Demos for Democracy
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The GovLab Demos for Democracy features PlaceSpeak, a location-based citizen engagement platform

Demos for Democracy is an ongoing series of interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of new governance platforms, tools or methods designed to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

On March 29, 2015, the GovLab featured a 30 minute conversation and online demo with Colleen Hardwick, CEO and Founder of PlaceSpeaka geo-social place-based citizen engagement platform.

PlaceSpeak is celebrating its 5th anniversary since its earliest prototyping mechanism to pioneer a geo-social model  for helping people stay informed and engaged about what is happening in their community and city. PlaceSpeak authenticates online digital identity which enables public, private and nonprofit organizations and institutions  to consult directly with people from within specific geographic boundaries. Colleen Hardwick shares with the civic tech community how the product is being used by municipalities; the tension of encouraging sign-up and authenticating identify; and how Place Speak encourages a new form of digital democracy. Colleen’s presentation deck is available here. Watch the demo below:

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About: PlaceSpeak is a location-based citizen engagement platform that seeks to address the problem of how to consult with people online within specific geographic boundaries to produce verifiable data that supports evidence-based decision-making and public policy development at the local level.

 

About the presenter: Colleen Hardwick is the founder and CEO of PlaceSpeak, a location-based platform that authenticates online citizen engagement. A serial entrepreneur, Colleen has an academic background in urban geography and political science. She spent many years in media as a film and television producer and segued into internet technology. In 2006, she won the Vortex award for excellence in new media innovation from the Marshall McLuhan foundation.

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The GovLab: Demos for Democracy features OneSmart.City, a citizen relationship platform for any government

The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos that feature designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

On March 3, 2016 we featured OneSmart.City  A citizen relationship platform for any government

OneSmart.City was launched in November 2015. Its founders, Chuy Cepeda and Chuy Del Bosque, are bringing developer practices into government. OneSmart.City is focused on citizens and citizen engagement but is operated by government. As a 311 platform, it provides a 1 to 1 and 1 to many feedback loop. As well, it generates a digital footprint that functions beyond a citizen reporting tool by also enabling conversations and petitions.

The demos guides us through features of the tool from a variety of stakeholder perspectives: government administrators, citizens, operators and developers.

About: Cities seek ways to improve access to public services for their citizens. While developed countries have economic capabilities to analyze and develop their own technology, the cities of developing countries need to find solutions to challenges of the same magnitude but at a lower cost and higher impact.

Citizen Relationship Management platforms in Latin-america are built centered on the citizen and often oblivious to official, governmental processes. After several years of experience and feedback, we realised that a reporting tool should not be entirely focused on the citizen but also on the operating side. So we built a tool for governmental efficiency with the beauty to engage anyone. Now, any government can easily receive and resolve city reports generated by its own connected, increasingly smarter community. Read about the product specs in English here

About the presenters:

Chuy Cepeda (@chuycepeda) – Social entrepreneur and full-stack developer with formation as Mechatronics Engineer and PhD in Intelligent Systems. Passionate for empowering people with technology. His life’s about delivering technological tools to provide voice and awareness through creative deployments. He loves to contribute towards a more connected, participant and engaged humanity. In a ‘blue economy’ perspective, He believes it’s all about shifting society from scarcity to abundance “with what is locally available”. He’s the mechanic behind www.cic.mx, tehuan.cic.mx, data.cic.mx, www.invictus.mx, cc.yodiunmoche.mx, www.sociedadactua.org,www.alcaldeenlinea.com, onesmart.city, among other civic developments in Mexico.

Chuy Del Bosque (@chuydb) – Mechatronic Engineer with a master’s degree in Intelligent Systems currently enjoying the thrill as an entrepreneur. After working in the automotive industry, he left searching for a better life of coding for social good at CIC.mx, developing technology for citizen participation in modern Mexican city life. After leaving this NGO he became involved in the Mexican start-up community with Invictus.mx, searching once again for the empowerment of people through knowledge. Driven by a passion for digital cartography, multimedia art and data visualisation, he actually focuses his coding efforts on the developing and usage of open source tools with the aspiration to build a

Website: http://onesmart.city/smartUNO/

Twitter:  #onesmartcity

Brochure: Download here.

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Demos for Democracy featuring, Por Mi Barrio

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The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

On February 24, 2016, we hosted an interview and demo with Fernando Uval of Data Uruguay’s Por Mi Barrio.

Por Mi Barrio is a citizen online report tool based on FixMyStreet code (MySociety) that had been adapted for a Latin American content. It allows citizens to communicate directly with local government, through computer or mobile devices, and it enables reports on different aspects of city infrastructure. The project is based on local government compliance and utilizes offline resources and outreach to get the tool closer to the people who will benefit.

