Smart Chicago is a civic organization devoted to improving lives in Chicago through technology. We work on increasing access to the Internet, improving skills for using Internet, and developing meaningful products from data that measurably contribute to the quality of life of residents in our region and beyond.

Current projects and collaborations

What Smart Chicago works on:

  • Here’s an incomplete list of the things we care about:
    • Open: we focus on technologies and processes that are open
    • Access: This is our genesis. We were born to address the digital divide and we administer a significant amount of federal broadband money around helping people gain access to the Internet. We will care about this until the problem is solved
    • Chicago: This is our middle name— the focus of our money, our time, and our passion. Since Chicago makes up the bulk of Cook County and a significant portion of the State of Illinois, we care about how we all work together to solve common problems
    • Everyone: That means we spend our money in ways that scale, with a focus on the entire city. We care about the needs of low and middle-income people. Forgetting no one, always pushing for inclusion, serving all. Having said that, everyone means everyone— in order to have a meaningful network, we need to include all
    • Markets: We mean this in both the University of Chicago way (markets drive innovation, economics are rational and knowable, and we can understand humans via markets) and the Chicago technology venture capital / investment way (sustainable models matter more than cool ideas)
    • Experience: We care about how people experience their city, their data, their loved ones. We seek to connect people to services, people, and things in ways that make sense to them and generate new activity that helps others in ways we couldn’t imagine if we sat down to plan it out