Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Digital Democracy Down-under

Chris Quigley, co-founder of Delib UKChris Quigley, co-founder of Delib UK discussed Gov 2.0 over lunch today at Old Parliament house in Canberra. He outlined campaigns run for the former and current UK governments. One interesting point was that contrary to conventional wisdom, there was less legal liability where the public's posting to a forum were not moderated before being posted. Provided any offensive postings are removed promptly when there is a complaint, this works better than having a moderator who attempts to check postings in advance.

Chris described the "Citizen Space" software his company developed with the UK Government for online government consultations. He described this as "open source" but I could not find where to download a copy of the software.

Chris commented how US government staff adapted to online consultations more readily than UK civil servants. At question time I asked about the need for training for such staff. He said there was a need, so I am looking to include this in my course "COMP7420" which starts at ANU 14 February. At present the course is called "Electronic Document and Records Management" which has not proved a crowd pleaser. So I might change it to "Consultation techniques and technology for e-government". This course would then support the Austrlaian National University's "Australian Centre for Dialogue Project" and the Australia Forum.

Chris's experience crosses viral marketing, social media and e-democracy. He has an ongoing interest in how people, business and government interact, and how the internet (especially social media) are changing relationships.

He has been working in the Open Government space for almost ten years across both the UK and the US. He was involved in some of the earliest crowd-sourcing projects in the US, under the former President George Bush.

Chris's company, Delib, was asked by the current US government to build an ideas-sharing website to "crowdsource thoughts" about how to design a portal that would monitor the US's $787bn (£510bn) stimulus plan. The result was recovery.gov.

Chris was also involved in the design of the UK government's 'Your Freedom' website, designed to allow UK citizens to discuss laws they wanted to see changed or removed. The site received 11,546 ideas, 72,836 comments and 190,175 ratings.

Alongside his Open Government work, Chris is also a co-founder of The Viral Ad Network, a specialist automated syndication platform for branded content and of Rubber Republic, a specialist viral ad agency (which also has a strong interest in socks).

Learn more about Chris in The Guardian's article, "The man opening up government".

From: Craig Thomler

1 comment:

Tom Worthington said...

Chris Quigley blogged his trip to Australia in "Digital democracy adventures in Canberra, February 10, 2011