About Fernando: Fernando Uval is co-founder of DATA Uruguay, coordinator of Por Mi Barrio project and a consultant in Open Government processes. He is a student of philosophy and mechanical engineering, a self-taught programmer, passionate about openness (open software and open knowledge, among other themes) and actively participates in improving governance.

Twitter handle: @DataUY #pormibarrio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DATAUruguay/

Website: http://www.datauy.org/portfolio/pormibarrio/

Short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqXIL0qUFsk

Github: https://github.com/datauy/fixmystreet

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Demos for Democracy, featuring Topi

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The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

Topi: connecting people in a random world

February 26, 2015, we had a conversation withTopi’s founder and CEO, David Aubespin and Topi’s Chief Operating Officer, Eric Francois.

Topi was launched in December 2012 by CEO David Aubespin, a former Google engineer. The company was named after a “fast and highly-social antelope.” With the concept of networking in mind, Topi’s mobile solution makes it quick and natural to join new communities and engage with others around common interests.

Topi also comes fully loaded with all the standard features such as as agenda, speaker bios, partners, maps, etc.  Topi is a true turnkey solution that makes event planning seamless and cost-effective by integrating registration, customized event website and mobile app.

What: Watch our video to find out what Topi is, how it works, the process of its design and how can the platform be used for social good.

About David: David Aubespin has 15 years of experience in building and managing development teams. Former Google engineering manager and IBM T.J. Watson researcher with MS in Comp Science from Université de Nice and MBA from Columbia Business School.

About Eric: Eric Francois, has 14 years of experience in the finance industry advising executive management teams with market positioning and fundraising strategies. Former Lazard Frères Director and Cowen & Co VP. MA in Business and Marketing from Université de Paris Sorbonne.

Twitter handle: @topi

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Demos for Democracy, featuring Screendoor

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The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

Screendoor: supercharged forms online

On February 12, 2015 we had a conversation with Joshua Goldstein, CEO of the Department of Better Technology about   Screendoor, the flagship product of the Department of Better Technology. Screendoor is dedicated to make software that helps governments and non-profits better serve their communities. With Screendoor anyone can build forms using their free form editor, collect responses via web and mobile, and collaboratively sort, rank, and evaluate the responses.

What: Watch our video to find out what Screendoor is, how it works, the process of its design and how can the platform be used for social good.

About Josh: Joshua Goldstein is the CEO of Department of Better Technology. Before joining the company, he worked for the World Bank Group, Google and UNICEF Innovations, helping governments use technology to become more effective and inclusive. He helped launch Code for Kenya, and co-founded Apps4Africa. He has training in computational social science, and is a nutrition and endurance nerd. He has completed several ultra-marathons.

Twitter handle: @dobtco

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Demos for Democracy, featuring Ontodia

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The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

Ontodia: open data for all!

 On January 15, 2015 we had a conversation Ontodia’s co-founder, Joel Natividad. Ontodia provides solutions for unlocking the potential of Big Open Data, for governments of all sizes, and sectors that utilize open data – going beyond data publishing, to creating actionable insights.

They do this by democratizing data publishing using CKAN – the world’s leading open-source data portal technology, aiming to do what GitHub did for Git, for CKAN, with http://OpenData.city. They go further by geotemporally contextualizing open data, allowing users to immediately glean useful information, using its PediaCities KPI platform that’s pre-integrated with OpenData.city, allowing their clients to quickly create Decision Dashboards. These products were soft-launched Nov 2014.

What: Watch our video to find out what Ontodia is, how it works, the process of its design and how can the platform be used for social good.

About Joel: Joel Natividad is co-founder of Ontodia – a civic tech startup born out of Open Data.  Even before winning NYCBigApps for the second time, Joel and his long-time friend and collaborator, Sami Baig, quit their jobs, convinced that Open Data – data about us, for us, and paid by us, has the Biggest impact.  Not only will it improve and enable Gov 2.0, it will enable new business and business models that will maximize returns to society profitably.

Joel is a civic hacker and entrepreneur who did not finish his MS in Computer Science, an active open source contributor to multiple open source projects including CKAN, charter member of the Open Semantic Data Association Steering Committee, and infrequent speaker at several Semantic, Open Data, and Civic Tech gatherings.

Before Ontodia, he headed the Knowledge Engineering Practice of a small consultancy, TCG, creating knowledge systems for Fortune 100 companies in lifesciences and finance.

Twitter handle: @jqnatividad

 

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Demos for Democracy, featuring A2J Author

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The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

A2J Author: making the law work for everyone”

On December 18, 2014, we had a conversation with Alex Rabanal and John Mayer about A2J Author, a cloud based software tool that delivers greater access to justice for self-represented litigants by enabling non-technical authors from the courts, clerk’s offices, legal services organizations, and law schools to rapidly build and implement user friendly web-based interfaces for document assembly. Read more, HERE.

