Harnessing Technology for Civic Projects

The Four Pillars of an Open Civic System – O’Reilly Radar.

And of course you can blend these data flows and come up with hybrids all you like. DIYcity’s SickCity, for example, is basically a C2C tool in its present, basic 1.0 incarnation – it detects instances of residents in your city saying they’re sick, and passes that news on to other residents. But a more sophisticated version of the tool would also pass that information on directly to the Department of Health when relevant, and would also, optimally, accept data from the DoH to pass that back to residents. Suddenly it has gone from a simple C2C tool to a tool that is C2C, C2G and G2C. Now we’re talking about interesting stuff. Each additional channel of data makes the system exponentially more valuable.

With all of these systems properly developed and engaged, our civic systems – local, regional, federal – should bloom and transform into the properly modern, Internet-age things they ought to be. This will translate to increases in efficiency, greater innovation and rate of change, better adaptability, and greater resilience, in addition to other advantages. To get there though, we’ve got to get beyond thinking simply in terms of transparency and government APIs.

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