government

Government in the context of civic media work is any form of civil authority at any level from local to national and international. It can refer to entities that are elected or appointed. The term also includes the processes involved in government: deliberation, voting, election campaigns, and making policy.

Hawaii Proposes the First Civic Crowdfunding Legislation

Hawaii has become the first state to propose a bill supporting civic crowdfunding, as it seeks to raise funds for the maintenance and repair of local schools.

HB2631 outlines a pilot program in which two maintenance projects at Hawaii schools are selected for public crowdfunding campaigns.

Trip Report: Connecting with Belo Horizonte, Brazil

I just returned from a fascinating week in Belo Horizonte (Brazil)!  The trip was organized by the Office of Strategic Priorities (@escritorio_gov) of the State of Minas Gerais (they are members of the MIT Media Lab).  The Escritorio joined the Media Lab to think harder about fostering innovation and empowering their citizens.  Following those themes, we worked together and planned an agenda that focused on four main activities:

Shaka Senghor and Martha Minow discuss mass incarceration and restorative justice

Notes from the Media Lab Conversations Series with Shaka Senghor and Martha Minow, 2/7. This is a collaborative liveblog and may contain errors. Contributors: Edward L. Platt and Erhardt Graeff.

Shaka Senghor - Author, mentor, activist, ML Director's Fellow. Author of Writing My Wrongs

Martha Minow - Dean and Prof at Harvard Law School. Author of Between Vengeance and Forgiveness

SHAKA

Shaka's journey started as many others in his community in Detroit during the crack era. He ran away at age 13, got involved with selling drugs and became addicted. He was robbed at gunpoint, beaten, and left for dead in the back of a crack house.

Scaling the unicorns: Diverse perspectives that serve the public good

In a room of urban planners, architects, engineers, data viz experts, designers, programmers, and media professionals, we asked, “how do we scale the unicorns?”

Unicorns are those perspectives we need, the ones we easily demand but are hard to find. Women coders, technologists in local government, architects in humanitarian aid, geographers in newsrooms.


Unicorns, by rahuldlucca on Flickr

Initial Reflections on Promise Tracker

Testing the Promise Tracker app in Belo Horizonte

Last week a group of us from Civic returned from a two-week trip in Brazil, where we were busy testing the initial prototype of a project called Promise Tracker. Our work involved creating a mobile phone application that enables citizens to collect data on infrastructure developments related to promises made by their elected officials.

[Peer economy] Why the peer economy comes off as "share-washing"

Pay attention to Tom Slee; he's snide, but he's spot-on. In a recent blog post, he neatly sums up how peer economy proponents appear to advocate selectively for its place in the formal economy.

[Peer economy] The home stretch!

The radio silence is over; the last time I posted specifically for the Civic blog was fall 2013. I'm not continuing onto a Ph.D. after June, so before I leave my post as an academic who researches the peer economy, I'm going to report what I'm seeing and sensing as I see and sense it.


20-20! Get it?! This will also be the last semester of bad puns.

To keep myself accountable, here's a smattering of what I'll dive into this semester:

Kansas City Hosts The Biggest Civic Crowdfunding Campaign Ever

Today the Kansas City-based non-profit BikeWalkKC launched the biggest civic crowdfunding campaign ever, to extend the bikeshare scheme the group partially crowdfunded in 2012.

They're running ten $100,000 campaigns for the next 46 days on on Neighbor.ly (also based in KC), one for each of the ten zones of the city in which they're planning to build new stations. The total ask of $1M is, as far as I'm aware, the largest civic project on an online crowdfunding platform to date.

It's a huge task, but the campaign has already raised $300,000 in matching funds: $200,000 from the Federal Highway Administration and $50,000 each from two Kansas City-based organizations, the Kaufman Foundation and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. BikeWalkKC will continue to try and raise more big-dollar donations as the campaign progresses. If BikeWalkKC are successful they'll be able to install an additional 15 bike stations, taking the total in the city to 27.

Seamus Kraft: Producing Open Laws and Open Legislation

On Thursday, December 5th, Seamus Kraft from the OpenGov Foundation gave a lunch talk at the MIT Center for Civic Media. This is a liveblog of the talk authored by Alexis Hope, Heather Craig, & @schock.

Lorrie introduces the talk: Seamus studied classical political theory, went into government, discovered that government is complicated and should be open, and then founded OpenGov Foundation. His talk today will focus on how data and people are coming together.

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