Summer of Smart: Democracy in the Digital Age

Project Description

The Summer of Smart is an intensive, three-month experiment in urban innovation.  Over the course of this summer, urbanists of many disciplines – developers, designers, planners, journalists, civic leaders, community activists, and more – will come together to address the most pressing issues facing cities today.  In the end, the leading projects will be publicly presented to candidates in the San Francisco mayoral race, along with an esteemed panel of experts, to generate a meaningful dialogue around the potential of new tools to create lasting change.

Summer of Smart is an initiative of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (@GAFFTA), one of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to furthering the use and advancement of creative technology for social good.  GAFFTA is proud to partner with San Francisco Department of Technology and many others to make Summer of Smart possible.

GAFFTA brings together the best creative coders, data artists, designers, and makers to create experiments that build social consciousness through digital culture. We fund programs aimed at the production, research, and dissemination of digital culture where art, science, technology, and society intersect. We bring diverse communities together to incubate ideas, and we support and showcase the projects they create. We host classes, workshops, seminars, and symposia taught and attended by the very people that are transforming today’s digital age.


Summer of Smart is made possible by the generous support of our public and private sponsors:

San Francisco Foundation

The Adobe Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts

Craig Newmark /




San Francisco Department of Technology

The Bay Citizen

Code for America


SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research)




MIT SENSEable Cities Lab

Tenderloin Technology Lab

New America Media