Tuesday, August 14, 2012
My picks for Gov 2.0 panels at SXSW 2013.

As in prior years,South by Southwest (SXSW, or just SX for initiates) is crowdsourcing their panel selection, and as in prior years, there is a host of Gov 2.0-related offerings.  Of the 3,123 proposals this year, 82 have been tagged as "Government or Citizen Engagement."  Those tagged include presentations on law, coding, public participation, open government/innovation, and news from the nexus of politics, technology, and social media.  Even the titles range from the witty to wonky to wicked: "S**t Terms of Use Say" to "Hacking Cities for a Better, Sustainable Tomorrow" to "Black Markets, White Hats & Grey Laws" and "Unlocking Energy Data -- The Green Button"

 

You can see the entire list by going here and using the drop-downs.  Here are the ones that I'm voting for, with text taken from their descriptions on the SxSW site, and edited for clarity and conciseness:

 

Engaging Government for Fun, Profit, and Meaning

 

Full disclosure: this is the panel that I proposed.  But here's why you should vote for it: Three  government/social media/innovation rock stars: Amanda Eamich (USDA), Justin Herman (GSA), and Arnaub Chatterjee (HHS) and I will discuss how people can engage government tools and data in a very citizen-centric and goal-oriented way: to help them start or grow a business, to participate in meaningful work, and to help them make better day-to-day decisions.  In addition to the examples from their own agencies, tools and data sets from the CFPB and National Archives will be explored.

 

 

Acting "as if" They Care: Gamifying Social Change

 

Caring alone is an insufficient motivator for some of the most important actions we need to take (eg. losing weight, campaigning for a cause, saving energy, or even downloading a new app). But, most common approaches appeal to underlying values, not to actual behavioral drivers.  Behavioral science research has demonstrated that while it is important to inspire people to care, it is often more important to get them to act as if they cared.

 

This session will dive deep into some of the key tenants of behavioral science and gamification and how they may be applied to driving people to action.

 

Social Media Command Centers: Give Cities a Voice

 

In July 2012, Kansas City joined efforts between several organizations and businesses and played “concierge and curator” for incoming visitors for the MLB All-Star Game. We'll dive into the conversation of the modern city as a host for events and the implication that has for social media and tourism. We'll also discuss how social media back channels can be optimized during a specific time and place.

 

 

Hackathon for Civic Participation

 

Civic engagement is greatly expanded when government, non-profits, corporations and the tech sector collaborate. In this session, we review our “PDF: Applied” hackathon (NYC 2012), which brought innovative thinkers together with real-world practitioners. We will discuss learnings, and collectively engage with the audience to discuss next steps to build on the momentum from this and similar events.

 

 

Who Are You? Anonymous Speech on Social Media

 

Through social media, people now communicate easily with a global community. Individuals can now broadcast critiques of a restaurant on site like Yelp!, or provide constructive feedback of a doctor on RateMDs. However, use of social media can go over the proverbial line and become vicious attacks. This is especially true with anonymous or pseudonymous speakers. Identifying malicious users is not easy, and social media companies are are sometimes wrongfully revealing some users, while others users are rightfully being unmasked. This panel will discuss the legal issues involved and how this affects social media companies, users, and public at large.

 

 

Participatory Budgeting: Crowdsourcing for Real

 

Every year, millions of citizens around the world are involved in a crowdsourcing effort in which they tell their governments where public money should be spent. Known as Participatory Budgeting (PB), this practice is more than a mere public consultation on the budget: citizens actually decide on the budget allocation. Dubbed by the New York Times as “revolutionary civics in action”, and currently taking place in 1,500 cities around the world, participatory budgeting is starting to spread in the US following its recent adoption in Chicago and New York City. In many cases, technology has been a key part of this civic revolution: from open data to social media and mobile apps, technology is dramatically increasing citizens' engagement in public budgets.

 

 

Those are my votes - what are yours?

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