Open government isn't a new concept. Thanks to the proliferation of the printing press, the Age of Enlightenment blasted through Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and brought demands for new rights: free speech, assembly, and, of course, the freedom of the press.
Shedding light on the powers-that-be tends to inspire accountability. These days, you don't even need a bulky printing press or ink. Whether you're writing, coding, or petitioning for change on social media, you're in a pretty good position to change the way things get done in government. Just grab your laptop and get started!
You might be surprised at some of the amazing stuff being done to improve local governments by people just like you.
Videos in the playlist
- About the Sunlight Foundation. The Sunlight Foundation expects the government to share its data online and in real time. Watch this video to find out who they are and what they do.
- Jennifer Pahlka: Coding a better government. Can government be run like the Internet, permissionless and open? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can, and that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments and their neighbors.
- Martha Mendoza: Why open government is so crucial to our society. Martha Mendoza talks about the importance of open government and about using Freedom of Information laws around the globe to ensure transparency.
- Civic hacking in pursuit of democracy. There is a nascent community of civic hackers who are building apps and tools that benefit their communities and changing the face of democracy using open government data. You can even join in on the National Day of Civic Hacking on May 31 - June 1, 2014.
- Lawrence Lessig: Only you can get this, so where are you? We recently wrote about Lessig's SCALE 12x keynote, and here's the video. In it, Lessig talks about what he finds wrong with government and how bringing it into the open is key to fixing it.
- Transparency Camp. Over 500 people from 25 countries and 33 states converged for Sunlight Foundation's annual Transparency Camp, strengthening the global movement for transparency and government accountability. More information available at the official site.
- Open Government Partnership. OGP was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. For more information, visit the official Open Government Partnership site.
- Gavin Newsom: Citizenville, Talks at Google. The Lieutenant Governor of California discusses his book, which outlines how all citizens can use technology to improve their governments.