Citizen sourcing and the future of cities

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As I noted last week in my post on Four fundamental principles for crowdsourcing in government, one of the most powerful applications of crowdsourcing is in government.

PSFK has just launched a nice report and summary presentation on the future of cities, embedded below.

The third section of the report covers Citizen Sourced aspects of the future of cities, including:
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Four fundamental principles for crowdsourcing in government

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A few weeks ago I gave the keynote at the annual conference of the Business Improvement and Innovation in Government (BIIG) network of the Queensland Government, speaking on A Future of Crowds: Implications for Government and Society.

I have been increasingly pulled towards the government sector over the last years. I’m delighted, as changing the nature and structure of government is one of the most important aspects possible in creating a better future for ourselves.

In my keynote, after describing the underlying tenets of crowdsourcing and giving a varied set of examples of how they can be applied in government (which I’ll share in another post), in my final section on leadership I ran through the practical issues that drive success and finally offered four principles for crowdsourcing in government.

Here are the four principles in summary:
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Reality check: intelligence agencies have been using social network analysis since the 1990s

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There is a big hubbub today over a New York Times article N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens.

I fail to understand why this is big news, since US intelligence agencies have been using social network analysis (SNA) for domestic purposes since the 1990s, and likely even before that. The only issue here is that the NSA is tasked with non-domestic surveillance, so is not supposed to gather data on US citizens. However other US agencies that cover domestic intelligence have long been using SNA.

Certainly recent revelations suggest the NSA appears to have data surveillance capabilities that exceed those of US domestic intelligence agencies, but there is no good reason to imagine the CIA, among others, doesn’t have access to equally good data to seed its social network and other analysis.

I have been focused on networks since long before I wrote Living Networks in 2002. In the July 22, 1997 issue of The Bulletin (at the time Australia’s equivalent of Newsweek) included an article I wrote titled Beware! Netmap may be watching, which described how an Australian software package called Netmap was being used by police and intelligence around the world, taking examples of the identification of insider trading and a serial murderer. I wrote:

“For nearly 10 years, Netmap has been used primarily in high-level security and intelligence analysis. In Australia clients include the NSW Police… and the Australia Tax Office, while in the United States, several secretive government agencies use the software.”


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Metropolitan IQ and Urban metabolism: Great case studies of innovative, collaborative cities

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Last week I went to the launch of an excellent issues paper created by The Committee for Sydney, titled #wethecity: Collaborating to Compete in the Digital Era.

Lucy Turnbull, chair of Committee of Sydney, notes in her opening comments that:
Cities are collaborating to compete and the ones that collaborate most compete best.

The paper focuses on the challenges and opportunities for Sydney, with the summary recommendations at the bottom of this post.

However to understand how innovative cities can be designed, the paper notes that [Leading cities] invest in the art and practice of what we could describe as “systematic serendipity”.

It draws on 16 excellent case studies of how to develop “metropolitan IQ” and a healthy “urban metabolism” (analogies I of course love), including both international and Australian examples. These are summarized below and described in detail in the paper:
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Crowdsourcing for social development and economic opportunity: Case study of Malaysia

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I am at the Digital Malaysia National Crowdsourcing Conference in Kuala Lumpur, where I gave the keynote this morning on the global crowdsourcing landscape and the opportunities for Malaysia. 

It is fantastic to see what Malaysia is doing. Digital Malaysia is the government agency tasked with developing Malaysia as a digital nation towards 2020. One of its 8 current major initiatives is in using crowdsourcing to give work and opportunities to the least advantaged 40% of the population.
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Video of TheNextWeb keynote on The Future of Crowds

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TheNextWeb produced a good quality video of my keynote at TheNextWeb Conference 2012, shown below.

It doesn’t show all of my full motion graphics presentation, though it frequently cuts to show segments of the visuals through my keynote. I will create and share a full video of my motion graphics presentation along with the audio of me speaking, however as I’m travelling it may take a little while to complete.

Here is a brief overview of the structure of the presentation:
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No reputation measures is the critical flaw in the JOBS crowdfunding bill

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The JOBS crowdfunding Act is a great step forward, but the potential of the entire scheme is undermined by the lack of reputation measures.

This is my first opportunity to write about the historic passing on Thursday of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act that allows equity crowdfunding in the US.

I have covered the early moves towards equity crowdfunding in the US that resulted in this bill and included a chapter on the topic in Getting Results From Crowds. It is very exciting to see this come to fruition, in the end faster than almost anyone could have predicted.

I believe that this is a critical shift that is taking capitalism into a new phase. The capital markets are – finally – becoming more open, allowing capital to go where it will be best used.
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OPEN: Using crowdsourced legislation to beat SOPA

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SOPA, The Stop Online Piracy Act, is big news in many ways, not least in marking what is likely to be a historical landmark in the battle between traditional media and a now-powerful new media, played out in political influence and the shaping of critical legislation.

One of the most important ways to beat SOPA is to provide a good alternative. The majority of politicians seem to think that online intellectual property rights need better protection, so to kill SOPA requires providing something that can supplant it.

Into this field comes Rep. Darrell Issa, whose involvement in legislation to allow equity crowdfunding I wrote about a few months ago. Issa is essentially seeking to ‘crowdsource’ a bill. Good.is reports:
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New frameworks of 2011: Connected Success, Transformation of Business and Government, Crowdsourcing

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I believe strongly in visual frameworks as a way of communicating and engaging with complex ideas. I share these on the web, sometimes use them as central frames for my keynotes, apply them in strategy workshops, use them to shape my own thinking on the topics they cover, and sometimes create private custom visual frameworks for clients to define and articulate their strategy.

I will be shortly launching a more complete review of all the public visual frameworks I’ve created. For now, here is a review of the public frameworks I’ve created this year.

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I have used this in many keynotes and workshops this year to help individuals and small to mid-sized businesses to work out what they need to do succeed in a connected world, usually going into detail on the specific tools they can use in each area.

Success in  a Connected World
Click on the image for full size
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Tech-savvy children are driving the future of education

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Last week I participated in and spoke at an Education Roundtable organized by Telstra, which brought together a small group of very senior executives in all layers of education in Australia. In the same way that I have been drawn into discussions on the future of government over the last 18 months, I am finding myself increasingly frequently asked to engage with decision-makers on the future of education.

There is much I want to share from my presentation and the fantastic discussion at the Roundtable, but for now I’d just like to point to the excellent Telstra White Paper launched at the event, titled Personalised Learning. The White Paper itself is the outcome of an Education Roundtable held a year earlier, and interviews with a variety of Australian senior educators and government officials.

The White Paper’s Executive Summary makes five points, in summary:
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