Towards a Citizen Internet: The Opportunity for Civic Software

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The last decade has seen the organic growth of the web as a platform, enabling near-frictionless community-building, social communication, and collective action. But the institutions citizens support …

The last decade has seen the organic growth of the web as a platform, enabling near-frictionless community-building, social communication, and collective action. But the institutions citizens support to represent our collective will and achieve our common goals have been left behind, largely by their own design. Today, several factors are converging to make recrafting of government possible, and a key ingredient are the very hackers and designers who see the enormous opportunity to build a "citizen Internet."

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  • Story of ever increasing cynicismGreat generationTo gen xAnd it’s true that distrust is highest now
  • But something changed
  • Why and how is this true?If so where does it lead us?I think the story of the Internet and the story of government are intersecting. Mostly have been mirror images of each other, but they are coming together in a way that is opening up the possibility for fundamental change.
  • If you’re 18, you take Web 2.0 for granted. TOR coined the term in 2004, but he was calling something that had been happening for a while.
  • In lots of arguably trivial, arguably non-trivial ways, the web has solved problems ofMany to many communicationCollective actionGenerating, sorting ideas and elevating the best ones to the topExperimentation….cheap to try stuff, Analysis…. Easy to know what works and what doesn’t and to pivot
  • One of the effects of this is that industries have been disrupted
  • From this
  • To this
  • You notice that yp looks more complex and G looks simpler but of course Google is vastly more complex than the YP, it just has a very simple interface to it.
  • Contrastgoogle with thisClearly really complex
  • The PRA mandates that all federal government agencies must obtain a Control Number from OMB before promulgating a form that will impose an information collection burden on the general public. Once obtained, approval must be renewed every three years. In order to obtain or renew such approval, an agency must fill out OMB Form 83-I, attach the proposed form, and file it with OIRA. On Form 83-I, the agency must explain the reason why the form is needed and estimate the burden in terms of time and money that the form will impose upon the persons required to fill it out.
  • Story of the veterans project$722M for CityTime …. And it doesn’t work
  • Final difference is that startup will inevitably have an API INTERFACE
  • Open up from the outside in
  • First wave of citizen apps came out of this. One way. Data goes from gov to citizens in useful ways.
  • Data goes both ways….. Saves the city money…. Engages citizensFrom the inside…. You can’t do this as part of a contestSolves a real problem
  • Transition in Transparency from gotcha
  • To HelpfulHOW TO GET DATA OUTDon’t fire til you see the whites of their eyes
  • On the one hand we have a system in major crisisOn the other hand we have a system with huge waste built into itCut the right things….. But how do we know??? Need data analysisInsert boston slide
  • Opening up data allows citizens to fill in the gaps in governmentPopular idea…. Has some pitfalls
  • Neither of these butgovt as a platform
  • What if small meant the little things, big meant the big things, and citizens had a role in BOTH
  • Let me return to demographics at this point.Started with millenlials
  • Neither of these butgovt as a platform
  • Who will replace them?
  • There’s a new model for government IT….A new set of vendorsBut also a new community and a networked workforce that makes the boundaries more porous
  • Opportunity of your generationApply the lessons of the web to our largest public institutionReinvent governmentMake it work for youWhat TOOLS do we have?
  • Opportunity of your generationApply the lessons of the web to our largest public institutionReinvent governmentMake it work for youWhat TOOLS do we have?
  • There’s a new model for government IT….A new set of vendorsBut also a new community and a networked workforce that makes the boundaries more porous

Transcript

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4. CAP study
    Millennials, ages 18 to 32, have more confidence in government and rate its performance higher than do older adults.
    Young adults are also strongly receptive to a reform agenda that would strip away wasteful spending and focus on improve- ments in the delivery of government services.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. The best of intentions
    Presidential Records Act (1978)
    Paperwork Reduction Act (1980)
    Federal Advisory Committee Act (1972)
    Procurement Processes
  • 13.
  • 14. The best of intentions
    Internet Startup
    Agile
    Evolving
    Short cycles
    Test-driven
    Leverages existing platforms
    Government IT
    Full spec
    Static
    Long cycles
    Tested at end
    Independent of existing platforms
    Integrated with legacy systems
  • 15.
  • 16. 1993
  • 17. 2005
  • 18. 2007
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24. adopt-a-hydrant
  • 25.
  • 26. Where’s My Bus App?
  • 27. THE GREATEST LIE SPOKEN BY PEOPLE LIKE ME TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU
  • 28. ELECT ME AND I’LL SOLVE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS
  • 29. Cities in crisis
    84% of cities face significant financial difficulties
    92% expected to have trouble meeting citizens’ needs
    What would you cut?
    Source: ICMA
  • 30.
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33. The Boston Project
  • 34.
  • 35.
  • 36.
  • 37.
  • 38.
  • 39. The Citizen Internet
  • 40.
  • 41. "You need to understand your bureaucracy in order to use it against itself.”
    - Chris Vein
  • 42. A New Kind of PublicService
  • 43.
  • 44. We recruit leading web and tech professionals, as well as recent graduates from top-notch schools who have a passion for public service.
    2011 Recruitment
    362 Applications
    20 Fellows
    5.5% Acceptance
    2011 CfA Fellows
  • 45. Cross-Sector Collaboration
  • 46.
  • 47. Fellows Program
  • 48. Progress Report
  • 49. February Awesome Sauce
    444 Interviews
    68 Events
    4 Datacamps
    3 Ignite Talks
    12 projects in development
    In front of 3000+ people
    12-15 news articles
    A big pot of love
  • 50.
  • 51. SEAAPI.com
  • 52. HearNear.org
  • 53.
  • 54. Septa.Mobi
  • 55. PhillyApi.com
  • 56.
  • 57. Boston Rebranding
    After
    Before
  • 58.
  • 59. dcfoodshed.appspot.com/
  • 60.
  • 61.
  • 62. Opportunity now
  • 63. http://c4a.me/earlyapp
    jen@codeforamerica.org @pahlkadot @codeforamerica
  • 64. CfA Summer Internship
    http://c4a.me/interns11