civic engagement

Driving innovation with open source

FutureGov event report

On May 22, eighteen senior officials from the Singapore Government gathered at the FutureGov lunch briefing Open Source, Open Government—to discuss how open source technology can drive openness and innovation in the public sector.

The senior IT decision makers attending the event were from agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, Land Transport Authority, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore Management University, and the Ministry of Communications and Information, among others. » Read more

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What innovations can change America’s voting rates?

What innovations can change America’s voting rates?

People often ask me about various innovative efforts to change America’s voting rates, habits, or options. There is a ton of interesting experimentation happening here, from TurboVote to ElectNext to Americans Elect. I haven’t dug in deeply to any of these projects, but it’s clear they are offering some new thinking to a deep and important problem. » Read more

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Find civic engagement tools and their stories at Engagement Commons beta

Find civic engagement tools and their stories at Engagement Commons beta

With civic engagement becoming an increasingly critical component of successful governance in the 21st century, cities around the world are seeking to leverage technology as a tool for citizen participation, but civic leaders face real challenges finding, evaluating, and deploying the right tools in the absence of good information.That’s why earlier this year, we announced our plans to build Engagement Commons: a comprehensive and dynamic catalog of the tools available for civic engagement and the real-world stories of their deployments. » Read more

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Time for government to plug into one open source platform?

open source platform for .gov websites

In a new blog post, Gartner’s Andrea Di Maio asks if it’s time to pull the plug on government websites? Di Maio cites one Japanese city’s decision to migrate its online presence to Facebook as an example of an outside-the-box approach to government web operations.

One comment from ‘Carolyn’ makes a strong case why the Facebook approach is short-sighted: » Read more

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Four ways Summer of Smart has reinvented civic hackathons

Open source civic hackathon

Personal Democracy Forum‘s TechPresident recently published a post on the drawbacks of "civic hackathons" – weekends where, generally, developers and designers set out to solve city problems through coding and rapid prototyping in the course of 48 hours or less. This post, from TechPresident Associate Editor Nick Judd, was followed up by a very well-written article from Alex Howard of O’Reilly Radar highlighting the importance of realizing sustainability, community, and civic value beyond a single weekend of hacking and prototyping civic solutions. » Read more

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Here comes the Neighborland: Creating communities by crowdsourcing

Neighborland is a new ideation crowdsourcing startup that gives citizens a “fun and easy way for residents to suggest new businesses and services that they want in their neighborhood.”

Founded by Candy Chang, Tee Parham and Dan Parham, and funded by the Tulane Social Entrepreneurship program with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, it launched in alpha mode this June in New Orleans.

Co-founder Dan Parham shares his thoughts on the new venture. » Read more

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Planning ahead for a new breed of "public" spaces

Think about a public space. Maybe it’s a park, or a public library, but some physical space owned by government. We have different expectations about public spaces, and our freedoms in them, compared to private spaces.

Think about a place where civic happenings go on, where dialogue and delivery of services occur. What comes to mind for me is the (maybe nostalgic) notion of a bustling city hall. People go there to interact with government and each other, and accomplish something. In theory, at least.

Now, imagine this public space is virtual. » Read more

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