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Beth Simone Noveck and Stefaan Verhulst Provide Guidance to Online Learners in Solving Public Problems with Data Course Series

Last week, the GovLab launched a new online course focused on Solving Public Problems with Data. Network chair Beth Simone Noveck and Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst, the co-founders of the GovLab, teach modules on “Data Governance and Sharing” and “Data Collaboratives,” respectively. From the course announcement: “To serve the goal of more data-driven and evidence-based governing, The GovLab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering this week launched ‘Solving Public Problems with Da...Read More

Hollie Russon-Gilman Discusses Rebuilding American Democracy in an Era of Deep Inequality

This week, associate Network member Hollie Russon-Gilman particpated in an event hosted by New America featuring expert discussion on Rebuilding American Democracy in an Era of Deep Inequality. With a focus on community-driven models for engaging citizens in governance and public decision-making, the event sought to “explore precisely if and how these local innovations are offering new pathways for strengthening civic capacity and the limitations of current models of civic engagement.” Parti...Read More

Sheena Iyengar in Harvard Business Review: Startups That Seek to "Disrupt" Get More Funding Than Those That Seek to "Build"

In a new article co-authored by Dana Kanze, Network member an S.T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School Sheena Iyengar explores the impact of society’s fascination with disruptive innovation on startup funding. The piece, “Startups That Seek to ‘Disrupt’ Get More Funding Than Those That Seek to ‘Build,’” shares findings from a study of 950 startups’ LinkedIn profile data, Crunchbase funding data, full-time employee counts, and average employee tenures. Among other findings, ...Read More

How to Mobilize Group Intelligence

Cross-posted from Nature Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14, Dana Lewis got used to hassle: using a portable glucose monitor to measure her blood sugar levels, and then calculating with a second device whether and when to inject herself with the insulin that she also carried. She set alarms overnight lest her blood sugar drop fatally low. In 2013, dissatisfied with the lack of innovation by conventional medical-device firms, she created an artificial, do-it-yourself pancreas s...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck Launches New CrowdLaw Research Initiative to Study and Promote Citizen Participation in Lawmaking

Last week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck announced the launch of a new research initiative at the GovLab aimed at increasing our understanding of how technology can enable citizen participation in the lawmaking process. The CrowdLaw Research Initiative comes at a time when “rates of trust in government [are] at all-time lows, the legitimacy and effectiveness of traditional representative models of lawmaking, typically dominated by political party agendas and conducted by professional staff...Read More

New Book from Geoff Mulgan Explores How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World

In his new book, Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World, Network member and Nesta chief executive Geoff Mulgan draws on multiple discplines to examine the concept of collective intelligence in an era of smart technologies. Mulgan’s book focuses on how groups can work together and yield results that are smarter and more effective than expert individuals working in isolation, but also on questions regarding smart groups armed with the best technology can often make the wrong...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young Release New Book, Open Data in Developing Economies

In a new book, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst and Network coordinator Andrew Young explore the potential of open government data to create positive impacts in developing economies. The book, which arose out of a collaboration between the GovLab, USAID, FHI 360 and the Web Foundation, is premised on the belief that while there is increasing belief that open data can create social and economic transformation, much of the the evidence to date has focused on high income countries. To ...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Discusses Concerns About the Future of the Internet in the Guardian

When Network member Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, his vision was to create an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries”. In a new interview with The Guardian, he expresses concern about how powerful corporations are controlling the internet and how the ecosystem allows fake news and propaganda to be proliferated. Sir Tim, however, remains optimistic by believing that there is still a chance t...Read More

Geoff Mulgan Suggests Ways for UK Government to Get the Most Out of Educational Technology

In a new piece on the Nesta blog, Geoff Mulgan proposes a new Edtech strategy to help the UK make the most of new educational technology. Mulgan frames the Edtech issue for the UK government as one of both opportunity, with the country home to many important players in the space, and equity, since an absence of public policies will likely lead to only more affluent families gaining access to new tools. Mulgan shares six specific suggestions on what is needed for the UK to capitalize on the E...Read More

Augmented CI and Human-Driven AI: How the Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Collective Intelligence Could Enhance Their Impact on Society

Toward a Research Agenda As the technology, research and policy communities continue to seek new ways to improve governance and solve public problems, two new types of assets are occupying increasing importance: data and people. Leveraging data and people’s expertise in new ways offers a path forward for smarter decisions, more innovative policymaking, and more accountability in governance. Yet, unlocking the value of these two assets not only requires increased availability and accessibilit...Read More

Erik Johnston Launches Research Project on Open Artificial Pancreas Initiative

Supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Erik Johnston of Arizona State University recently launched a research project on OpenAPS. OpenAPS is an initiative created by Dana Lewis, a patient with Type 1 Diabetes who created an artificial pancreas to monitor and normalize her glucose levels. As part of the research project, Johnston and his team “will explore the potential of citizen scientists like Lewis to disrupt traditional scientific research and give patients the tool...Read More

New Report from Lee Rainie on The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online

In a new report from Pew Research Center, Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson share findings from over 1,000 expert respondents on issues of truth and misinformation online. For the report, The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online, Rainie and Anderson used the following framing to tee up survey responses: “The rise of ‘fake news’ and the proliferation of doctored narratives that are spread by humans and bots online are challenging publishers and platforms. Those trying to stop the spread of f...Read More

Geoff Mulgan: Open Jobs and the Case for Making the Labour Market More Intelligent

In a new piece on the Nesta blog, Geoff Mulgan makes the case for an Open Jobs commons to help address persistent issues in the UK labour market: “stagnant social mobility; stagnant pay; stagnant productivity; and major failures of transition to work for many young people.” Mulgan argues that while innovations around the labour market abound, they are “having little or no impact on much of the workforce.” Mulgan’s approach for addressing the problem relies on both data and collective intelli...Read More

Hollie Russon-Gilman in Stanford Social Innovation Review: Government as Government, Not Business

In a recent article for Stanford Social Innovation Review, Hollie Russon-Gilman asks the question, “How should we be thinking about the role of government in delivering services to the American people?” The piece, “Government as Government, Not Business,” examines the history and scholarship on “citizens as consumers,” “citizens as customers,” and “citizens as shareholders.” Russon-Gilman argues that while industry has many lessons for government, unique and important responsibilities fall on...Read More

Henry Farrell in Foreign Affairs: Brexit and the Northern Irish Border

In the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, Henry Farrell examines the implications of Ireland’s northern border acting as the boundary between the United Kingdom and Europe in the wake of Brexit. The piece, “Brexit and the Norther Irish Border,” asks, “will the U.K. remain in the EU customs union to preserve peace?” Farrell dives into the complexity of the situation surrounding the EU, England, Ireland and Northern Ireland:  “The EU, too, wants to avoid a hard Irish border. It believes, howeve...Read More

Lee Rainie Appears on CNBC's "On the Money" to Discuss the Future of Work

On Sunday, Lee Rainie appeared on CNBC’s “On the Money” to discuss automation, robots and the future of work. Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, which Rainie directs, recently released a study on the subject called, “The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training.” During the CNBC segment, Rainie noted that so-called “high-touch” jobs are likely to withstand the “rise of machines” for at least some time:  “‘Anything that involves dealing directly with the public and taking care of them, either t...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young Share Two-Part Series on Open Data for Inter-American Development Bank's Abierto al Público Blog

