Virtual Worlds and the Rise of the Goverati (Poster and Video)


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What is the Goverati? Mark Drapeau defines it as made up of people with first-hand knowledge of how the government operates, who understand how to use social software to accomplish a variety of government missions, and who want to use that knowledge for the benefit of all.

Today our society faces numerous challenges from the economy to the climate. As a democratic society we must engage the general public and crowd source the solutions. That said, we have a long way to go and the Goverati can not do it alone. Do you want to be part of the solution? Moreover, how can your government enable you to execute on your ideas?

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Virtual Worlds and the Rise of the Goverati (Poster and Video)

  1. 1. Virtual Worlds and the Rise of the Goverati 1, 1,2, 3 Eric Hackathorn Brandon Lynge Derek Parks 1NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado 2Contract with Systems Research Group, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado 3 NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Silver Spring, Maryland (watch the movie!) What is the “Goverati?” Creating an interactive government 1. Maintaining crowd conditions 4. Understanding the data Unfortunately, governmental policy always seems to lag Virtual worlds allow for large scale interactions As part of The Administration's open government initiative behind the latest innovations and can blur the path towards while doing a good job insuring everyone is there is a push to publish vast amounts of government data the best solutions. Policy protects us from the unknown or participating. in open standards for public consumption. Virtual worlds offer “The Goverati is made up of people with harmful, but it is not very good at driving change. unique capabilities to take that data and visualize it in first-hand knowledge of how the government Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist who works immersive and easily understandable fashions. operates, who understand how to use social at Oxford University, concluded that the software to accomplish a variety of cognitive power of the brain limits the size government missions, and who want to use of the social network that an individual can that knowledge for the benefit of all. It As we look to the future, what if the Goverati became more develop. Virtual settings are typically limited to around this includes high-profile thinkers outside of the that a marginalized group? What if it became the foundation number (approx.150) of simultaneous visitors. government who have an interest in a more open, Scoble’s Number of a new movement, and by using social technologies our transparent, and efficient government. Using formal and government was recreated by the people for the people? informal social networks, the Goverati is networking, sharing Second Earth Science On A Sphere information, and changing how parts of the government Ten years ago, 80% of the content on the Internet was written Second Life + Google Earth in a Extending real life programs into a interact with each other and with citizens.quot; collaborative GIS mashup virtual space by traditional media organizations. Today, this has changed. -Mark Drapeau The market expects -- even demands the opportunity to Virtual world examples Hutch Carpenter, Spigit participate in the conversations going on behind our In essence, virtual worlds do a good job bringing a humanly Why is it necessary? corporate firewall. understandable sized community back to the Internet by NOAA is working on a massively multi-player simulation increasing the level of interaction. Today, the public demands transparency, participation, and where each user controls a small planet. A player invests collaboration in ways government does not yet provide - resources in energy, agriculture, production, and other areas 2. Higher levels of collaboration mostly because the needed tech because the needed seeing how their choices effect the quality of life on their technologies have not yet been vetted through our planet. The goal is to teach users about the complexity of the Virtual worlds allow groups to work bureaucracy. We‟ve created one too many committees, left trade-offs involved in sustainable living. Each world is together towards a common goal with out the citizens, and now we are late to the party. networked with other players to encourage competition and a higher bandwidth than their 2D This change isn't just reflected in the media, it's beginning to to identify the best solutions. counterparts. In this example, a group reflect in our governance. What if through social networking is building a house from a blue print. tools like virtual worlds the political conversation became two directional? Could we harness the concept collective RL Architecture Group in SL What if the goal wasn't to build a house but to engage a intelligence in order to improve our governance? group of stakeholders to design a better energy plant, factory, It is hard to even explain to senior management why we need social or bill for congress? James Surowiecki wrote a book called The Wisdom of technologies as its inherent advantages Less than optimal communications are distilled out into static power point Crowds. In his book, Surowiecki demonstrates several What would happen if NOAA were to ask a large enough strategy slides due to the lack of access at the A collaborative mind-mapping tool situations where the many are smarter than the few. office. segment of its customers to take a guess about tomorrow „s where a group can brainstorm ideas “Wise crowds” need: weather? What if we offered incentives for the closest Why is it important now? in real-time while literally walking predictions and created a type of futures exchange around through the associated concepts. •diversity of opinion weather modeling? Under the right conditions, could we Though the idea of the Goverati isn't new, many have said •independence of members from one another improve our scientific understanding by taking into account our society is reaching an inflection point where these ideas •decentralization 3. Conveying a sense of ownership the input our combined social network? are reaching a critical mass. •a good method for aggregating opinions Virtual worlds increase the sense of personal ownership for participants. Similar to wikis, virtual worlds provide the framework for collaborative design saving revisions as part How can virtual worlds help? of the history. By empowering individuals to take a common design in personalized directions virtual worlds convey a Virtual worlds have the ability to create communities and sense of personal ownership of a common goal. foster smart crowds in ways never before seen on the Internet. This presentation covers four advantages including: Contact information 1. maintaining optimal crowd conditions Our president is being referred to as the NOAA’s Virtual Worlds Program first “wired” president. He is remaking GovLoop may be an early sign of this 2. increasing the level of collaboration change and already boasts over 9,000 the white house website as a members made up of both government conversational medium and soliciting 3. conveying a sense of ownership employees and contractors. feedback on how to run his 325 Broadway R/GSD6 T: (303) 497-6831 administration. Incredibly, he is even 4. understanding the data the first sitting president to use email. Wikitecture Group in Second Life Boulder, CO 80305 E: TEMPLATE DESIGN © 2008