All posts tagged digital democracy

11 Posts
icecreamworld

Scrape the World

There’s no worldwide database of locally elected officials. What if we tried to fix this by creating an adventure to scrape the world in 80 days?

The idea is a mixture between Gumball3000, 500 Startups, and Code for America. We would create teams for each country that people could join to gather (scrape)  that country’s data before the 80 day timer is up. Motorcycle, bike or ride a truck across the country, whatever needs to be done to scrape the data about local governance. Teams upload the data to the site and get points for speed, difficulty, and size. Pictures, videos, and stories add more points too. Winning teams go down in history as having participated in a global internet day of action, similar to the crowdsourced documentary Life in a Day, the International Day of Peace,or 350.org’s global day of action “Moving Planet”, Twestival, or any other of a number of synchronous global events.

India, bureaucracy, Bihar, 2003. By Jan

Who In The World Is My Representative?

What if there was a resource that aggregated every government official from around the world down to the district level? If we’re going to be serious about government transparency and digital democracy, this is sorely needed.

hurricane-irene

A Wired City Versus A Hurricane

My grandma was trapped in mandatory evacuation zone with hurricane Irene fast approaching. As an elderly Russian immigrant, she didn’t have much access to good information about the storm. I rushed to the internet to see what I can find so that I can give her the best advice I can.

Flash back to the earthquake in Haiti and I was part of an exciting example of how technology tools can be used in the face of a disaster. The non-profit I work for, Digital Democracy, had two staff in Port-Au-Prince when the earthquake struck. One of our advisors put up a crisismapping platform, Ushahidi, to help them and others crowdsource messages of help and emergency. SMS, Tweets and Facebook posts were placed on a map by concerned students in Boston so that emergency responders could save lives in Haiti. Thankfully our staff made it back safe, though they were shaken up and our equipment was crushed in their collapsed residence.

By Nicolas Karim

Speaking At The White House

Its an honor to be invited to speak at the White House . Its especially exciting to see an administration that understands the power of youth and works to pull in our voices.

The White House was pulling together 20 “awesome” youth leaders to discuss the future of international foreign aid. The conversation was between us, the head of USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Raj Shah, and the internet. It was broadcast live on the White House website, with a realtime conversation happening on Facebook and on Twitter, hashtag #USAIDyouth.

Open UN: The Evolution of the Crowd panel

UN Global Pulse hosted a number of events during New York Social Media Week. I was glad to contribute on the Open UN: The Evolution of the Crowd panel.

afghanistan

Leaking Peace

Modern warfare is not just violence, but also peacebuilding initiatives. One of the problems with releasing 90,000+ documents, as WikiLeaks did, and not reporting on the contents of those documents, as the media didn’t, is that the story of the war becomes skewed. Meaning that anyone trying to make sense of a war that has raged for nine years continues to be lost in its fog.

Notes on Wikileaks

I recently met Julian Assange. My conversation with him helped to shine a light on for Wikileaks’ internal processes, just as Raffi Khatchadourian’s brilliant piece in the New Yorker and Julian’s TED talk also helped to do.

Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits

I had the pleasure of representing Digital Democracy at the Global Kids’ Virtual World Capacity Building Program, a four-week intensive exposure to virtual worlds for public good institutions. At the end of the program, each of the participants gave presentations at the Global Kids-hosted Fall 09 Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits on MacArthur Island in Second Life (surl teleport link).  Representatives of five leading nonprofit organizations gave brief presentations on their initial explorations of Second Life and other virtual worlds, and how they are thinking of integrating these virtual tools into their organizations’ respective missions.

Presenting at ITP Social Activism using Mobile Technology class

Back in May I had the pleasure of exploring The Future, also known as NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program Spring Show 2009. Last night I had the pleasure of actually molding it by guest lecturing Nathan Freitas’ Social Activism using Mobile Technology class at ITP with my colleague Emily Jacobi.

"On Sept. 26, the protests were still going strong. It was 11 am, and Aung Aung Ye was juggling two computers and a mobile phone from his office in Thailand. That morning he was on his mobile talking with contacts in Burma’s commercial capital, Rangoon. At 1:34 am EST, he told me that more than 10,000 people had gathered near Traders Hotel in downtown Rangoon. By 1:40, the mood, still palpable electronically, changed. He had received frantic calls – the military had begun using tear gas and bullets against the peaceful demonstrators. His status message read, "Now, shooting in North/Oakalapa." Two minutes later, it changed again – “Don't brake my heart into a million pieces.”"
open