To mark this year’s Con Datos conference in Costa Rica, Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young shared findings from the Open Data in Developing Economies initiative at the Inter-American Development Bank’s Abierto al Público blog. The two-part series introduces the Periodic Table of Open Data analytical tool and provides a deep dive on case studies from the region.  The Periodic Table of Open Data is “a new methodology and factors for determining the success (or failure) of using open data.” A...Read More

Karim Lakhani in Harvard Business Review: Managing Our Hub Economy

In a piece for the September-October issue of Harvard Business Review, Karim Lakhani and Marco Iansiti explore the “competition in the age of online giants.” These representatives of the “hub economy” – like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alibaba and others – often take a network-driven rather than product-driven approach to competition and expansion, resulting in growing challenges. Lakhani and Iansiti argue:   “If current trends continue, the hub economy will spread across more industries, furt...Read More

Geoff Mulgan on Open Data and Artificial Intelligence to Innovate Philanthropy

This week, Geoff Mulgan shared a new post on the Nesta blog reflecting on ways to improve the effectiveness of philanthropic funding through new technologies. The piece, “Philanthropy and Innovation,” focuses in particular on open data and artificial intelligence as tools for the field. The post explores “how funders could use data; better sift and assess applications; reduce bureaucracy for applicants; strategically scan different fields; and tap into crowd knowledge.” One of the approaches...Read More

Hollie Russon-Gilman for New America: The Time for Engaging Citizens in Democracy Is Now

In a new piece for the New America blog, associate Network member Hollie Russon-Gilman and the World Bank’s Tiago Peixoto make the case for expanding the use of participatory budgeting (PB) across the U.S. Russon-Gilman and Peixoto focus in particular on the increasing evidence showing that PB initiatives lead to more representative spending decisions and increased levels of positive citizen perceptions and interactions with government: “Available evidence suggests that PB leads to significa...Read More

Karim Lakhani Launches New Business Analytics Program at Harvard Business School

In collaboration with the Schools of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Department of Statistics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Professor Karim Lakhani is launching a new, largely online, business analytics certificate program as part of the Harvard Business School Digital Initiative. The three-semester program that requires just eight to ten hours per week is designed to teach students how to leverage data and analytics to drive business growth. The team also partnered wit...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst on Bad Data and Data Responsibility

In two recent presentations, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst discusses issues related to solving problems with data. In the talks, Verhulst explores how bad data can create stumbling blocks for evidence-based policymaking, and how a new concept of data responsibility can help us more effectively unlock the value of data held by diverse actors while avoiding risks and potential harms. First, in his presentation Bad Data: The Hobgoblin of Effective Government, hosted by the American...Read More

Henry Farrell Interviews Steve Ballmer for the Monkey Cage

In two-part series for _ The Washington Post _ Monkey Cage blog, Henry Farrell interviews Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and creator of USAFacts. The interview touches on issues surrounding making public data more accessible and useful, and the challenge of mobilizing facts to inform public debate. From the discussion: “HF – You talked in a previous interview about how numbers can end arguments. Yet here, we’re talking about how numbers can start them. How do you strike that balance...Read More

Geoff Mulgan Looks Back at His 1997 Book Connexity on RSA Radio Podcast

In a recent episode of the RSA Radio podcast, Network member Geoff Mulgan looks back on his 1997 book Connexity: How to Live in a Connected World. The podcast features Mulgan in conversation with Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Episode Description: “Matthew Taylor of the RSA asks if ideas really have the power to change the world by revisiting influential books on public policy with their authors. This week...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst for The Conversation: How open data can help the Global South, from disaster relief to voter turnout

In a new piece for The Conversation, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst shares findings from a new GovLab research project examining Open Data in Developing Economies. Informed by 12 in-depth case studies, GovLab sought to assess the current (largely lacking) evidence on the impact of open data across developing countries, develop a framework of analysis to inform future research and evaluation, identify the key enabling conditions and disabling factors related to the use of open data...Read More

Hollie Russon-Gilman for the Monkey Cage: Women Create Fewer Online Petitions Than Men - But They’re More Successful

In a recent post for The Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, associate Network member Hollie Russon-Gilman, together with Tiago Peixoto, Jonathan Mellon and Fredrik M. Sjoberg, highlights research published by the Harvard Kennedy School comparing political participation, both online and offline, among men and women. The research shows that, in terms of offline policy, women are more likely to engage in “thin” forms of participation like voting, but are less likely to engage in “thick” participa...Read More

Lee Rainie in Trend: The Internet of Things Is the Next Digital Evolution – What Will It Mean?

In a recent Trend article, Pew Research Center’s Director of Internet and Technology Lee Rainie analyzes the infusion of digital technology into everyday life, and raises questions about quality and fairness that accompany behavioral alterations. Tomorrow’s disruptions - caused by the rise of the Internet of Things - will spark the next digital evolution. The Internet is already becoming more invisible and intangible, while also becoming more deeply embedded in people’s everyday lives. For ex...Read More

The GovLab Releases Report Detailing Why and How Open Data Matters for Developing Economies

New Report Provides Framework to Understand Evidence and Improve Future Open Data Initiatives; Expands Insights and Practices Gathered from 12 Case Studies of Developing Economies; Identifies 27 Success Factors in a Unique Periodic Table of Open Data; and Offers Recommendations BROOKLYN, New York –Today, The Governance Labat the NYU Tandon School of Engineering has launched a first-of-its-kindreport that assesses and explores ways open data can be used in developing economies. The GovLab’s...Read More

Hollie Russon-Gilman in PS: Political Science & Politics – Civic Tech for Urban Collaborative Governance

In a new piece or the PS: Political Science & Politics, Hollie Russon-Gilman provides insight on “Civic Tech for Urban Collaborative Governance.” With the piece, Russon-Gilman seeks to “initiate a research agenda to understand how policy makers can leverage civic tech to enable new channels for citizens to participate in the decision making process.” From the abstract: “This article aims to contribute to a burgeoning field of ‘civic technology’ to identify precise pathways through which...Read More

Karim Lakhani on HBR Ideacast: Blockchain — What You Need to Know

In a recent edition of Harvard Business Review’s Ideacast podcast, Karim Lakhani discusses how blockchain works and its likely impact on industry and other sectors. The 20-minute podcast features Lakhani in conversation with HBR editor Sarah Green Carcmichael, and is available on Soundcloud, iTunes, among other outlets. In response to a question on blockchain currently being in its “dial-up modem” days, Lakhani predicts a rapid uptake of blockchain-enabled activities, and calls for greater e...Read More

Lee Rainie at the Aspen Ideas Festival: The Genetic Revolution, Unintended Consequences, and the Public Trust

This week, Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology at the Pew Research Center, presented findings about Americans’ trust in scientists at the Aspen Ideas Festival. In a session called, “The Genetic Revolution, Unintended Consequences, and the Public Trust,” he lead a discussion about public institutional trust in scientific work. Some of the key points Rainie presented include: 67% of Americans say science has an a mostly positive effect on society Nearly half or more e...Read More

Henry Farrell on Economic Crisis and the Rise and Fall of Keynesianism in International Studies Quarterly

In a recent article for Oxford Academic’s International Studies Quarterly, Henry Farrell - together with John Quiggin – discusses the current economic crisis, and the rise and fall of Keynesianism in the modern political arena. In the piece, “Consensus, Dissensus, and Economic Ideas: Economic Crisis and the Rise and Fall of Keynesianism,” Farrell and Quiggin debate whether or not sociological arguments about professions, in conjunction with those about spaces of political contention as ecolog...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young for the Inter-American Development Bank: Exchanging Data to Create Public Value Across Latin America and the Caribbean

