by Luke Hohmann
It’s no secret. Local, state and federal governments face budget shortfalls, spending cuts and reduced service—in a political climate that favors gridlock. Serious games have emerged as a viable approach to budgeting that is both participatory and scalable. In this session, we’ll discuss why serious games are a particularly good tool for budgeting and their advantages over alternatives such as deliberative democracy, participatory budgeting, or majority voting through polls. Participants will learn to conduct in-person and online games built specifically for resolving multi-scalar budget problems. These models are based on Budget Games, which we designed and played in San Jose, CA, on Jan. 29, 2011 in which more than 100 community leaders collaboratively re-crafted the city’s proposed budget. Because the game revealed real consensus, San Jose officials were able to act on the game’s results with more confidence than traditional polling.
by Rohan Silva
What happens when you throw open the doors of government and let the public decide what happens? Join Rohan Silva, senior policy adviser to the British Prime Minister David Cameron, as he shares his stories about the British Government's adventures in crowdsourcing - and the UK's radical agenda to harness the best ideas and innovations to build a better government. Silva will also be talking about the future of open data, open government and technology policy in the UK - and the entrepreneurial opportunities being opened up in the UK and beyond.
by Jo Guldi
From 1790 to 1830, the first government-sponsored information revolution hit Europe, an interkingdom highway system of thousands of miles of roads that connected London with her capital cities. How deep a role should government play in regulating traffic, many wondered? The first round of answers bear a striking resemblance to conversations today about the nature of the internet. Advocates of centralized regulation advocated limits to tolls -- a geographical version of net neutrality. Critics argued that eminent domain meant tearing down the houses of the poor. The new roads sped traffic to poor areas, promoting commerce and industrialization, for a time. Critics claimed that soon the earth's peoples would speak a single language. But soon mounting evidence showed that the road's users were speaking to each other less than they ever had before. What had gone wrong?
Citizens interact with their governments (local or national) every day, and they increasingly do this via websites, phone apps, or other types of technology. Many of these interfaces are uninformed by the design and experience practices that have become a standard part of commercial product and service development. In fact, few government agencies have the budget in these times to hire a staff of web and experience practitioners. Over the last several years, a vibrant culture of hackathons has grown up, with developers spending weekends building apps based on government data. Designers and researchers, however, haven't yet begun to participate in numbers.
This talk will discuss the challenges of public/citizen experiences and the great potential to improve Americans' lives through informal design and prototyping collaborations. We'll explain how designers and developers can build communities of public service around our talents and industries. We'll inspire the audience to use their powers for good and contribute to the growing movement known as Government 2.0
9th–13th March 2012