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Lessons Learned From The Failure, And Recovery, Of

Jennifer Pahlka at the 2014 Code For America Summit
Flickr Photo/Carlos Moreno
Jennifer Pahlka at the 2014 Code For America Summit

In 2013, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act on the website became a debacle for the Obama administration. Sen. Mitch McConnell said about it: "God only knows how much money they've spent and it's a failure … the government simply isn't going to be able to get this job done correctly."

Beyond the causes of the launch failure, the story of the people who recovered the website is a key subject of this talk by Jennifer Pahlka. She says the lessons of that epic failure and recovery serve as a guide to how technology can and must make government work efficiently.

Pahlka is the founder and director of Code for America, a nonprofit organization that promotes technological solutions to government inefficiencies. She also served as deputy U.S. chief technology officer, concentrating on a program to create a U.S. equivalent to the UK's successful Government Digital Service.

Pahlka spoke at Town Hall Seattle on March 6. This talk was presented by Town Hall and University Book Store as part of the Civics Series. Thanks to Edward Wolcher for our recording. 

Note: This is a web and podcast exclusive segment.