In a new article for the Inter-American Development Bank’s Abierto al público blog, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst, Network coordinator Andrew Young, and Prianka Srinivasan discuss data collaboratives, a potential solution to leverage private data for public good. They argue that the cross-sector exchange of data can be particularly beneficial to “humanitarian and anti-poverty efforts, urban planning, natural resource stewardship, health, and disaster management.” The author star...Read More

Anita McGahan in Harvard Business Review: Expanding the Reach of Primary Care in Developing Countries

In a new piece for Harvard Business Review, Network member Anita McGahan, Kathryn Mossman, Onil Bhattacharyya, MD, and Will Mitchell explore new mechanisms for “Expanding the Reach of Primary Care in Developing Countries.” The piece reports findings from a research project undertaken by the authors in partnership with the Rapid Routes to Scale group aimed at identifying “key drivers of scaling private sector primary care services” in developing countries. Through “site visits, interviews, do...Read More

Sonal Shah: Moving from Social Innovation to Scaling Impact

In a new letter, Beeck Center executive director and Network member Sonal Shah looked back on achievements from the first three years of the Beeck Center’s existence at Georgetown University, and plotted out next steps for social impact work at Beeck and beyond. Beeck’s work over the years – including courses, partnerships with organizations and policymakers, and research – has uncovered a number of lessons on how to scale social impact. Shah writes: “Innovative solutions alone are not enou...Read More

Henry Farrell in Foreign Affairs: Trump's No Hypocrite

This week, Network member Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore shared a new piece in Foreign Affairs on whether or not President Trump’s inconsistencies in word and action should be classified as hypocrisy. Farrell and Finnemore argue that while there are no shortage of past tweets and other public statements that contradict more recent statements and actions from the president, in many ways, Trump has dispensed with the type of traditional diplomatic hypocrisy that steadies the liberal world o...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck Launches GovLab Smarter Crowdsourcing Against Corruption Initiative

This week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck launched a new initiative from the GovLab, Mexico’s Secretaría de la Función Pública (Secretariat of the Civil Service) and the Inter-American Development Bank aimed at “identify[ing] and implement[ing] innovative approaches for fighting corruption.” The Smarter Crowdsourcing Against Corruption initiative “will convene global experts from a variety of fields, including public administration, data analytics, technology, law enforcement, and business”...Read More

Henry Farrell on NSA Secrets and the Global Ransomware Attack

Last week in the The Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, Henry Farrell examined the role of NSA secrets and software ‘patches’ in enabling the ransomware attack affecting businesses, hospitals, and governments around the world. Farrell notes that the attack was made possible by a ‘zero-day exploit’ – “a previously unknown flaw in Windows software that makes it easy to take control of vulnerable systems.” The exploit was made known last month as part of a leak of National Security Agency data by...Read More

Henry Farrell and Crooked Timber Launch Seminar on Cory Doctorow's Latest Book

This week, Crooked Timber launched a new seminar on Cory Doctorow’s latest book, Walkaway. The seminar features 12 authors (listed below) exploring different aspects of Doctorow’s new novel. Network member Henry Farrell’s contribution is titled “No Exit” and analyzes Walkaway in comparison to William Gibson’s The Peripheral, which “covers many of the same themes that Walkaway does. The rise of extreme inequality described by Piketty and others, as the super-rich become so different from every...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the Future of the Internet, 'Fake News,' and Why Net Neutrality Is So Important

In an interview for Business Insider, Sir Tim Berners-Lee spoke with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner about “on the future of the internet, fake news, net neutrality, and the rising tide of censorship in countries across the world.” Sir Tim discussed net neutrality as part of a broader discussion about questions on the role of the free market and the impact of monopolies in the digital realm: “I think the antitrust system is really important. The market works while there’s a mix of people,...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck, Zeynep Tufekci and Tim Wu discuss Free Speech in the Networked World at Knight First Amendment Institute Conference

This week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck moderated a panel on “Free Speech in the Networked World” at the Knight First Amendment Institute’s DISRUPTED: Speech and Democracy in the Digital Age conference. Noveck was joined by University of North Carolina professor Zeynep Tufekci and Colombia Law School professor Tim Wu. Noveck, Tufekci and Wu discussed the “First Amendment, free speech and the democratic implications of new technologies.” Video of the full discussion is available below: E...Read More

New Report from Lee Rainie on the Future of Jobs and Job Training

Today Network member Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson released a new Pew Research Center report on the Future of Jobs and Job Training. The report, developed as a partnership between Pew and Elon’s Imagining the Internet Center, is based on input provided by over 1000 expert “technologists, scholars, practitioners, strategic thinkers and education leaders.” It seeks to gain. Given the (quickly accelerating) proliferation of robots, automation and artificial intelligence, the report seeks to incr...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst for the Conversation: How social media data can improve people’s lives - if used responsibly

Last week, The Conversation published a new piece from Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst on the growing use of social media data to improve people’s lives around the world. Verhulst begins the article by describing a data collaborative launched in Malawi where the Red Cross improved its aid and relief distribution thanks to a mapping effort built on Facebook’s population density data. He goes on to describe the broader opportunity space created by the use of social media data to sol...Read More

Hollie Russon-Gilman in Stanford Social Innovation Review: The Moment for Participatory Democracy

This week, associate Network member Hollie Russon-Gilman shared “three civic engagement models that can help bring the voices of everyday citizens into public life” in a piece for Stanford Social Innovation Review. The article, “The Moment for Participatory Democracy,” explores examples of 1) giving citizens government data (e.g., What Works Cities); 2) giving citizens a direct line to their representatives (e.g., Crown Townhall); and giving citizens a seat at the table: “There are also seve...Read More

Five Hacks for Digital Democracy – Beth Simone Noveck in Nature

This week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck shared a new piece in Nature offering Five Hacks for Digital Democracy. The piece argues that, “We need to change the processes by which we make policy and deliver services for the public good. Empirical yet agile research in the wild is the route to knowing how.” Before diving into her five hacks to improve digital democracy – 1) data-driven decisionmaking; 2) open government data; 3) responsible data use; 4) citizen engagement; and 5) incentives ...Read More

New Opening Governance Stream on the Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog

This week, Henry Farrell, Network member and associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, launched a new stream on The Washington Post Monkey Cage blog focusing on questions of 21st Century democracy and the world of Opening Governance studied by the Research Network. The first post in the Opening Governance stream at the Monkey Cage – “Hungary’s government wants to shut down its most prominent university. That may be backfiring” – exami...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Wins 2017 Turing Award

Last week, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced that Sir Tim Berners-Lee is this year’s recipient of the Turing Award – the so-called Nobel Prize of of computing. ACM chose Sir Tim as the Turing Award winner in its 50th anniversary year for “inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the web to scale.” Sir Tim will also receive a $1 million prize provided by Google. In response to the announcement, Sir Tim sai...Read More

Karim Lakhani Shares the Truth About Blockchain in Harvard Business Review

In the January-February issue of Harvard Business Review, Network member Karim Lakhani and fellow Harvard Business School professor Marco Iansiti explore the potential impacts of the emergent “foundational” technology. While bullish on blockchain’s ability to fundamentally alter (and improve) a wide array of private and public sector processes, including but not limited to financial ones: “With blockchain, we can imagine a world in which contracts are embedded in digital code and stored in t...Read More

