December 12, 2015

This past weekend, over 2,000 people attended the seventh annual Rootscamp in Washington, D.C. The event has grown into one of the largest hubs of new ideas in politics and digital activism.

There's a reason why the entire Veracity team was at Rootscamp! Unlike most conferences, Rootscamp participants are encouraged to design sessions and actually decide the program. This leads to a unique cross pollination of ideas and a rare opportunity for a conversation between, for example, a staffer from small nonprofit with a former presidential digital director. As people of all stripes gather in the behemoth halls of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the lines between insiders and outsiders blur, and there exists an opportunity for honest discussion of what worked, what didn’t, and how we grow stronger to enact change we believe in.

Veracity Media partner and South Orange Mayor Alex Torpey, already in D.C. after a busy week at POLITICO's Lessons from Leaders event and elsewhere, had the opportunity to lead a lively session on tech in government which generated tremendous buzz on Twitter (a few excerpts below) with Robin Alberts-Marigza from NationBuilder. At the panel, participants engaged in a constructive conversation around how to make technology work better in government, and as Alex put it, why it's important for people who care about positive technology to "embed" themselves in government through elected office to help get it done.


Packed house at the Why Does Government Tech Suck? panel with @ratothem and @alextorpey #roots14

— Harmony (@justlikeharmony) December 14, 2014

Our job is to change the way people think of gov - the idea that we can't run for office (young peeps) marginalizes us @alextorpey #roots14

— Patty Cardona (@CardonaPatty) December 14, 2014

RootsCamp has something for everyone, and so Seth Maloney, Veracity's Digital Ads Lead, got to chat with about trends in data, Jeff Apel, Veracity's Lead Designer participated in a session on design in politics and Partner Ryan Morgan connected with NGP VAN about their new API and feature set. Other sessions we enjoyed included an all-female panel on the future of digital communication with Amanda Litman (formerly of Charlie Crist’s campaign), Jess Livoti-MoralesNicole Titus (Ready for Hillary), Lauren Miller (Elizabeth Warren’s digital director) and other rock stars.

The best part of Rootscamp is the chance to reconnect with old friends, in addition to making new ones. From Battleground Texas to climate activists to Obama campaign alums, we left inspired by new ideas and energy as we head into a new year.

Check out what people were talking about at #roots14! Tweet at @VeracityMedia: What stuck out to you as a game-changing idea -- and what would you like to see next year? We love opportunities to go out and hear different people's perspectives on how to empower ourselves to make change, and we hope to see you out at conferences across the country as we find ways to work together for a better future!