Values-Driven Innovation

A message from Jonathan Porat, State Chief Technology Innovation Officer

February 8, 2023 – As I settle into my new role as State Chief Technology Innovation Officer, I’m often asked by my colleagues, what makes innovation at CDT different from my previous workplaces. I proudly answer that we innovate in a uniquely values-driven way. That is, we put Californians at the crux of everything we do. When we design new technology, we invest the time into understanding how residents with different abilities and needs from their government might navigate a website or utilize a service. When we produce a website or application we do so in a way that will allow our State partners and even members of the public to build off of what we learn. 

For example, you may be aware that CDT’s digital services team played a critical role in standing up State Digital Vaccine Records for Californians. Not only did we build that service to be open-source but we hosted our code on a public repository with appropriate documentation so that we could give back to the community. Our team is committed to the safety and privacy of Californians as we became one of the first States to use Federal technology in the CalITP pilot to help residents more easily access meaningful government benefits.  

Lastly, in collaboration with the Office of Digital Innovation, we recently released the first version of our Statewide Digital Design System. This collection of design concepts and best practices streamlines production for our State partners allowing them to focus on content and let us take care of the engineering. For Californians this has far reaching implications as it makes it much easier for State departments to build websites and applications that will run smoother, be more accessible to California residents, and stay safer. 

It is a testament to the leadership of CDT and the passion, creativity, and hard work of our many teams that we continue to build equitable, accessible, and resilient websites, applications, and implementations of cutting-edge technology without losing sight of what matters most: serving Californians.