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President Obama: The Fast Company Interview

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U.S. President Barack Obama being interviewed by Fast Company editor-in-chief Robert Safian.

U.S. President Barack Obama says the initial failures of spurred him to change the say the government approaches technology.

Credit: Daniel Shea

In an interview, U.S. President Barack Obama discusses the "digital teams" of technologists that he has brought in to help improve technology across the executive branch of government.

The president notes although his experiences using technology in his two presidential election campaigns gave him an appreciation of how modern technology can be used in the government sector, it wasn't until the spectacular failure of that he and his team got serious about changing the way the government approaches technology.

He established the digital teams as a way of bringing in outside technologists, often successful members 0f leading technology companies, on a temporary basis to find ways of improving federal agencies' use of technology. He hopes the strategy of forming digital teams using tech experts from outside of government will persist as a model even after his time in the White House ends.

The president also discussed technology's ability to change the way citizens interact with the government, noting the potential for technologies such as online voting to help people who currently feel alienated to reengage with the democratic process, especially the younger generation.

"I think the opportunities for us to think about how tech can empower citizens and make them feel ownership for their government is really important," Obama says.

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