National Civic Summit America Speaks Josh Chernila


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  • Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans believe that “most elected officials care what people like me think.” Only 36% said they think “they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right.”
  • Who is WE?
  • Large scale 130,000 people Throughout America – all 50 states and DC In Europe, Australia Presentations around the world including Asia and here in Canada!
  • Despite America’s lamentable ranking as #15 worldwide in the adoption of broadband internet technologies, broadband adoption continues to expand. A June 2009 Pew study showed a full 63% of Americans with current access to high-speed internet; up from 55% in 2008. President Obama is devoted to continuing these trends and closing the international gap. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sets aside a whopping $7.2 billion to promote broadband adoption in low-income communities.
  • Expanding broadband access means increasing social interaction. Increasing amounts of online activity are finding their way into high-quality, high-touch online communications. Social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter each boast subscriber bases in excess of 100 million. Local governments and agencies provide an increasing volume of data and transactional services online, ranging from paying parking tickets, to raw data at, to the deep and broad range of services offered through GSA’s portal at The Obama Campaign’s groundbreaking use of internet social networking demolished any doubts of the intersection of technology, government and politics. mobilized millions of volunteers and supporters and helped to raise over half a billion dollars online. These currents and thousands like them are rewriting both history and conventional wisdom. Politics, Democracy, and Governance will henceforth include online participation. Americans are eager to get involved. Facebook started off as a small social network popular among some college students. Then in the past few years Facebook’s users have skyrocketed as Facebook went mainstream. First among college students, then once it was open to the public, it blew the gates open as millions of new users young and old joined to check out this new social network. In April 2009, the social network passed 300 million unique visitors a month according to ComScore. 160% increase from April of 2008. Facebook also has 225 monthly active users.   Twitter continues strong as it jumped 70% in March with 32 million worldwide uniques, while MySpace has flat lined at 123 million uniques a month. MySpace has recently shaken up their leadership in order to rejuvenate their stagnating figures.
  • Diverse representation ensures that the full community is represented in the process. Informed participation provides participants with highly accessible materials that neutrally frame the issues and provide a baseline of information to begin discussions. Facilitated deliberation makes certain all voices are heard and that each participant plays an active role in the deliberations. Shared priorities are the endgame, so the process is designed to foster a high level of agreement among participants’ common priorities. Links to action are the backbone of civic participation, requiring active involvement from decision-makers and key leaders throughout a project. Large scale meetings (500 to 5,000 participants) enable the outcomes to have greater visibility and credibility with policy-makers, the media, key stakeholders, and the public as a whole. Sustaining citizen engagement in the policy-making process – through opportunities to take action – develops civic leadership and enhances implementation of public priorities.
  • National Civic Summit America Speaks Josh Chernila

    1. 1. The Next Big Step: Integrating Face-to-Face Deliberations with Web 2.0 Janet D. Fiero, Ph.D. Josh Chernila America Speaks
    2. 2. Campaigning Is Easy <ul><li>Many easy ways to get engaged: canvassing, phone banks, fundraisers </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate interacts directly with the people </li></ul><ul><li>People make their choices based on their values and their judgment of the candidate’s values & character </li></ul><ul><li>There is a date certain when someone wins or someone loses </li></ul>
    3. 3. Governing is Hard <ul><li>Not clear how citizens can get engaged. </li></ul><ul><li>No easy way to keep a link between the people and the President </li></ul><ul><li>There is no date certain to drive decisions. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Declining Trust in Government
    5. 5. CITIZENS AS 1. Constituents/Customers 2. Citizens as decision-makers Two Ways to Impact Public Trust
    6. 6. Changing the Way Government Relates to People
    7. 7. Strengthening Democracy Conference
    8. 8. Obama Memorandum on Open Government <ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>America Speaks ’ mission is to reinvigorate American democracy by engaging citizens in the public decisions that most impact their lives </li></ul>
    10. 10. America Speaks Video Tough Choices in Healthcare, State of Maine, 2004 2 locations: Orono and Biddeford
    11. 11. Table Dialogue
    12. 12. Diverse Participants
    13. 13. Informed Dialogue
    14. 14. Facilitation & Event Support <ul><li>Lead Facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>Area Facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>Table Facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>Floor Support </li></ul><ul><li>• Technical </li></ul><ul><li>• Floor Managers </li></ul><ul><li>• Issue Experts </li></ul><ul><li>• Constituency Services </li></ul><ul><li>• Volunteers </li></ul>1 2 3 4 1
    15. 15. Participatory Technology Wireless Computers Polling Keypads
    16. 16. Participatory Technology Wireless Computers Polling Keypads
    17. 17. Theme Team & Reporting
    18. 18. America Moving Online
    19. 19. Democratizing Web
    20. 20. Rules of Engagement <ul><li>Diverse representation </li></ul><ul><li>Informed participation </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitated deliberation </li></ul><ul><li>Shared priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Links to action </li></ul><ul><li>Large scale meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining citizen engagement </li></ul>
    21. 21. Fully integrate citizen voices into decision making so engagement becomes the way the community does its public business Long Term Goal for Deliberative Democracy
    22. 22. <ul><li>&quot;Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>President Abraham Lincoln </li></ul>
    23. 23.