Tag Archives: Open government

Welcome to the Open Ministry

Posted on by Jack Reynolds

… of design, data-processing and translation, the crowd is now getting to work on the business of government. Iceland is preparing to implement a crowdsourced constitution, and this March the Finnish Parliament passed the Citizens’ Initiative Act. The Act allows any citizen to present a law to Parliament, providing they can get the support of 50,000 citizens.

Spotting the opportunity for a groundbreaking piece of online activism, Finnish entrepreneur Joonas Pekkanen assembled a team of …


Life, liberty and the pursuit of crowdsourcing: Iceland’s constitutional saga

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… plans to crowdsource a new constitution. At first, I confess I was skeptical. In my experience government crowdsourcing projects are like Mars probes: there’s a massive launch, then six months later they mysteriously vanish without trace. But not this time. On July 29th Reykjavik declared the new constitution complete: for the people and most definitely by the people.

So how do you crowdsource a whole new system of government? Basically the same way you crowdsource anything: invite …

Tags: crowd crowdsourcing Facebook Iceland Icelanders Jedi microwork Open government Reykjavík youtube

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Shining a light on local government

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

Recently, after long days at work, I find myself cursing the Government.

It’s not that I’m an anarchist, or because I am particularly upset about taxes or government policy. What annoys me is the streetlight outside my house.

Last month, after a brief, flickering illness, it died. Without its guiding light, fitting my key into the door to my apartment building has become an annoying game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

To be fair, the issue is …

Tags: crowd crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work Fixmystreet local government mySociety Project Fosbury

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Mixing oil and water: how diversity fosters innovation

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… of assistance: it has enlisted the help of 200 fishing vessels, 15,000 fishermen and hundreds of government organizations, companies and NGOs. Big Oil competitors are lending a hand, and James Cameron even offered the use of the submarines he used in Titanic.

A helping hand

Along with local fishermen, and industry scientists, more than 200,000 people have also now been called upon to solve the problem. Most of these people work in roles unrelated to the oil industry. And that just might …

Tags: Big Oil crowdsourcing innocentive open innovation


Could crowd-driven think tanks be weapons of mass instruction?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… to solve economic, social or military problems, sounds like a great idea on paper, but it is open to abuse. Private interests can set up their own think tanks in order to pursue their own agendas, as with the sorry tale of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, which was set up by tobacco firm Philip Morris in the 1990s to dispute medical research on the negative consequences of smoking.

But thanks to some new initiatives, the traditional think tank model may soon be turned on …

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