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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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Who's the Public? Two Views

Who’s the Public? Two Views

In the last post I outlined a method of public involvement based on a model of interest group competition. The main players in that approach are the sponsoring agencies and the organized advocacy groups. The public at large is consulted but plays a very limited role. I’d like to add a few more thoughts about […]

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Who's the Public in Public Involvement?

Who’s the Public in Public Involvement?

This is the first in a series of posts on the role of the public in governmental decision-making. This one addresses the practical implementation of a widely used model of participatory process. The next will suggest alternative ideas about how the public might be regarded, and the third will examine new technologies for participation that […]

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Who Controls Collaboration?

Who Controls Collaboration?

Who controls collaboration? That might seem a contradiction in terms since the process itself requires joint decisions by the participants. But the issue of control doesn’t go away so easily. Several months into policy negotiations with a large collaborative group, I arrived at the last planning session for a critical meeting that was to take […]

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Clay Shirky: Hierarchy vs. Collaborative Leadership

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