Seattle’s Innovation Advisory Council

Seattle has always been the city that invents the future. We were the jumping off point for the gold rush. We pretty much invented commercial air travel, and then re-invented it by letting people book online. We were the birthplace of the personal computer revolution, and now are pioneering cloud computing services that are revolutionizing the way people all over the world use technology – and live.

Seattle is home to the best companies because we have great innovative talent. Our City has long had some of the most innovative workers and companies anywhere and been a leading global destination for highly skilled workers and thought leaders from across the world.

Last year, I formed The City of Seattle’s first-ever Innovation Advisory Council as an opportunity to partner with that innovation community to build solutions, share best practices, and create projects that will improve the lives of our residents. Members of the IAC come from across our rich ecosystem: our most well-known companies in the world, our fastest-moving startups and our biggest non-profits.

Since it was formed, the IAC members have been working together to identify and meet technology challenges help Seattle address its most pressing issues, like homelessness, affordability, transportation, and delivering basic services. We are moving ahead on all of this with our core values like equity, race and social justice, and privacy at the fore.

Technology cannot fix our challenges, but it can help us deliver solutions and serve people better. The IAC members are pursuing seven projects underway that will help our City meet its challenges in new and innovative ways. They also are enabling us to have conversations about what our City is doing, and how it can do even more to move the needle on these critical issues. I so appreciate all the members of the IAC for agreeing to serve on this council, and I am excited about what this means for our future. The partnerships emerging from IAC programming will have lasting change by growing the opportunity to work across industries in how we approach challenges and create solutions. These first seven projects are just the beginning.

We are also fortunate to have the active participation of the Seattle Information Technology Department’s new Chief Technological Officer, Saad Bashir, whose leadership will be vital to ensuring that the solutions developed by the IAC are supported by Seattle IT. Saad brings a wealth of experience working both inside and outside of municipal government, and his insights will help guide the IAC to find the best solutions for City of Seattle departments.

Of course, we know there is no simple solution to the kinds of large, systemic challenges facing our City. And we know that government can’t solve all of our challenges by itself. Technology can’t either. But we can do more if we tap into the amazing talent in our city. We must learn from each other and find ways to work better together.

We’ve created this website so that you can stay up to date on the current, exciting projects. Check out the Projects page to get a quick overview of each project currently underway, see a full list of current IAC members on the Members page, and read more about the goals and formation of the IAC on the About page. Please be sure to check back for updates on our work to make life better for all who call Seattle home.