New Paper from Stefaan Verhulst: Data Collaboratives as “Bazaars”? A Review of Coordination Problems and Mechanisms to Match Demand for Data with Supply

In the latest issue of Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Network Chief of Research Stefaan Verhulst, Iryna Susha of Örebro University and Marijn Janssen from the Delft University of Technology explore challenges and coordination mechanisms to advance the field of data collaboratives. Data collaboratives are a new form of collaboration, beyond the public-private partnership model, in which participants from different sectors — in particular companies – exchange their data to...Read More

Letter from Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Three Challenges for the Web, According to Its Inventor

Sunday marked the 28th anniversary of the World Wide Web. To mark the anniversary, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Web’s inventor and a member of the Research Network, shared a letter on the World Wide Web Foundation website focusing especially on three new trends believes “we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool which serves all of humanity.” First, “ We’ve lost control of our personal data: ‘ The current business model for many websites offers free content in e...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst Interviewed on First Episode of Global Partners Digital's In Beta Podcast

Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst recently appeared on the inaugural episode of Global Partners Digital (GPD) podcast, In beta. GPD is a “social purpose company dedicated to fostering a digital environment underpinned by human rights and democratic values.” GPD created the In beta podcast to “host interesting conversations with interesting people in our field, outside of the conventions of traditional policy discourse; which can sometimes work to confine people in silos, and discoura...Read More

Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis: Geoff Mulgan Proposes a Constructive Direction for Politics and Policy after Brexit and Trump

In a new essay on the Nesta blog, Geoff Mulgan proposes a theory aimed at providing a “constructive direction for politics and policy after Brexit and Trump.” The piece seeks to provide a blueprint for better understanding the opposing forces currently at play (i.e., the remnants of previous political order vs. the current, often populist shocks upending the system) and articulating a plausible, more broadly beneficial path forward across domains like health, education and democracy itself. ...Read More

Henry Farrell on Europe's Far Right in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage Blog

In his latest article for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Henry Farrell, along with Abraham Newman, examines the current state of the far-right European parties and their relationship to the European Union. In particular, they examine the issue through the lens of France’s National Front, which has been accused of misusing European Parliament expenses, and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), the leader of the Brexit movement. Farrell and Newman find that most anti-European U...Read More

New Journal Article on "Being Digitally Invisible" Published by ASU Center for Policy Informatics

A team from Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics (CPI), led by Network Associate Member Justin Longo and including Network member Erik Johnston, has just published their research on the concept of “digitally invisible” in the journal Policy & Internet (open access is available here). With the emergence of “policy analytics” – involving the combination of new data sources (e.g., from mobile smartphones, Internet of Everything (IoE) devices, and electronic payment cards...Read More

Upgrading democracy: What's possible and what can guide governments

“Cross-posted from Nesta blog Today we’re publishing an overview of digital innovations in democracy – to make sense of what’s possible, what’s working and what can guide governments, parliaments, parties and local governments. This is a topic I’ve been fascinated by for years – over 20 years ago I wrote and edited a collection on how ‘lean democracy’ could use digital tools; I’ve been involved in many experiments; I was first chair of the organisation Involve; and most recently through Nes...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst in Stanford Social Innovation Review: Corporate Social Responsibility for a Data Age

Yesterday, Stanford Social Innovation Review published a piece from Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst on a new form of “Corporate Social Responsibility for a Data Age.” The piece, which builds on a talk given by Verhulst at TEDx MidAtlantic and the GovLab’s recently launched DataCollaboratives.org website, discusses the need for a new conception of data responsibility in our age of data-driven problem-solving (and data-driven risks). After proposing a conception of Data Responsibili...Read More

Geoff Mulgan Joins New Council on the Future of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Announced at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Geoff Mulgan joins a group of 25 international, cross-sector experts in the newly established council on the Future of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The initiative is aimed at better understanding the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. From the council description: “This council will explore the Fourth Industrial Revolution as an opportunity to change models of innovation-driven entrepreneurship for the better, and create an env...Read More

New Report from Lee Rainie and Pew Research Center: Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age

Yesterday, Lee Rainie, Network member and director of Pew’s Internet, Science and Technology Research, and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center’s Janna Anderson released a new report on the Algorithm Age. The report seeks to better understand the pros and cons of our increasing reliance on algorithms across many aspects of life. Rainie and Anderson note that, “Algorithms are often elegant and incredibly useful tools used to accomplish tasks. They are mostly invisible aids, augmenti...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck in Governing: Launching the Data Justice Network

In her latest column for Governing, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck describes the GovLab’s newly launched Data Justice Network. The piece, written together with Batu Sayici, the GovLab’s director of user experience, makes the case for expert networking technologies to “potentially transform how justice practitioners gain and share knowledge.” As data-driven decision-making takes hold across governance sectors, including criminal justice, Noveck and Sayici argue that the ability to identify a...Read More

Research Network Participation at World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos

At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck and Network member Sir Tim Berners-Lee took part in a number of sessions, including the “Shaping Davos” event, focusing on how technology can help to solve global problems. Both spoke about meeting the challenges facing a more globalized and dynamic internet environment, along with the great potentials new internet technologies hold. Berners-Lee emphasized the need to counter cyber abuse in a nuanced y...Read More

Journal Article on Github for Open Governance Published from Work Undertaken at ASU Center for Policy Informatics

In 2014 a team from Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics (CPI), supported by Network member Erik Johnston and led by Network Associate Member Justin Longo, began researching how GitHub might be used in public sector organizations to facilitate open knowledge sharing and collaboration. The results of that research have now been published in the journal _Canadian Public Administration_ (open access is available here). GitHub is the largest web-based source code project host...Read More

The GovLab Launches DataCollaboratives.org – New Resource on Creating Public Value by Sharing Data

This week, the GovLab, through different partnerships with UNICEF ( focused on creating data collaboratives to improve children’s lives) and Omidyar Network ( studying new ways to match open-data demand and supply to increase impact), launched DataCollaboratives.org. Data Collaboratives are a new form of collaboration built on cross-sector data sharing to solve public problems. Network chair Beth Simone Noveck described the potential of data collaboratives: “Recent years have seen exponentia...Read More

Disunited Kingdom – Henry Farrell's Feature on Brexit in the Latest Democracy

For the Winter issue of Democracy, Henry Farrell explores the weakening of political parties in the United Kingdom and Europe – culminating in Brexit. The article, “Disunited Kingdom,” tracks the shifts of political parties over time, with an eye toward explaining how Brexit became a reality, and how “the Labour Party [became] so weak that the Conservatives do not need to worry about Labour defeating them in the next election, or perhaps in the election after that. This means that UK politica...Read More

Five reflections on building a more inclusive democracy via the web

Cross-posted from Nesta Last week Nesta hosted two small events on digital democracy in London with support from the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance. We invited speakers from four inspiring global initiatives in digital engagement to share lessons and discuss key themes in the future of technology and democracy. With stories and perspectives from Brazil, Iceland, Taiwan, France and the UK, here’s a summary of what we learned. 1. Despite potential pitfalls, new to...Read More

New Draft Paper from Geoff Mulgan: A New Family of Data Commons?

