SXSW and Opening Government

The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference on emerging technologies is on.  Among the avalanche of presentations and panels, three panels may be of particular interest to the opening government and civic engagement community:

  • Erhardt Graeff from the MIT Center for Civic Media has organized a panel on Bots for Civic Engagement. Among the questions it seeks to address:  “What would a future look like where instead we see a proliferation of bots for positive civic engagement? Could we automate the distribution of civic information and education? Manipulate information flows to improve our welfare? Engineer reverse-Distributed-Denial-of-Service attacks? Should we?”
  • Shannon Dosemagen from the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science has gathered a panel focused on Empowering Communities with Civic Science and Data. The panel starts from the following questions: “In a data driven world, how do individuals contribute? Do you question where your data comes from and who owns it?”…and perhaps more importantly: “When building a community, is it the goal, technology, core values, or something else entirely that attracts active and consistent participation from a group of people?”
  • Gadi Ben-Yehuda from the IBM Center for the Business of Government ‘s panel will look at Engaging Government For Fun, Profit, and Meaning trying to answer the question: How can ordinary citizens use tools and data currently offered by federal agencies to start their own businesses or make better daily decisions?

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