What: Watch our video to find out what A2J Author is, how it works, the process of its design and how can the platform be used for social good.

About Alex: Alexander Rabanal is the Access to Justice Fellow at the Center for Access to Justice & Technology at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.  In this role, Alexander provides training in A2J Author, coordinates student involvement with the Center and assists in two courses at Chicago-Kent, including the Justice & Technology Practicum, which teaches students how to create Guided Interviews in A2J Author to be used by partnering legal aid organizations.  Alexander also holds a J.D. from Chicago-Kent and is interested in the ways in which technology can be leveraged to meet the legal needs of underserved communities.

About John: John Mayer has been the Executive Director of the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) since 1994.  CALI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit consortium of almost all US law schools that does work at the intersection of legal education, technology, ebook publishing and access to justice.  CALI is the developer behind A2J Author used by over 2 million self represented people in the past 5 years.  CALI also publishes over 900 web-based tutorials in 44 different subject areas (CALI Lessons), runs eLangdell Press which publishes law school casebooks under Creative Commons licenses and has hosted the annual Conference for Law School Computing since 1991. John has a BS in Computer Science from Northwestern University and an MS in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology and has worked in legal education and technology since 1987.

 

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Demos for Democracy, featuring the Open Science Framework

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The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

Open Science Framework: increasing openness, integrity and reproducibility of scientific research

On December 12, 2014, we had a conversation with Courtney Soderberg about the Open Science Framework a free, open-source web application developed by the Center for Open Science to help researchers manage every part of the research workflow and easily implement open and reproducible practices. The OSF provides automatic logging and versioning, altmetrics for measuring impact, and personalizable privacy options so researchers can easily share an entire research project or parts of a project.

Their main objective is to create a platform to connect and document the entire research workflow from a project’s inception to its publication and open sharing. This will help to move away from the existing model of scientific communication to improve the efficiency in meeting the purpose of public science—knowledge accumulation.

What: Watch our video to find out what Open Science Framework is, how it works, the process of its design and how can the platform be used for social good.

About Courtney:  Courtney Soderberg is the Statistical and Methodological Consultant at the Center for Open Science. As part of her work she heads up the Center’s teaching and training initiatives to help scientists integrate more open and reproducible statistical and methodological practices into their workflows. Her background is in experimental social psychology and quantitative psychology.

 

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Demos for Democracy, featuring DemocracyOS

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The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

DemocracyOS: upgrading democracy for the Internet era”

On December 4, 2014 we had a conversation with Pia Mancini about DemocracyOS, a user-friendly, open-source, vote and debate tool, crafted for parliaments, parties and decision-making institutions that will allow citizens to get informed, join the conversation and vote on topics, just how they want their representatives to vote. A tool designed to transform the noise we create during protests into a signal that has a clear, direct and strong impact on the political system. Their vision is that DemocracyOS will become the operating system of a more open and participatory government.

What: Watch our video to find out what DemocracyOS is, how it works, the process of its design and how can the platform be used for social good.

More About Pia: Pia Mancini is a Political Scientist and Director of Net Democracy, a foundation that proposes a space where citizens can meet to imagine, design and implement innovations on the political system that open up democracy’s bandwidth. She is also a peer and co-founder of The Net Party, The XLab Fellow, Former Chief of Advisors Deputy Secretary of Political Affairs, Government of the City of Buenos Aires. Author of Art Bits.

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Demos for Democracy, featuring Loomio

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The GovLab presents Demos for Democracy, an ongoing series of live, interactive online demos featuring designers and builders of the latest innovative governance platforms, tools or methods to foster greater openness and collaboration to how we govern.

Loomio: collaborative decision-making and democratic organizing

On november 6, 2014, we had a conversation with Ben Knight about Loomio, an open source tool for collaborative decision-making and democratic organizing built by a team of technologists and social innovators in New Zealand. Loomio provides an online space for groups to come together, talk things through, build shared understanding and make clear collective decisions.

Since emerging from the Occupy movement in 2011, Loomio is now being used by thousands of communities and organizations in 74 countries – from grassroots community decision-making in the Spanish Podemos movement, to team collaboration within government departments in Taiwan, to citizen collaboration by city governments in New Zealand. Loomio is motivated by the drive to bring down the barriers to people being involved in the decisions that affect their lives.

What: Watch the video to find out what Loomio is, how it works, the process of its design and how can the platform be used for social good.

More About Ben: Ben has an academic background in the evolution of collective intelligence, a practical background in grassroots community organising, and a passion for the potential of technology to spur positive social change. He was closely involved with the Occupy movement in 2011, which exposed him to the massively empowering results of collective decision-making on a large scale, and the possibility that online tools could make participatory democracy a part of everyday life.