Based on a November talk given at ESADE in Barcelona, this week, Nesta’s Geoff Mulgan shared a draft paper, “A New Family of Data Commons?” for public comment. The paper is part of Nesta’s ongoing work on the topic, which seeks “to design and test out new ways of combining data that give citizens greater control, while also making it easier to generate public value through linking data together.” Mulgan offers seven central areas where the establishment of a data commons can have a positive ...Read More

Sheena Iyengar for Columbia Business School's Ideas at Work: How Choice Failed Us

Last week, Network member Sheena Iyengar shared insights from the science of choice relevant to the 2016 U.S. presidential election for Columbia Business School’s Ideas at Work publication. In particular, Iyengar seeks to answer the question, “did choice fail us in this election?” Iyengar uses the piece to examine the role of choice in Trump’s election, from the Republican primaries when Trump faced 16 other opponents, to a general election between two of the least popular candidates in hist...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck in the Guardian: Could Crowdsourcing Expertise be the Future of Government?

In the wake of the UK’s EU referendum and the US election of Donald Trump, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck provides a vision of governmental crowdsourcing of expertise in The Guardian. She argues that the embrace of “charismatic demagogues” is at least in part the result of the public’s lack of trust in institutions, which are seen as remote entities staffed with “experts” who possess little interest in the opinions, skills and experiences of citizens. Noveck notes: “Citizen engagement is ...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee on Open Data Security and Inclusiveness

In a discussion with The Guardian, Network member Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his co-founder of the Open Data Institute, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, touched on some concerns related to the growing open data space. They focused in particular on questions of open data being used for nefarious purposes (beyond those related to privacy concerns): “Asked about whether open data could have security vulnerabilities, Berners-Lee said criminals could manipulate open data for profit, for example by placing bets o...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck Discusses Smarter Crowdsourcing for Zika at CityLab 2016

At this year’s CityLab 2016 event, hosted by The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, Network Chair Beth Simone Noveck discussed a joint effort to fight Zika through smarter crowdsourcing techniques with Argentina’s Undersecretary for Modernization Rudi Borrmann. CityLab brought together “more than 500 global city leaders—40 mayors, plus urban theorists, city planners, scholars, architects, and entrepreneurs—for a series of conversations about the challenges and ideas ...Read More

Lee Rainie at Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 Talks to Publishers Weekly about Reading in the Digital Age

At this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, _Publishers Weekly _interviewed Network member Lee Rainie about Pew Research Center’s inquiry into how Americans consume books, and “the future of reading.” The discussion was based on the recently released Book Reading 2016 Pew report, as well as previous surveys on the topic conducted over the years. In addition to discussing the continued popularity of physical books and strategies for conducting surveys on book readership, Rainie described the change i...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst on Data Responsibility for TEDxMidAtlantic and The Conversation

For The Conversation, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst proposes a new way of viewing data responsibility in the information age. He argues that while the value and utility of data (and open government data in particular) is increasingly recognized, much of the most useful information is held by the private sector in proprietary datasets. A new understanding of and framework for data responsibility, he argues, “can help organisations break down these private barriers and share their ...Read More

Sheena Iyengar Discusses Her Research on the Strong Women's Club Podcast

Sheena S. Iyengar, inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business School, joined Edie Berg on her Strong Women’s Club Podcast last week to discuss the implications of her research. Iyengar shares her perspective on how people present themselves to others, choose the people in their circles, the psychology of authenticity, and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. These topics represent a synthesis of the overall research conducted by Iyengar, who argues that modernity is a “special era in which we c...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst with Danny Lämmerhirt: Toward a user-centric and interdisciplinary research agenda to advance open data.

In a new blog post on for the International Open Data Conference (IODC) website, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst and Danny Lämmerhirt of Open Knowledge International report back on their conference ‘action track’ on Measurement and Increasing Impact. The action track “sought to review the need and role of research for (scaling) open data practice and policy” and was “informed by the various sessions and workshops that took place at the Open Data Research Symposium prior to the Conf...Read More

Presentation from Lee Rainie: Operating in the Age of Always-On Media

Last week, Lee Rainie, Network member and director of Internet, Science and Technology research at Pew Research Center, shared findings on the use of digital technology at the Federal Reserve Board’s Editors and Designers conference. His keynote talk explored “the impact of social media, collaboration, and future trends in technology with a special focus on the issues tied to security and reputational risk that face the Federal Reserve System.” In particular, he proposed ways in which Pew’s ...Read More

Henry Farrell in Vox: How the Chris Hayes book Twilight of the Elites explains Trump's appeal

Writing for Vox, George Washington University political scientist Henry Farrell argues that Chris Hayes’ 2012 book The Twilight of the Elites is having a “real moment” right now. In particular, Hayes’ book – published before the current wave of populist and nationalistic rhetoric and political action in the United States – proposes that “the reality of an unequal country is generating a political crisis, in which people lose their trust in institutions and become radicalized.” Farrell argues...Read More

NEW e-BOOK: The Global Impact of Open Data

Key Findings from Detailed Case Studies Around the World By Stefaan Verhulst, and Andrew Young Publisher: O’Reilly Released: September 2016 Open data has spurred economic innovation, social transformation, and fresh forms of political and government accountability in recent years, but few people understand how open data works. This comprehensive 459-page report, developed with support from Omidyar Network, presents detailed case studies of open data projects throughout the world, along wi...Read More

When is the crowd wise or can the people ever be trusted?

“Whether, and to what extent you think a crowd can be wise has implications for the kinds of engagement you might advocate. Democratic theory has tended to take a pretty dim view of people and their ability to make decisions. Many political philosophers believe that people are at best uninformed and at worst, ignorant and incompetent.  This view is a common justification for our system of representative democracy – people can’t be trusted to make decisions so this responsibility should fall ...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee in the Washington Post: Ted Cruz is wrong about how free speech is censored on the Internet

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Network member and creator of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his colleague at MIT CSAIL Daniel Weitzner push back against calls for the United States to exert greater control in the Internet Governance space. In particular, the piece is a response to a call from Senator Ted Cruz for the U.S. to continue and ramp up its stewardship of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN), the institution that controls the Internet’s do...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck and Stefaan Verhulst Offer Strategies for Encouraging and Sustaining Innovation in the Next Administration

Last week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck and Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst released a new report as part of the Partnership for Public Service and IBM Center for the Business of Government “Ready to Govern – Developing a Management Roadmap for the Next Administration” series. The report, “Encouraging and Sustaining Innovation in Government: Technology and Innovation in the Next Administration,” was informed by insights raised during a January roundtable discussion that feature...Read More

Geoff Mulgan Asks, "What's Wrong with Theories of Change?"

