Open goverment data and software is being used to increase civic participation in a variety of ways. In this series of Rapid Fire talks from the Gov 2.0 Summit, five active practioners describe how openness in data and software is changing the way citizens consume data, organize themselves, and communicate with government.
Adrian Holovaty describes how his company Everyblock gives users a local view of many data sources, related to the specific block or neighborhood where they live. He lists a few minor tweaks that governments can do to make it easier for companies and individuals to use their data.
Carol Dumaine of Energy and Environmental Security Directorate warns about the unexpected and unpredictable nature of changes to the environment. Changes are non-linear instead of gradual, and can affect food, water, and stability for hundreds of millions of people. If we are to deal with these consequences as they arise, we need to prepare as thoroughly as we did for nuclear catastrophe during the Cold War.
Scott Heiferman of Meetup.com tells how people have used Meetup to build social capital and achieve civic purpose. When people have the ability to self-organize, then they can directly accomplish what's most important to them.
Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs talks about how the Apps for Democracy contest has created an ecosystem of innovation around Washington DC's open government data. Private citizens have found new ways to analyze data, like finding the safest places to drink based on mapping liquor licenses and crime.
Michael Tiemann of Red Hat advocates the vast quality and speed improvements that open source software provides for overall software development. Governments and organizations would get a better return on their investment by starting with open source and contributing to those projects than buying or building proprietary software.
Adrian Holovaty is a Web developer and journalist in Chicago who has made a number of diverse contributions to the Web. He created chicagocrime.org, one of the original (pre-API) Google Maps mashups; co-created the Django Web framework, used by countless people around the world; and created a Firefox extension that was the direct inspiration for Greasemonkey. His latest project is EveryBlock.
Carol Dumaine serves as head of the Energy and Environmental Security Directorate in the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy. Her current efforts involve leveraging collaborative, open international networks and existing expert communities to enhance foresight and resiliency on global energy and environmental security risks and opportunities. Prior to this, she was director of the CIA’s Global Futures Partnership, a strategic “think-and-do tank” that promoted unclassified global knowledge-sharing and networking across government and non-government sectors. Ms. Dumaine began her career as an intelligence analyst and served as an analyst and manager in the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence. She has degrees from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
Scott Heiferman is Chief Organizer of Meetup, dedicated to 21st century local community organizing. Today, millions of people are part of self-organized Meetup Groups around thousands of topics in over 100 countries – with thousands of Meetups (real events) happening daily. Meetup is now a self-sustaining operation, pursuing a long-range dream of a “Meetup Everywhere about Most Everything” – giving everyone access to a local community group when they need it. Heiferman received the Jane Addams Award from the National Conference on Citizenship and the MIT Technology Review “Innovator of the Year”. He graduated from The University of Iowa.
Peter Corbett is the founder and CEO of iStrategyLabs — an interactive agency that develops creative solutions to clients’ challenges and brings them to life in the digital and physical world. Peter has won multiple industry awards, including 2 Addys in 2010, the Great Washington DC Board of Trade’s “One To Watch” award for being “A rising entrepreneur who has a bright and sustainable future in Greater Washington”, has been named one of the most influential Washingtonians under 40 by WashingtonLife Magazine and is a “Top 25 Most Fascinating Communicator in Government IT” according to GovFresh.
Washingtonian Magazine included him in their Tech Titan list of the top 100 people shaping technology innovation in the greater capital area and Government Technology magazine included him in their prestigious “25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers” for 2010.
In Government 2.0 circles, Peter is widely known for co-creating Apps for Democracy with Vivek Kundra and DC’s Office of the CTO, as well his co-founding of Government 2.0 Club, Government 2.0 Camp, and Transparency Camp. His focus on creating—rather than just talking about—smarter, better, faster, and cheaper ways of doing things has inspired similar initiatives around the world like Apps for Democracy Finland, INCA 09 (aka Apps for Democracy Belgium), Apps for America, NYC Big Apps, SF Data Challenge and more. He is currently working on the Apps for the Army program.
Michael Tiemann wrote the GNU C++ compiler (1987), started the world’s first open source copmany (Cygnus Support, 1989), raised the first venture capital for an open source company (1996), joined the OSI Board (2003) and became President of the OSI (2005). He is also VP of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat.
This free podcast is from our Government 2.0 Summit series.