Saturday, September 20, 2014

Learning to Hack Democracy

Greetings from Google Sydney, where I am attending a Open Australia Hackfest on "Hacking Democracy". This is in the Fairfax Building in Sydney, on the harbour. There is room for more participants, if you would like to turn up. This is part of a global week of events on "Civic Technology" (CivicTech). The "Open Government Partnership" (OGP)  has sixty government committed to working with the civil society. Unfortunately, while the former Labour Government decided to join the OGP, the new Abbot Government has not yet joined (something for Minister Turnbull to do).

CivicTech Courses

On-line courses for public servants on how to use tools for making information available online could be useful. Staff who were trained in what to do would be more likely to use these techniques in the daily work, spreading the ideas throughout government. This approach has been applied to teaching "ICT Sustainability".

A quick online search found
  1. Solving Public Problems with Technology
  2. TC104: Digital Organizing and Open Government
  3.  Washington State Open Government Training Act
  4. Online Engagement Courses – Final Report, Australian Department of Finance

The New Google Sydney Offices

It is worth turning up just to see Google's eccentric office design.You exit the lift and find you are in what looks like a monorail car. Corridors are lined with what looks like recycled fruit cases, with niches containing Barbie dolls and hooks for unicycles, skateboards and pogo boots. The meeting room has a TV studio look, with lights hanging from an exposed ceiling.

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