Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Open Government

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Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Open Government through Participation: Designing Successful Online Consultations

    by Tim Bonnemann

    Public participation—the process of engaging citizens and stakeholders in collaborative problem solving and decision making—has been around for a few decades. Whether urban planning, participatory budgeting or environmental conflict resolution, the basic principles of designing and running effective consultations to gather citizen input or co-create policy solutions are, for the most part, well understood.

    The use of technology to support and enhance these participatory efforts, on the other hand, is still a fairly young and emerging discipline. While there have been many advancements in this area in recent years, the lessons learned still aren’t always readily available for practitioners.

    This fast-paced and interactive panel will explore what it takes to deliver successful online consultations. We’ll go over the basic processes involved, look at some of the typical challenges and how they can be addressed, and highlight innovative tools and projects from around the world.

    Technology, if applied properly, can greatly increase the opportunity for citizens to participate in the decisions that shape their future. With this session, we want to give anyone involved in delivering on this promise a solid head start.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:00pm to 12:15pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

  • Public Transit Data, APIs and City Governments

    by Michael Uffer, Julie Blitzer and Jerry Jariyasunant

    The centerpiece of the urban lifestyle is an extensive, reliable public transportation system. Transit riders are embracing smartphones, 3G, 4G and even tablets. These tools can help us get better information, faster. Learn what changes are giving information in real-time and for trip planning. The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) created NotifyNYC in 2009 "to enhance NYC's emergency public communications to the public." NotifyNYC allows NYC residents to sign up for transit notifications in a format of their choice, SMS, email, voice recording, Twitter or RSS for any or all boroughs. Numerous third-party applications exist in New York, including Exit Strategy NYC, which tells the user where to wait for the train so as to minimize station exit time upon arrival. San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) website offers developers a huge amount of resources including a comprehensive API with schedules, station information and real-time service updates. The BART site features third-party applications developed using the API for iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac and more. This panel will examine creative new projects that enhance our lives as city residents on the go, including how these websites and applications could reduce costs, bureaucracy and response time in public transit.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

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