Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful

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Brookings Institution Press, Aug 1, 2009 - Political Science - 224 pages
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Collaborative democracy—government with the people—is a new vision of governance in the digital age. Wiki Government explains how to translate the vision into reality. Beth Simone Noveck draws on her experience in creating Peer-to-Patent, the federal government's first social networking initiative, to show how technology can connect the expertise of the many to the power of the few. In the process, she reveals what it takes to innovate in government.

Launched in 2007, Peer-to-Patent connects patent examiners to volunteer scientists and technologists via the web. These dedicated but overtaxed officials decide which of the million-plus patent applications currently in the pipeline to approve. Their decisions help determine which start-up pioneers a new industry and which disappears without a trace. Patent examiners have traditionally worked in secret, cut off from essential information and racing against the clock to rule on lengthy, technical claims. Peer-to-Patent broke this mold by creating online networks of self-selecting citizen experts and channeling their knowledge and enthusiasm into forms that patent examiners can easily use.

Peer-to-Patent shows how policymakers can improve decisionmaking by harnessing networks to public institutions. By encouraging, coordinating, and structuring citizen participation, technology can make government both more open and more effective at solving today's complex social and economic problems. Wiki Government describes how this model can be applied in a wide variety of settings and offers a fundamental rethinking of effective governance and democratic legitimacy for the twenty-first century.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chikitsak - LibraryThing

I'm afraid this book presents old material and nothing that's break-through or original. The original reviewer is correct that 'this book lacks is direction on how the newest technology could be used ... Read full review

Review: Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful

User Review  - Victor Gonzalez - Goodreads

n the private sector the concept of crowd sourcing has revolutionized the way the industry think and the concept of open innovation has been widely accepted. The book introduces this concept to the ... Read full review

Contents

The Modest Proposal Takes Off
6
From Wikipedia to Wikilaw
11
The Core Idea
14
Overview of the Book
20
THE SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE
24
New Technologies and Civic Life
28
Participatory Democratic Theory in the Age of Networks
34
Challenges for Collaborative Democracy
39
Building toward Collaboration
125
HISTORY OF CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
127
Failure of Public Consultation
128
Government Access to Information
132
The Internet Age and Participatory Practices
137
Poking Our Way to Participation
141
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN A COLLABORATIVE DEMOCRACY
145
Improving Consultation
147

PEERTOPATENT AND THE PATENT CHALLENGE
44
The Why of Patents
48
Challenges of Patent Examination
50
Patent Examination Today
58
The Crab Is Traveling Backward
63
Whats at Stake?
66
DESIGNING FOR COLLABORATIVE DEMOCRACY
69
Visual Deliberation
70
How PeertoPatent Works
72
Reflecting the Work of the Group Back to Itself
79
Granularity Groups and Reputation
81
Getting Everyone on Board
89
The Design Process
94
Early Results
98
Beyond Transparency
107
Beyond Crowdsourcing
109
Bringing Experts and Expertise Together
116
Space Place Groups and Information
117
Linking Information and Action
119
Information Transparency
120
Beyond Notice and Comment
153
Organizing for Innovation
160
The Networked CTO
164
Collaborative Governance Labs
165
LESSONS LEARNED
169
Ask the Right Questions
171
Ask the Right People
173
Design the Process for the Desired End
174
Design for Groups Not Individuals
177
Use the Screen to Show the Group Back to Itself
178
Harness the Power of Reputation
179
Make Policies Not Websites
180
Pilot New Ideas
181
Focus on Outcomes Not Inputs
182
Redesigning Governance
183
East Coast Code and West Coast Code
184
Power and Collaborative Democracy
188
NOTES
190
INDEX
218
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Beth Simone Noveck is professor of law and director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and a visiting professor at Stanford University. She advised the Obama-Biden campaign and transition project on innovation and government.

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