitforward.com
    Civic Digital Fellowship interest form: https://www.codingitforward.com/fellowship
    PICTURE grant proposal: https://inspire2serve.gov/_api/files/343
    The Techlash Has Come To Stanford, Slate https://slate.com/technology/2019/08/stanford-tech-students-backlash-google-facebook-palantir.html
    Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O'Neil


    Rebuilding Government is a podcast in collaboration with UNIT Innovations (@unitinnovations) and Teske Media (@teskemedia).

    • 53 min
    A Startup for Second Chances ft. Rohan Pavuluri, CEO of Upsolve

    A Startup for Second Chances ft. Rohan Pavuluri, CEO of Upsolve

    Today, I'm talking to Rohan Pavuluri, founder and CEO of Upsolve, a legal aid nonprofit that helps Americans file for bankruptcy for free online.


    Bankruptcy is central to the American economy. The option of a financial fresh start has empowered risk-taking entrepreneurship and given a path out to families struck by emergencies, like job losses or medical bills. Yet ironically, it can cost over $1000 to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, blocking the option from those who need it the most.


    Despite being started only three years ago, Upsolve is already the largest bankruptcy nonprofit in the United States—serving 10 times as many people as the next largest organization. They scale complex paperwork through the power of the Internet, helping thousands of low-income Americans file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for free. Check out our conversation on failures in the legal system, nonprofit funding, and how Rohan is rebuilding government.


    Find us on Twitter @RebuildingGovt and your host @jasminewsun.


    Relevant resources:



    Upsolve: upsolve.org (They’re hiring!)
    Rohan Pavuluri @RPavuluri
    Gideon’s Trumpet by Anthony Lewis


    Rebuilding Government is a podcast in collaboration with UNIT Innovations (@unitinnovations) and Teske Media (@teskemedia).
    Special Guest: Rohan Pavuluri.

    • 47 min
    You’ve Got Mail! Tackling Inmate Isolation ft. Frederick Hutson, CEO of Pigeonly

    You’ve Got Mail! Tackling Inmate Isolation ft. Frederick Hutson, CEO of Pigeonly

    *Today's guest is Frederick Hutson, the cofounder and CEO of Pigeonly, a simple, affordable way to stay in touch with those incarcerated. *


    Frederick talks about how expensive it is to communicate with loved ones in the corrections system and how Pigeonly is helping solve these problems. He also touches on his path into the space from being incarcerated to starting a company solve the problems he has seen first hand.


    Find us on Twitter @RebuildingGovt and your host @jasminewsun.


    Relevant resources:



    Find Frederick on Twitter @IAMFastFreddy
    Pigeonly https://pigeonly.com


    Rebuilding Government is a podcast in collaboration with UNIT Innovations (@unitinnovations) and Teske Media (@teskemedia).
    Special Guest: Frederick Hutson.

    • 42 min
    Your City Needs a Software Update ft. Zac Bookman, CEO of OpenGov

    Your City Needs a Software Update ft. Zac Bookman, CEO of OpenGov

    Today's guest is Zac Bookman, the cofounder and CEO of OpenGov, a cloud platform that supports government budgeting, performance, communications, and reporting.


    Government accounting probably isn't something that we think about too often. It might not be the flashiest thing in politics, but it's the system that allocates every dollar that goes to roads, schools, and so many everyday interactions with government.


    And yet, before platforms like OpenGov, this system managing our taxpayer dollars didn't work so well—government tech lagged decades behind the rest of industry, and there was little competition. To learn more about the problems and solutions, we'll chat about Zac's early career in foreign policy, why bureaucracy seems so slow, and how to foster a culture of genuine civic engagement.


    Find us on Twitter @RebuildingGovt and your host @jasminewsun.


    Relevant resources:



    Find Zac on Twitter @ZacBookman
    OpenGov https://opengov.com
    The Good Earth, Pearl Buck
    John Chambers, OpenGov Board of Directors and @JohnTChambers


    Rebuilding Government is a podcast in collaboration with UNIT Innovations (@unitinnovations) and Teske Media (@teskemedia).
    Special Guest: Zac Bookman.

    • 47 min
    Let's rebuild government

    Let's rebuild government

    America is facing a crisis of trust in government, and there are good reasons why. But unless we're willing to engage and rebuild these powerful systems, we can't solve the planetary-scale challenges facing us today.


    Rebuilding Government is a podcast telling the stories of the people, technology, and missions redefining government. From city officials to govtech entrepreneurs, people are taking initiative to make big, innovative changes and rebuild trust in the system. Your host, Jasmine Sun (@jasminewsun), dives deep with guests in these areas to discover how the country is getting run behind-the-scenes.


    Rebuilding Government is a podcast in collaboration with UNIT Innovations (@unitinnovations) and Teske Media (@teskemedia).


    Follow us on Twitter @RebuildingGovt

    • 2 min

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