Public Involvement

“Cognitive Surplus” and Participation in Government

Some Rights Reserved by Web2Expo at Blip.tv Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, presented his idea of cognitive surplus a couple of years ago, but it seems especially relevant to the current push toward open government, most notably by the Obama Administration but also by public agencies at […]

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Public Outreach and Consensus Building Training Video

This is a federal Department of Energy training film designed for DOE project managers. Because its purpose is real-world training, it avoids sugarcoating most dimensions of a difficult process. As a result, it’s one of the best introductions to the overall principles of community involvement that I’ve found online. Its main subject is the citizen […]

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The City of Santa Cruz Goes Online for Public Ideas

Video courtesy of Web 2.0 ExpoSF-’09 and O’Reilly Media. Peter Koht of the City of Santa Cruz, CA, describes the city’s online method for gathering public ideas about how to handle a severe budget crisis. The platform is uservoice. Similar to the IdeaScale system used in the White House Open Government Initiative, it allows users […]

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The Wisdom of Crowds, Collaborative Networks & Public Policy

The Wisdom of Crowds, Collaborative Networks & Public Policy

Over the last few years, concepts like collaboration, the wisdom of crowds and collaborative networks have taken hold as innovative ways for involving large groups of people to help solve complicated public policy problems. However, the terms are often used so loosely that they’re in danger of being lumped together and, in effect, dismissed, especially […]

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Online Networks & the Future of Politics

Andrew Rasiej, the founder of Personal Democracy Forum (PdF), gives an overview in this video of changes in politics and citizen engagement made possible by network technologies. As described online, PdF is “an annual conference and community website about the intersection of politics and technology,” especially the way in which “[t]echnology and the Internet are […]

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Who's the Public & How Should They Participate?

Who’s the Public & How Should They Participate?

In the previous post in this series, I discussed the concept of the public as a network comprised of interrelated groups, some focused on private interests, some focused on larger community concerns or institutions. The approach to public involvement that definition suggests is a collaborative one that draws citizens into the early stages of formulating […]

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