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.

81 Ways Humanitarian Aid has Become Participatory

Update: I've since posted my full thesis and a short summary of it.

My Media Lab Master's thesis argues that information and communication technologies, and particularly the web, have expanded the range of ways the public can help in times of crisis, even (or especially) if we're nowhere near said crisis. Or, to be more formal about it, participatory aid is mutual, peer-to-peer aid mediated or powered by information and communication technology. We're building a platform to help coordinate participatory aid projects, but first, I wanted to share some examples.

Organizing the Internet to Protect the Open Internet #NCMR13

Future of the Internet panel

Josh Levy, Internet Campaign Director at Free Press, introduces the topic. The SOPA protest was the biggest online protest we've seen. Millions of people participated and made a real impact. For organizers who have been fighting on open internet issues, it was exciting to see so many people take action and recognize that the internet is something you have to proactively protect, or else the openess that you know and love and maybe didn't think about before could go away.

An alphabet soup of bills and meetings have followed in SOPA's wake (CISPA, ECPA, CFAA, WCIT and FISA). We've had to learn what they mean and figure out how to leverage this newly engaged network to beat back the bad bills and support the good bills and educate the public on why the open internet is so important.

Panelists:

Susan Crawford's Captive Audience Talk at the MIT Media Lab

Liveblog of Susan Crawford talking about her new book Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age at the Media Lab Conversations Series.

Molly Sauter contributed to this liveblog, and Rodrigo Davies previously posted our transcription of the Q&A portion of the event.

Introduction and Biography
Susan Crawford was at the Media Lab today to talk about her new book Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age. She is a highly-respected lawyer and professor and has taught at Cardozo Law School, University of Michigan, Yale, and now Harvard Law School. She was on Obama's transition team reviewing the FCC, and a special advisor to Obama Administration on Innovation and Tech policy. She is also a former board member of ICANN and founder of OneWebDay.

Civic crowdfunding at #SXSWi 2013 - liveblog

SXSW2013

This week I spoke on a panel at SXSW Interactive on civic crowdfunding, titled "Can crowdfunding save local government budgets (SXSW 2013)?" Here's a liveblog of the talk, by Helena Puig Larrauri and Leah Jones.

Panelists: Eric Engelman - advisor for Mayor of San Diego
Story Bellows - co-director of Mayor’s office of new urban mechanics in Philadelphia
Rodrigo Davies - researcher at MIT and advisor for Spacehive
Jordan Raynor - Co-founder of @citizinvestor

Teaching government how to fail

Image by Soelin (http://www.flickr.com/photos/soelin)

"Our job is to get government used to the idea of failing."

Nigel Jacobs' New Urban Mechanics team at Boston's City Hall has piloted several successful projects since its launch in 2010, from video game-inspired citizen engagement platforms to mobile apps to report potholes. But according to Jacob, one of the most important contributions the team is making to civic innovation is not building great apps and services, but in giving government officials the space to get things wrong.

How Do We Make Social Media In Higher Ed More Awesome?

In a guest post published today on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Head Count” admissions and enrollment blog (for which I myself have written), Jack Baworowsky, VP of enrollment management at Dominican University, warns his colleagues that it “is not a question of if but when will there be a major shift in the way we think about student recruitment.”

Sorry, Nerds, But Obama Was Right About The Jedi Meld (And Metaphysics)

Today, during a heated discussion on the sequester, a frustrated President Barack Obama made the following statement to the press corps as they challenged him to show more leadership in negotiations:

"I'm presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right."

Bringing a Nation's Archives Online

(a Civic lunch liveblogged with Nathan Matias and Rahul Bhargava)

Today, we're hearing from the National Archives and Records Adminisration about the archives they maintain, how they're making those archives available online at Archives.gov, and approaches to sharing the archives to broader audiences.

Pamela Wright is the Chief Innovation Officer at the National Archives and Records Administration. Bill Mayer is the Executive for Research Services at NARA. Michael Moore is the Access Coordinator for Research Services East (right here in Waltham, MA).

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