In his latest post on the Nesta blog, Geoff Mulgan describes why he’s “skeptical” about how the idea of a theory of change is often presented, despite being “wholly supportive of the underlying notion.” So while Mulgan highlights the importance of an organization having a “coherent account of why the things it does might have the effects it wants,” he argues that the ‘theory of change’ framing can be misleading in two central ways: “One is that they tend to be far too linear, assuming that i...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst Offers Design Principles to Generate a Civic Tech Movement

In Omidyar Network’s Positive Returns Medium publication, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst offers insights on “Building a Civic Tech Sector to Last.” The article is a response to Omidyar Network’s “ Engines of Change” report, which provides lessons for the civic tech sector based on learnings from other social movements. Design principles recommended by Verhulst include encourage experimentation, establish an evidence base and a common set of metrics and: “Identify the signal. As ...Read More

PhDs Awarded to Arizona State University Center for Policy Informatics Students Under Erik Johnston's Guidance

Last week, Dr. Tanya Kelley and Dr. Chul Hyun Park of Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics (CPI) successfully defended their dissertations. Both students worked under the guidance of CPI director and Network member Erik Johnston. About Dr. Kelley’s dissertation: “Dr. Kelley’s dissertation, Open Innovation Implementation in a Public University: Administrator design, management, and evaluation of participatory programs & platforms, is a case study of how Arizona State ...Read More

Henry Farrell on Pokémon Go and the Tragedy of the Commons

For The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Henry Farrell examines the influence of game theory on the current Pokémon Go phenomenon. The augmented reality smartphone game has quickly reached a level of immense popularity, and many people looking to sign up and join the wave of excitement are being greeted by error messages due to overwhelmed servers. The tendency to continue taxing those servers with repeated attempts to register for the popular game are, in Farrell’s view, consistent with g...Read More

White House Announces GovLab Coaching Program on Data-Driven Criminal Justice

The White House recently released a new Fact Sheet on “Launching the Data-Driven Justice Initiative: Disrupting the Cycle of Incarceration.” Included in the fact sheet is the description of a partnership between the White House and the GovLab, under the direction of Network chair Beth Simone Noveck, to launch a coaching and mentoring program for those interested in implementing data-driven criminal justice initiatives. From the Fact Sheet: “New York University’s (NYU) Governance Lab (The Go...Read More

Henry Farrell Explores Brexit's Effect on Ireland for Foreign Affairs

For Foreign Affairs, Network member and George Washington University associate professor of political scientist Henry Farrell examined how the Brexit fallout will impact Ireland. From geopolitical to economic to cultural issues, the United Kingdom’s move away from the European Union is likely to create a number of challenges and decision points for the Irish government. Farrell notes that if Ireland wishes to “maintain good ties with the EU—and all indications suggest that it does—it will hav...Read More

Digital democracy - where to next?

By Julie Simon and Theo Bass – Reposted from Nesta Blog Politics is in crisis. Disillusionment, a lack of trust in politicians, apathy, falling turnout at elections and a surge in populist movements around Europe. What is the way out of this miasma? Digital tools and technologies have transformed the way we live and work. Could they transform our politics too? New technologies are not likely to be a silver bullet to the current predicament, but the lesson from cities across Europe is that t...Read More

Deborah Estrin Named 2017 IEEE Internet Award Winner

This week, the IEEE announced that Network member Deborah Estrin is the 2017 recipient of the IEEE Internet Award. The award is given annually to individuals providing “exceptional contributions to the advancement of internet technology.” From the announcement: “Specifically, Estrin was selected for ‘formative contributions and thought leadership in internet routing and in mobile sensing techniques and applications, from environmental monitoring to personal and community health.’ IEEE is th...Read More

Geoff Mulgan for the Guardian: How community currencies could help rebalance our economy

This week for The Guardian, Geoff Mulgan described how the increased use of community currencies could help to better address local needs. Mulgan describes the aim of community currencies as connecting “different kinds of supply – of time, work or things – to otherwise unmet demands or needs.” He points to a number of examples – from new currencies used during economic contractions in Argentina in the 2000s and Greece more recently to the UK’s Spice Time Credits. Spice Time Credits, which can...Read More

Anita McGahan Participates in CBC Radio Show Examining Big Data's Impact on Business

Yesterday, Network member Anita McGahan appeared on CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy to discuss Big Data. The show is the first half of a two-part series examining “the opportunities, the risks – and the trade-offs – as the world of Big Data relentlessly changes our lives.” Part 1 was originally recorded at May 9th at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Joining McGahan on the panel were: Ashkan Soltani, an independent researcher and technologist specializing...Read More

Henry Farrell and Beth Simone Noveck Discuss Smarter Crowdsourcing for Washington Post

This week, the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog posted a conversation between Network member Henry Farrell and Network Chair Beth Simone Noveck regarding the arguments in Noveck’s book Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing. The conversation touched on the reasons government does not currently make use of the expertise distributed in society, legal barriers to such engagement, the Obama Administration’s efforts to create a more open U.S. gov...Read More

Lee Rainie Discusses Social Media's Role in the Workplace with USA Today

This week the Pew Research Center released “ Social Media and the Workplace,” a new report exploring how Americans use social media while on the job. Lee Rainie, Network member and director of internet, science, and technology research at Pew, shared insights with USA Today regarding the report’s findings (such as 77% of workers saying they use social media at work, regardless of any policy restrictions from their employer).. Rainie argued that both shifting conceptions of work-life balance ...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck on the Opening of IRS Form 990 Data

This week, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service began openly publishing machine-readable nonprofit tax return data on Amazon Web Services. This new era of openness in philanthropy is the result of years of advocacy work, including particularly the efforts of Public.Resource.org’s Carl Malamud. Network chair Beth Simone Noveck has also been a part of the effort to open this data. In 2013, Noveck and Daniel L. Goroff published Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data a paper descri...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Decentralized Web Summit Profiled in New York Times

This week, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Internet Archive head Brewster Kahle and others came together in San Francisco for the Decentralized Web Summit. Participants sought to brainstorm and operationalize strategies for a new Web, in which privacy, security and preservation are the default, and “websites are easily accessible to all as long as at least one person somewhere in the world is hosting a copy.” The event, and Sir Tim’s involvement in particular, were profiled in The New York Times. One o...Read More

London School of Economics Review of Beth Simone Noveck's Smart Citizens, Smarter State

In the London School of Economics Review of Books, Zeynep Engin, founder and lead investigator of Data for Policy, reviewed Network chair Beth Simone Noveck’s book _Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing_. Noveck’s describes the realized and potential impact of leveraging technology to match the supply of citizen expertise to the demand for it in government. Engin “strongly recommends this book for those looking to understand how technologica...Read More

The GovLab Embarks to Expand Open Data 500 Study in Collaboration with Columbia Business School

Which companies are using Open Data, and how are they related? The GovLab Embarks to Expand Open Data 500 Study in Collaboration with Graduate Business School of Columbia University Two years ago _ _the GovLab_ developed the first-ever _ census of open data companies in the US: the Open Data 500. Today, in collaboration with the Graduate Business School of Columbia University, the GovLab is launching the next iteration which will have two goals. One, we will update and expand the Open Data ...Read More

Geoff Mulgan on the UK Government's New Data Science Ethical Framework

This week, Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan and UK Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock launched a new government Data Science Ethical Framework. Mulgan’s remarks from the launch were shared in a new blog post on the Nesta website. Mulgan begins by highlighting the outsized potential of data serving the public good: “Almost everything we do now is captured as data - where we go, what we buy, who we talk to, and data is very much part of daily work at Nesta. We are involved heavily as an investor in...Read More

Lee Rainie on Americans' Views on Privacy and Implications for the Publishing Industry

Next week, Network member Lee Rainie will give the MIP Summit keynote on “American Attitudes About Data Privacy, Security and Surveillance: Implications for the book industry.” The event is aimed at “demonstrating why and how publishers and industry stakeholders who implement corporate social responsibility and cause marketing efforts can grow their businesses.” Ahead of the event, Rainie discussed online data privacy and security – and their implications for the publishing industry – with e...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Discusses Future of Publishing at IDPF Digicon

This week, Sir Tim Berners-Lee gave a keynote talk at the International Digital Publishing Forum’s Digicon conference in Chicago. Sir Tim’s talk, “Realizing the Vision of Publishing Technology Being Web Technology,” discussed the future of publishing on the Web and moves toward seamless integration between print and digital publishing. Publisher’s Weekly provided a recap of the talk: “…Berners-Lee, who is also founder and director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), outlined the history...Read More

