Because it’s not how to build community, it’s how you build your community.

Every agency, office, and department is unique, each with a specific mission, culture, and constituency. If you want to make the most of what you have, you have to understand and leverage these fundamentals. Yep yep, we can help with that.

31 May 2012

It was me.

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Okay, so the trip to Moldova was awesome for many reasons – the accomplishments, the international experts, the Moldovans, the food, the wine… but there is one thing that I haven’t explicitly said about it yet and that is that I ended up facilitating the Open Innovation Challenge “Apps for Moldova” three-day TechCamp/Hackathon and (all modesty aside) making it rock.

My hope is that this leads to more work like this. So much good in such a short period time, all led with a locals-know-best-but-international-experts-have-a-lot-of-good-advice-to-share mentality.

Good stuff.

20 September 2010

The Truth about Collaboration.

In order to collaborate, people have to see value in collaborating. Put another way, an individual or organization will only participate in a collaborative endeavour if they believe that doing so will further their own self-interest.

27 August 2010

OpenGov End Goals

Maxine Teller and I had a brief conversation at GovLoop’s GovUp last night about what the goal of the OpenGov movement actually is (and how it’s currently rather ill-defined). As I’d been thinking along the same lines, I suggested that we start a public conversation around this idea and see what happens. This is the beginning of that.

As I am want to do, I’d like to start from a universal and very idealistic perspective. Therefore, I propose that our goal is not actually just to improve government, but that in fact we’re looking to improve society as a whole. Succinctly put, our actual goals are to create:

  1. citizens that are engaged in the activities of their governments, and
  2. governments that are efficient, effective, and responsive to the needs of their citizens.

Transparency, participation, and collaboration are necessary components of creating this, and while technology can help, we need to keep in mind that it’s only useful if it helps to meet these needs.

What do you think? What am I missing? Am I on track here or far afield?

22 June 2009

Communicating with Congress Camp

Okay, so the name may change but the concept is definitely sound.

In a discussion this weekend with Noel Dickover of CommuniBuild and Andrew Wright of Grasshopr, Noel suggested that we convene a barcamp to focus on citizen’s engagement with Congress. He was right of course, and so the ship has been set to sail – the organization has begun.

Noel sent out an initial email to some people including the Open House Project this morning. I responded, adding on a Google Group to facilitate organizing, and by the end of the day, there were already 19 people in the group with some very healthy discussions around naming and the proper date well under way (currently looking like Sept 11, 12 – but we’ll see).

It’s exciting to stumble upon something that is so in need of happening and to be part of bringing it to fruition. This should be a very fun experience that will bring a lot of benefit to a community of individuals that have yet to be convened. I will not pretend to know the outcome of this event, but I’m pretty sure it will have a strong impact on the ways that citizens engage with Congress.

5 November 2008

Election Day

Well it seems to be official that the internet is headed to the White House. This is great news for the American people and the world. Increased involvement of the populace in government improves government. FDR utilized radio to talk directly to the American people in his fireside chats. How will Obama utilize the internet to enable direct discussion with the American people? And even moreso, how will he utilize these capabilities to engage with the citizens around the rest of the world?

The expectations are high and whatever happens, it’s going to be exciting.

20 August 2008

Getting Closer

I’m almost ready to take the main website live. It’s very exciting! I am continuously amazed how long seemingly simple things take to accomplish well.

I think that the delays are good for me, however – the more people I talk to and the closer I get to going public, the more I am reminded that I do not have all the answers. My recent realization is that the currently critical component of this project is the creation of a community that is devoted to seeing this project through. This component is a little unique in that the community needs to be as all-inclusive of interested parties as possible. This means that my goal is rapidly becoming to establish the Open Forum Foundation as a framework within which the experts can discuss and create solutions.

Of course, I am offering Project One as the foundation for those solutions.

I am just struggling with email newsletter and blog post subscriptions. When that wraps up, I will take the WordPress portion of the site live.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to contact people in all the vital communities, get the legal foundation laid, and finish up the wiki so that it can go live when the time is right, also.