The Crowdsource Effect

While it hasn’t been an election issue per se, social media and it’s place in our information landscape has certainly been a hot topic of late, and it’s effect on our election will be known for sure come the evening of November 19.

If we were to step back from the discussion around the tools we choose to use, and look a little deeper, we see the foundation of something much more powerful, more profound, and something that compliments the notion of Open Government. We have the opportunity to use these tools, as well as more traditional methods, to begin Crowdsourcing solutions that can drive our community forward. Powerful minds coming together make for a powerful tool to drive ideas, policy, and will play an important part of driving our new economy.

Now, I’m not suggesting that a tiipz micropinion is going to be what decides policy, but it’s those tools in addition to public meetings, surveys, etc. that can engage an entire community regardless of the hours they keep in their lives. It allows a complete picture that solid strategic planning and near term policy can build upon. As David Burke said so eloquently alluded to in his interview with Denise Imbeau; engagement is king. Period.

As for seeing it in action, the City of Calgary recently embarked on a massive public engagement initiative to shape the budget and business plan for the city moving forward. The Our City, Our Budget, Our Future program champion, Mayor Nenshi, proudly proclaims “We are turning the budget and planning process upside down by starting with you", and they are doing it through smart phone apps, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, public meetings, information sessions... Pretty much anyway you can think of.

What’s important here is that the same tools we are using in this election are the tools being used by this major metropolitan centre to engage their citizens.

If they can do it, what’s our excuse?

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