Henry Farrell on What Captain America: Civil War Gets Wrong about Global Politics

In a piece for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Henry Farrell examines the new Marvel Comics movie Captain America: Civil War through a lens of global politics. While the filmmakers set out to make this outing of the Avengers as realistic in its portrayal of the likely real-world ramifications of superheroics as possible, Farrell finds that, although the film is “very good and highly entertaining,” it does does not always succeed in accurately portraying the likely global impacts of th...Read More

ASU Center for Policy Informatics Publishes Journal Article on Design Principles for Citizen Science

A team from Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics, directed by Network member Erik Johnston, published “ Design Principles for Engaging and Retaining Virtual Citizen Scientists” in the latest issue of Conservation Biology. The authors – Justin Longo, former Network post-doc and current assistant professor and Cisco Systems Research Chair in Big Data and Open Government at the University of Regina, Dara M. Wald and A. R. Dobell – explore the opportunities and challenges of u...Read More

New Platform for Sharing Research on Opening Governance: The Open Governance Research Exchange (OGRX)

“Last week,   The GovLab, in collaboration with founding partners mySociety and the World Bank’s Digital Engagement Evaluation Team launched the Open Governance Research Exchange (OGRX), a new platform for sharing research and findings on innovations in governance. From crowdsourcing to nudges to open data to participatory budgeting, more open and innovative ways to tackle society’s problems and make public institutions more effective are emerging. Yet little is known about what innovations ...Read More

Geoff Mulgan on the State of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy

Nesta’s Geoff Mulgan and Albert Bravo-Biosca previewed this month’s Making Innovation and Growth Policy Work global conference in a new blog post on “Bringing Experimentation and Evidence to Innovation Policy: A Radical Idea Whose Time has Come.” The event – which will be held on May 24-26th in London with speakers including Network member Karim Lakhani – will “showcase some of the latest ideas in innovation and entrepreneurship policy, and explore how governments can become more experimental...Read More

Insights on Collective Problem-Solving, Part 3: Complexity, Categorization and Lessons from Academia

“Over the last two years, a group of scholars from disciplines including political science, political theory, cognitive psychology, information science, statistics and computer science have met under the auspices of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance. The goal of these meetings has been to bring the insights of different disciplines to bear on fundamental problems of collective problem solving. How do we best solve collective problems? How should we study and thin...Read More

Join Us at These Upcoming Network Events: Assessing the Impacts of Civic Technology and Making Innovation and Growth Policy Work

Members of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance are participating in two exciting events in the next month that will bring together interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners looking to accelerate innovation in governance around the world. First, chief of research Stefaan Verhulst, Network coordinator Andrew Young and Network member Erik Johnston are participating in this week’s ‘ The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference 2016 (TICTeC),’ hosted by mySociety. ...Read More

Insights on Collective Problem-Solving, Part 2: StackExchange and Online Q&A

Over the last two years, a group of scholars from disciplines including political science, political theory, cognitive psychology, information science, statistics and computer science have met under the auspices of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance. The goal of these meetings has been to bring the insights of different disciplines to bear on fundamental problems of collective problem solving. How do we best solve collective problems? How should we study and think...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Comments on Findings of 3rd Open Data Barometer

This week, the Web Foundation, founded by Network member and inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, released the results of the 3rd Open Data Barometer. The Open Data Barometer provides a “global snapshot of the state of open government data in 92 countries.” The findings were released as an extended report and made available in a custom data visualization tool. In response to the findings, Sir Tim commented: “Inequality and poverty are about more than income – they are also ab...Read More

Deborah Estrin Announces Launch of Android ResearchStack

This week, Open mHealth announced the launch of ResearchStack, “the first Android framework for building and designing apps for clinical studies.” Over the past five months, principal investigator Deborah Estrin worked with collaborators at Open mHealth, Cornell Tech, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and touchlab to provide developers and researchers with the ability to adapt existing clinical study iOS apps to the Android platform – making them accessible to Android’s 1.4 billion users wor...Read More

Insights on Collective Problem-Solving, Part 1: Juries as Problem-Solving Institutions

Over the last two years, a group of scholars from disciplines including political science, political theory, cognitive psychology, information science, statistics and computer science have met under the auspices of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance. The goal of these meetings has been to bring the insights of different disciplines to bear on fundamental problems of collective problem solving. How do we best solve collective problems? How should we study and think...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck Moderates Discussion on Smart Cities in Latin America

This week, the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) hosted a panel discussion on how Latin American cities can leverage new technologies “to be smart and prepare a future-ready economy with improved public services, air quality, and transportation systems.” Network chair Beth Simone Noveck moderated the panel, which featured: Michael Chui, MGI Partner, McKinsey & Company Josh Moskowitz, Director, Global Public Affairs, Citi Clifford J. Thomas, Managing Director, Smart...Read More

Ahead of Next Month's Election, Geoff Mulgan Pens Open Letter on Governing London

Today Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan shared a new paper: “An open letter on governing London – how the new mayor could get the wiring right.” Mulgan’s piece provides recommendations on “how the mayor could shape their leadership team, structures and processes, and how they can develop a more open, engaged and creative system of governance – one better able to make the most of the city’s amazing assets.” With the May 5th election fast approaching, Mulgan makes the case for: “Clearly defining the ...Read More

Erik Johnston Publishes Two Articles in Special Issue of 'Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment' Journal

This week, the Ecological Society of America released a special issue of its Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment journal exploring network governance and large landscape conversation. The issue includes two open access articles from Erik Johnston, Network member and director of Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics. The first article, written by Johnston, Mart T. Imperial, Sonia Ospina, Rosemary O’Leary, Jennifer Thomsen, Peter Williams and Shawn Johnson, is titled “ ...Read More

How to Train Public Entrepreneurs? 10 Lessons Learned

Cross-posted from Medium Over the last three years, in a series of Masters-level courses and online (and offline) workshops and coaching programs funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The GovLab and its network of 25 world-class coaches and over 100 mentors helped 446 participants in more than a dozen US cities and thirty countries to take a public interest technology project from idea to implementation. In the process, we’ve learned a lot about the need for new ways of trai...Read More

Henry Farrell Shares Primer on Panama Papers Leak

This week Network member Henry Farrell provided a rundown of “what you need to know” about the Panama Papers scandal for _The Washington Post’s _Monkey Cage blog. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is in the process of releasing 11.5 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm based in Panama that “specializes in setting up shell corporations that can be used, for example, by people looking to hide their money from the taxman.” Although Panama has become a “noto...Read More

Erik Johnston and John Harlow Win Arizona's Outstanding Transit Innovation Award

At Arizona’s 29th Annual Transit Conference, Network member Erik Johnston and Network post-doc John Harlow, both of Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics, will receive the Outstanding Transit Innovation Award from the Arizona Transit Association and Arizona Department of Transportation. The event is “the premier transit conference for Arizona” and features “the latest in technology, equipment, supplies, and services.” Johnston and Harlow are receiving the award based on th...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young Release New Paper on the Global Impacts of Open Data

Last week Network Chief of Research Stefaan Verhulst and Network Coordinator Andrew Young released “ Open Data Impact: When Demand and Supply Meet.” The paper, developed by The GovLab in partnership with Omidyar Network, shares key findings about the social, economic, cultural and political impact of open data across a collection of 19 case studies on open data’s impacts from around the world. The paper provides an analytical framework for assessing the impacts of open data projects based on ...Read More

