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TEDxUIllinois - John Tolva - The Invisible Public Way

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hired John Tolva as his Chief Technology officer and tasked him with with leveraging technology to ensure that Chicago delivers better services at a lower cost to taxpayers.Before joining the city of Chicago, Tolva worked at IBM for over 13 years. In his most recent capacity, he served as the Director of Citizenship & Technology for IBM where he was responsible for developing new social, educational, environmental, and cultural heritage projects that use innovative technologies in partnership with nonprofit institutions and governmental entities.His team developed programs that performed a wide range of tasks, ranging from contributing idle processing power to the search for a cure to HIV to matching employees with community volunteer opportunities.After receiving his master's from Georgia Tech in 1998, he began his career in IBM Interactive Media, building systems for live event coverage (particularly tennis and the Olympics). He later led a project for the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, digitizing thousands of works of art.Tolva worked in Egypt during the September 11 attacks and worked on Meedan, a social network for current events in the Middle East and North Africa. He was accepted to work in IBM's Corporate Service Corps, a "peace corps"- type program that sent teams to areas where IBM does not do business. His final project at IBM was City Forward, a project that engaged him with city leaders and the opportunity to make real technological change in Chicago.John currently lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.
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