What is CivTech?


What do you think is the biggest industry on the planet?

Agriculture? Automotive? Retail? No.

It’s government. The business of organising what we do and how we decide who is responsible is the largest industry there is.  Government expenditure is more than 41% of the economy in the US, 48% in the UK and over 50% in much of the rest of Europe.

Even after you have removed major elements of public spending, such as Education and Health that can be seen as industries in their own right, government is still the biggest industry out there representing 16% of GDP and 15% of global employment, according to McKinsey.

But the tech industry is trying to do something about that. CivTech, GovTech, CivicTech… these are all parts of the same activity. They are sometimes used interchangeably but are meant to represent slightly nuanced sets of activity.  All about using tech to deliver better government.

    • CivTech: Start ups doing innovative stuff in government
      • Characteristics: Start Ups/SMEs, for profit, innovation-led, VC investible, capable of high growth
    • GovTech: Big Co’s selling infrastructure to government are
      • Characteristics: Big corporates, multi £m or £bn contracts, proven tech
    • CivicTech: Social organisations building new tools and campaigns
      • Characteristics: Not for profit, small, innovative, sometimes campaign or open standards approaches

There great organisations doing each of these things.

At the CivTech forum, it’s the focus on start ups, run for profit with the potential for investment that sets our community focus apart.

We hope you will want to be part of it.


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