Government 3.0: Aprendiendo en Voz Alta

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Reimaging Government, Reinventing Democracy


We live in an era of unprecedented technological innovation with ingenious new advances for achieving clean energy, eradicating disease and providing greater wellness, more equitably and effectively delivering education, and improving the quality of human existence and expression. At the same time, we are experiencing clear deficits within centralized institutions of government and civil society: deficits of agility, innovation and capacity.

These traditional institutions are failing to tap into the diversity of expertise and experience of individuals and communities, rendering us less able to quickly discover, recognize, implement and scale innovative approaches to pressing problems and making it impossible to translate technological innovation into social progress.


Our current system of centralized government institutions is designed for an earlier age of limited, one-way communication. Consider:

Our 18th century model of voting for representatives doesn’t maximize the flow of personal or community preferences from people to government.Our19th century addition of professional bureaucracy doesn’t maximize the flow of expertise, widely distributed in society.


Put another way, we can’t make the best decisions in government on how to improve people’s lives if we limit public participation and feedback to voting every few years. And we can’t adequately take advantage of people’s talents, abilities and desire to play a role in governing if we relegate their service to civic engagement disconnected from the real power, money and decision-making.


Governments appropriate plenty for innovation in society. They fund research grants; invest in broadband infrastructure; support science education. But they spend next to nothing on reinventing government institutions by informing and empowering citizen to participate. There is no other industry, and not one as big as the public sector, that doesn’t regularly improve on its core business model.


New technology has the potential to transform governance and produce a more open and participatory political culture with effective institutions that engender trust.


New technology makes collaborative problem solving possible. In this course, we explore how we might use technology — from big data to social media — to redesign our systems of governance to devolve power from centralized, hierarchical institutions and evolve more robust collaboration among individuals, groups and institutions including government and the media.

Through blogging assignments, discussions and a final design project, participants will apply what we learn about innovation to the issues about which they are the most passionate.

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