How do you change the world? In the age of internet connectivity, big change can be made by people using their brains collaboratively. Social scientists and software developers are experimenting with new tools to empower citizens to make their voices heard in the halls of power. From the Obama administration’s Citizen’s Briefing Book (http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/) to MySpace’s collaboration with Change.org (http://www.change.org/ideas) to hundreds of startups across the globe, a big idea is catching on – that we can use the internet to harvest the wisdom of the crowd and find smarter solutions to political problems.
It’s time to get over our ego stroking Facebook updates and twittering about what we had for lunch, and include something more ambitious in our daily internet activity: a discussion of society’s priorities. That’s what open source politics is about – a conversation about our world – the rich, wonderful, real world – and how we can make it better.
By day, a financial planner, specializing in 401(k) plans. By night, an open politics evangelist, bootstrapping an ambitious nonprofit into existence. The fruit of the labor is DemocracyLab.org, a homegrown example of open source politics in action. Check out this short animated video describing our idea (http://www.vimeo.com/2740218) and learn about our partnership with Oregon 150 (http://www.oregon150.org/projects/youth-legacy/).