Archive by Author

Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry

New book by Caroline W. Lee: “Citizen participation has undergone a radical shift since anxieties about “bowling alone” seized the nation in the 1990s. Many pundits and observers have cheered America’s twenty-first century civic renaissance-an explosion of participatory innovations in public life. Invitations to “have your say!” and “join the discussion!” have proliferated. But has […]

White House: Help Shape Public Participation

Corinna Zarek and Justin Herman at the White House Blog: “Public participation — where citizens help shape and implement government programs — is a foundation of open, transparent, and engaging government services. From emergency management and regulatory development to science and education, better and more meaningful engagement with those who use public services can measurably […]

Understanding “New Power”

Article by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms in Harvard Business Review: “We all sense that power is shifting in the world. We see increasing political protest, a crisis in representation and governance, and upstart businesses upending traditional industries. But the nature of this shift tends to be either wildly romanticized or dangerously underestimated. There are […]

Smart cities: the state-of-the-art and governance challenge

New Paper by Mark Deakin in Triple Helix – A Journal of University-Industry-Government Innovation and Entrepreneurship: “Reflecting on the governance of smart cities, the state-of-the-art this paper advances offers a critique of recent city ranking and future Internet accounts of their development. Armed with these critical insights, it goes on to explain smart cities in terms […]

Crowdsourcing and Humanitarian Action: Analysis of the Literature

Patrick Meier:  “Raphael Hörler from Zurich’s ETH University has just completed his thesis on the role of crowdsourcing in humanitarian action. His valuable research offers one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive reviews of the principal players and humanitarian technologies in action today. In short, I highly recommend this important resource. Raphael’s full thesis is available here (PDF).”

Challenging Critics of Transparency in Government

Norman Eisen at Brookings’s FIXGOV: “Brookings today published my paper, “Why Critics of Transparency Are Wrong.” It describes and subsequently challenges a school of thinkers who in various ways object to government openness and transparency. They include some very distinguished scholars and practitioners from Francis Fukuyama to Brookings’ own Jonathan Rauch. My co-authors, Gary Bass […]

Look to Government—Yes, Government—for New Social Innovations

Paper by Christian Bason and Philip Colligan: “If asked to identify the hotbed of social innovation right now, many people would likely point to the new philanthropy of Silicon Valley or the social entrepreneurship efforts supported by Ashoka, Echoing Green, and Skoll Foundation. Very few people, if any, would mention their state capital or Capitol Hill. […]

Smarter Than Us: The Rise of Machine Intelligence

  Book by Stuart Armstrong at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute: “What happens when machines become smarter than humans? Forget lumbering Terminators. The power of an artificial intelligence (AI) comes from its intelligence, not physical strength and laser guns. Humans steer the future not because we’re the strongest or the fastest but because we’re the […]

Linguistic Mapping Reveals How Word Meanings Sometimes Change Overnight

Emerging Technology From the arXiv: “In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy approached the eastern coast of the United States. At the same time, the English language was undergoing a small earthquake of its own. Just months before, the word “sandy” was an adjective meaning “covered in or consisting mostly of sand” or “having light yellowish brown […]