This summer marks the third anniversary of Kansas City’s Digital Playbook and the birth of KC Digital Drive.

These homegrown initiatives have become national models for how a city plans for and owns its digital future.

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KC Digital Drive celebrates three years of community innovation and looks to the future of our economy with FORWARD TO THE FUTURE: A Civic Tech Cocktail Reception and Futureraiser.

This one-of-a-kind event is Tuesday, August 18, 2015, from 5:30-7:30pm at Grand St. Cafe. Admission is $75 and includes appetizers and cocktails.

On August 18, we’ll celebrate the Playbook’s success. But, even more important, we’ll look ahead at ways we can own our digital future.

On the table at this exciting event: closing the digital divide, fueling innovation to drive the economy, and highlighting Kansas City as a global leader in technology for positive civic impact.

FORWARD TO THE FUTURE is the first local, nonprofit-driven event that brings together civic luminaries, entrepreneurial innovators, corporate leaders and nonprofit advocates — all under the banner of civic tech. It is designed for all Kansas City community champions who recognize technology’s importance to our future growth.

Featured Talks Include:

  • Mayors SLY JAMES and MARK HOLLAND on Kansas City’s Digital Future
  • Revisiting the Community Playbook with MIKE BURKE and RAY DANIELS
  • Securing Our Future Prosperity in a Digital Economy with KC Digital Drive Director AARON DEACON
  • Lightning Talks from 10 of KC’s BRIGHTEST MOVERS & SHAKERS in Health, Education, Entrepreneurship & Tech

Reserve Tickets Now

Who Are We?

KC Digital Drive is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonproft whose mission is to make Kansas City a digital leader to secure our economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for all people in the region.

Commissioned in the summer of 2012, we were tasked with implementing a strategic plan (i.e. the Playbook) for how Kansas City’s then-nascent gigabit fiber-to-the-home network could be used to accomplish positive social and civic outcomes. These goals included improving lives through digital inclusion, boosting the economy by creating new businesses, fostering next-level technology innovation, and elevating Kansas City’s profile as a smart city.

Since 2012, we have worked to establish a model that both works for our region and can be adopted in other cities so that they can benefit from the lessons learned in Kansas City. This ethos was demonstrated in the GIGABIT CITY SUMMIT conference held in Jan. 2015, at which 200 delegates from 50 cities across the U.S. converged in Kansas City over three days to soak in our experiences and take them back to their communities.

We hope that you will join us at Forward to the Future to find out how we can own Kansas City’s digital future.

Seeking Sponsorships

We are also seeking sponsors to support this event and our other community-building efforts. Please contact Aaron Deacon at or 913.475.9885 you are interested in the opportunity to place your brand before Kansas City’s innovative elite.

Further Reading

Civic Innovation Challenge awards $1 million to KC Digital Drive-partnered project to help underrepresented youth access extracurricular learning opportunities

On September 21st, the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the 17 recipients of their Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) Stage 2 Awards. One of the winners was the Connecting Underrepresented Youths with Employment Opportunities, led by the University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc. This project, which KC Digital Drive is partnering on, will build and test an integrated mobile application to help underrepresented youth find and access out-of-school-time learning opportunities.

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