San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Adopts Startup Culture in Government

Welcome to the season 4 premier of Revolution! Believe it or not, this is the fourth season of bring you some of the best minds exploring the revolution and evolution in tech, business, and culture. In this premier episode, I’m more than proud to host San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on the show. Together we explore how governments can adapt and improve services by embracing startups and the culture that helps them accelerate and excel.

As you’ll hear, Mayor Ed Lee believes that the answer begins with recognizing that the gap that separates how things are done and how they need to be done can decrease with technology. One of the first orders of business was to form a tech chamber of commerce, SF CITI (Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation) to leverage the collective power of the tech sector as a force for civic action in San Francisco. Companies include AT&T,, Jawbone, Twitter, and Zynga.

Additionally, San Francisco partnered with Code for America to help re-examine the way the city delivers services to people who live in poverty. The goal is to create a database and network of hope.

Mayor Ed Lee’s work focuses on today and also 10-15 years down the road. His team and his partnership with entrepreneurs, non profits, local businesses and investors, and influencers is already expanding possibilities for how San Francisco can look over the years, improve relationships with and opportunities for citizens, and help businesses thrive…all through technology and the new perspective and capabilities that come along with it. As the Mayor believes, everything comes down to improving and leveraging civic engagement.

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  • Hanna Johnson

    With all the ineffectiveness going on in Congress, it is so inspiring to see the steps that Mayor Lee is taking to empower the health, growth, and innovation of the city. As a citizen, I feel hopeful that Mayor Lee’s guidance and approach will lead us to work collaboratively as a city to overcome the issues we face–not just as a city, but as a nation and world as well. Thanks for sharing Brian!

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  • Ellie Kroichick Marks

    Perhaps this explains why Mayor Lee is more concerned with pleasing the Chamber of Commerce and AT&T than supporting the excellent work of his Board of Supervisors with their cell phone right to know law. SF use to be the city that stood up to corporate influence for the sake of their constituents- that is no longer the case. His cozy relationship with industry is causing the city to cave on a lawsuit they can win. This is a serious threat to public health across the nation as many other cities and states were looking to San Francisco for guidance. Shame on Mayor Lee and the other new supervisors who are bought.


Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. More so, he humanizes technology’s causal effect to help people see people differently and understand what to do about it. He is an award-winning author and avid keynote speaker who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation and innovation.

Brian has authored several best-selling books including What’s the Future of Business (WTF), Engage! and The End of Business as Usual. His blog,, is ranked as a leading resource for insights into the future of business, new technology and marketing.

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