#CeDEM13 – Keynotes Day 1, Beth Noveck

The CEDEM13 Conference on eDemocracy and Open Government in Krems just started, this year with two keynotes from overseas:

Beth Noveck (@bethnoveck) and Tiago Peixoto (@participatory).
We will upload brief summaries of the keynotes and several sections on this blog, later on there will also be slides on slideshare available. Enjoy the conference and your time in Krems!
CeDEM13, day 1
Beth Noveck (New York University and MIT; founder of the White House Open Government Initiative and former United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government)

“Crowdsourcing Wisely Not Widely: The Next Generation of Citizen Engagement”

Nowadays the economic sector is more and more driven by data of their customers, crowdsourcing opportunities and technologies that rely on big data. According to Noveck these technologies have foremost helped to make changes more concretely and faster. There are a few crowdsourcing projects like the Open Ministry Project that successfully build a link between citizens and government, but there is still a long way to go. One problem with engaging the public is that, at this point, it is still hard to receive meaningful comments or to move from mass deliberation to real, quality collaboration.

Democratic theatre vs. wise crowdsourcing

So how can we connect institutions and networks to engage in collaboration, and how do we move from crowdsourcing widely to what Noveck calls crowdsourcing wisely?

In contrary to a democratic theatre, emphasis should be on creating working knowledge communities and on the question of how to make existing data useful („social machines“). In the context of Open Government Data: If we unleash all government data, how do we make that data useful to people to make decisions quickly?One example matching skills and needs Noveck presented is called CommunityCompost Connect, which is based on the idea that person a has a car and person b has trash J This kind of peer-to-peer problem solving could be promising in the future. However often the problem is that many projects are not yet evaluated in time – or at all.

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