For my final semester at NYU, I wanted to do something different. I registered for Professor Noveck’s Gov 3.0 class because I knew I wanted to learn about the principles of open government and participatory democracy and ultimately, to test my own assumptions about how government, organizations and individuals are leveraging technology-enabled platforms to make a difference in improving people's lives. I also wanted to ask critical questions to a community of experts about what is not being done, who isn’t being heard because of the digitial divide and how we -- the next generation of civic innovators -- can leverage the tools, knowledge, networks and skills to address issues we care deeply about. The class met all my expectations and beyond.
During the 14 week course, my 45+ classmates and I had the chance to converse with expert change agents such as Joel Gurin, Former Chair, White House Task Force on Smart Disclosure, and Chris Vein of the World Bank just to name a few; to access a curated list of podcasts and videos from top thinkers in open government ranging from Steven Johnson, Author of Future Perfect and Leif Perciveld, Founder of Don’t Flush Me. Unlike any other class I’ve taken at NYU, Professor Noveck challenged us to openly share our ideas online through our blog posts as opposed to simply submitting our papers to her and her only. By sharing out loud, we began to enter the narrative around open government and build awareness about what others are saying and sharing. During class, we used the twitter feed to share photos, links and quotes via #gov30. Visitors from outside of the class chimed in and participated with us via the hashtag. We took notes during classs collectively on Hackpad and recorded the key lessons. We also uploaded their final presentations on Truonex, a social media hub for projects. Moving forward, Loomio and similarily designed collaborative decision making sites would be helpful platforms to consider to enhance collaboration even more.
This course and my experience working with the Governance Lab have strengthened my understanding of how governments can foster innovation and train the next generation of change agents within government, and in partnership with the private sector. As we wrap up the inaugural Gov 3.0 class, I am more versed, skilled and knowledgeable the policies, technologies, regulations, and processes surround open government and how governments and organizations can better gather and visualize data to help people make smarter, effective choices. Gov 3.0 sets a new standard for how institutions of higher education can re-image the way civic innovation and open government are taught inside and outside the classroom. And it's just the beginning.