This is an extraordinary time for San Francisco. Long a destination for creative and ambitious people, San Francisco in recent years has also become a magnet for technology entrepreneurs. Seemingly overnight, our West Coast town became an international destination for people seeking new opportunities in the tech industry. This influx boosted both our local economy and created tensions between new and old city residents. The future of our city and its identity are the subject of much debate.
The San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation, sf.citi, is taking a leadership role in fostering this conversation. On behalf of its 1,000-plus member tech companies and community partners, sf.citi proposes a One City approach, the simple and yet powerful idea that all San Franciscans must work together to ensure a positive future for our city.
It is sf.citi’s mission to represent, engage and convene. That’s why we, the signatories, have come together under sf.citi’s leadership to create the One City Forum. We are a team of four leaders in the nonprofit world and four leaders in the technology industry who share a love for our city and believe that by working together we can make a better San Francisco for all.
We will meet regularly to discuss difficult issues facing San Franciscans like affordability, homelessness, health and education. We educate one another and work together to empower others in both nonprofit and tech to collaborate on solutions to common problems. We invite experts to share data and valuable advice with us so that we can learn from the best minds in our city and better understand the issues.
We believe San Franciscans old and new share more common ground than we realize. We have lessons, experiences, and best practices to share. There are lessons that new tech businesses in San Francisco can learn from the dedicated community and nonprofit leaders who have been serving our city for generations. Conversely, there is much that community nonprofits can gain from partnering with tech companies to strengthen their impact.
We don’t want this to be a closed-door discussion; we want you to be a part of it. We have seen from our early conversations that every individual and organization has a role to play in making us One City. Our goal is to empower companies large and small to engage in our local community in a meaningful way.
That’s why on March 22, sf.citi is hosting the first One City Forum, a public event series that will regularly convene sf.citi member companies, their employees, and community members. The subject of our launch event will be making the case for corporate social responsibility. Join us at Zendesk to learn how our companies have built successful corporate social responsibility programs and hear what kind of corporate partnerships our nonprofits really need. Start the discussion with us about how to engage around some of the most important challenges facing San Francisco and learn how you can start making an impact today. We hope to see you there. Visit sfciti.org for event information.
sf.citi signatories are Eric McDonnell, United Way of the Bay Area; Sherilyn Adams, Larkin Street Youth; Margi English, St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Francisco; Danie Belfield, Meals on Wheels of San Francisco; Katie Ferrick, LinkedIn; Tiffany Apczynski, Zendesk; Amy Lebold, AdRoll; Charlie Hale, Pinterest.