It is vital that people start a discussion among their friends and families about what sort of future they want. If we – Icelanders or any citizens of the Earth – do not have a clear vision of where we are heading, we will get nowhere. The élite puppeteers do have a clear roadmap of where they are heading, which enables them to stay several steps ahead of the 99%. I think the lyrics of ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon are a pretty good roadmap for us.
As attention to public deliberation has increased, one core interest of researchers has been evaluating the impact of deliberative processes. Researchers, practitioners, elected officials, and participants themselves want to know if what they’re doing matters. Does public deliberation impact policy? Does it change our attitude toward issues? Does it adhere to democratic ideals?
Earlier this week, the nonprofit collaboration engine Living Cities released the first report of emerging lessons and trends resulting from its City Accelerator initiative. The City Accelerator is working with three U.S. cities to address specific urban challenges, but the real purpose of the initiative extends beyond merely addressing problems. The three cities are actually serving as gunea pigs for something much more fundamental: a deep investigation into how local governments can best support and manage the process of innovating. From entrenched staff to politics to budget limitations and fiscal constraints, cities that want to come up with innovative solutions to tough problems face an array of barriers to simply figuring out how to start. The City Accelerator is using hands-on experience in the trenches of cities to figure out how exactly a city can enable innovation to take root.
Better data and analytics have the potential to transform state and local governments in a variety of ways, improving internal processes, helping provision services, and cutting costs. One underappreciated area where data can have a major impact is in policymaking itself. In particular, state and local governments are analyzing data to inform better policies around economic development, education, and health care.
The U.S. Patent and Trade Office plans to move its beta website, located at beta.uspto.gov, to the official agency domain, USPTO.gov, on February 5.
The site, developed...