Lee Rainie Shares Insights on Technology Adoption by Baby Boomers (And Everybody Else)

This week Network member Lee Rainie and Andrew Perrin, both of Pew Research Center spoke at the 2016 What’s Next Boomer Summit in Washington, D.C. The Boomer Summit is “the nation’s leading conference for companies, experts, and thought leaders in the longevity market to meet and learn from Fortune 100 companies, leading start-ups, and established nonprofit organizations who are successfully targeting the largest and most lucrative consumer demographic in the world.” Rainie and Perrin shared ...Read More

Opening Governance in the Private Sector

By Jay Horwitz and Anita McGahan The opening of governance is transforming large multinational companies, small enterprises, and every type of private-sector enterprise in between. At the same time, the opening of governance is calling into question whether corporations are needed at all to take up opportunities for creating value, especially when those opportunities are tied to big data. What does it mean to open governance in the private sector? At the most basic level, the idea of open...Read More

Deborah Estrin Gives 2016 Nyquist Lecture at Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science

Last week, Deborah Estrin, professor of computer science at Cornell Tech and co-founder of Open mHealth, discussed the role small data can play in improving health outcomes as the 2016 Nyquist Lecturer at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science. The lecture series is “named in honor of Harry Nyquist, Ph.D. ‘17, an important contributor to stability theory and information theory through his research into a quantitative understanding of thermal noise, data transmission and negative...Read More

Opening Governance Networking Reception in Washington, D.C.

On March 21, from 5:30-7:00pm, join us at OpenGov Hub to meet, share knowledge, and explore potential collaborations with members of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance.  Convened and organized by the GovLab, and made possible by a three-year 5 million USD grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Network seeks to build an empirical foundation and fundamental understanding of how the redesign of democratic institutions influences effectiven...Read More

New Book Edited by Karim Lakhani and Dietmar Harhoff: Revlolutionizing Innovation

This week, Network member and Harvard Business School Professor Karim Lakhani and Dietmar Harhoff, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, published a new book: Revolutionizing Innovation: Users, Communities, and Open Innovation. The book, released by MIT Press, features contributions from Yochai Benkler, Helena Canhão, Fred Gault, Christina Raasch and many more. Book overview: “The last two decades have witnessed an extraordinary growth of new model...Read More

New Paper from Geoff Mulgan: The Challenge-Driven University: How Real-Life Problems Can Fuel Learning

Last week, Network member Geoff Mulgan, Oscar Townsley and Adam Price of Nesta released a new paper focused on the reform and modernization of higher education. Built from a talk given at Cardiff University on the topic, “The Challenge-Driven University: How Real-Life Problems Can Fuel Learning,” comprises two parts: 1) an examination and collection of examples of challenge-driven education models; and 2) the placement of the challenge-driven model into a broader historical perspective of uni...Read More

Henry Farrell Reviews Hacked World Order for Lawfare

Last week,  Henry Farrell reviewed the new book, Hacked World Order, by Adam Segal. Farrell calls it “by far the best” book written on cybersecurity in recent years. Farrell argues that one of the reasons Segal’s book is so successful is its avoidance of the common pitfalls related to cybersecurity debates: “There are two big reasons why cybersecurity debates are terrible: cybersecurity is highly technical across multiple dimensions, but it is also a topic that inspires high passions. The f...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst on Problem-Solving Through Data Collaboratives

Least week Stefaan Verhulst, Iryna Susha and Alexander Kostura published “Data Collaboratives: Matching Demand with Supply of (Corporate) Data to solve Public Problems” on Medium. The post arose from the recent International Data Responsibility Conference, organized by the International Data Responsibility Group ( IDRG), of which the GovLab is a founding partner. In particular, the post describes the insights uncovered during a participatory session led by Verhulst, Susha and Kostura explori...Read More

New Paper from Geoff Mulgan Argues for UK Machine Intelligence Commission

This week, Nesta shared a new paper written by Network member Geoff Mulgan. The paper, “A machine intelligence commission for the UK: how to grow informed public trust and maximise the positive impact of smart machines,” is based on a talk Mulgan gave at the Alan Turing Institute earlier this month. Mulgan described the major arguments outlined in the paper in a blog post announcing its publication: “This paper makes the case for creating a Machine Intelligence Commission - a new public ins...Read More

Studying Data-Driven and Collaborative Innovation in Governance

By Andrew Young and Stefaan Verhulst Two years ago, the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance was launched to build an empirical foundation and fundamental understanding of how the redesign of democratic institutions influences effectiveness and legitimacy in governance, to the end of improving people’s lives. Much has changed since. Interest in open government has increased rapidly and the need to innovate in how we solve problems is now well understood at all levels o...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck and Henry Farrell Participate in Smart Citizens, Smarter State Event at Stanford PACS

Today the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society hosted a public event for Beth Simone Noveck’s new book,  Smart Citizens, Smarter State. The event also convened a diverse set of researchers – including Network member Henry Farrell – to discuss the the use of “technologies of expertise” to improve governance. Event description: Government “of the people, by the people, for the people” expresses an ideal that resonates in all democracies. Can we get closer to this ideal using new ...Read More

Lee Rainie Discusses Privacy with Ari Shapiro for NPR's All Things Considered

Yesterday, Network member Lee Rainie discussed Americans’ views on privacy with Ari Shapiro for NPR’s All Things Considered. In a discussion inspired by the controversy surrounding the Apple’s refusal to build a “backdoor” so that the FBI can access the personal data found on an iPhone, Rainie shared insights from a recent Pew Research Center report on privacy and information sharing. Rainie highlighted the complexity of Americans’ views on privacy, especially considering the impetus for the...Read More

Geoff Mulgan to Discuss Useful (and Useless) Universities at Cardiff University

On March 2, Network member and Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan will give a public lecture on “Useful (and Useless) Universities” at the Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre at Cardiff College. The lecture will draw on Mulgan’s years of experience as a practitioner of institutional innovation. Event description: “Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, will set out a vision of the future for universities. What value do universities bring in a World of Internet access to higher education, rapidly changing ski...Read More

Erik Johnston Leading Innovation Challenge at Arizona State University

Network member Erik Johnston and the Center for Policy Informatics that he directs are organizing a new innovation challenge at Arizona State University called “Empathy for Our Devils.” The three-pronged initiative – currently in its second stage – encourages students to first share an idea for an issue the ASU community could address (e.g., student loans, domestic violence or homelessness); second, to join a team to develop solutions; and third, to submit a collaboratively develop solution f...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck for the Policy Network: The Rise of the Citizen Expert

Last week, the Policy Network Observatory published a new essay by Network chair Beth Simone Noveck on “The Rise of the Citizen Expert.” Noveck’s piece explores the move from “open call” crowdsourcing – which “fails to match individuals to what matters to them, or, in this case, match people to problems based on what they can do” – to smarter crowdsourcing efforts that match demand to supply of expertise. For example: “If a city really wants to improve the chances of crafting a workable plan...Read More

Karim Lakhani on Crowd Voting as the Antidote to HiPPOS in Harvard Business Review

This week, Harvard Business Review published a new piece by Network member Karim Lakhani on how to avoid relying only on the highest-paid person’s opinion (HiPPO) when making decisions. The piece, “The Antidote to HiPPOs: Crowd Voting,” looks at a number of examples – including t-shirt designs at Threadless and Pebble’s smartwatch Kickstarter campaign – to show how crowd voting “can vastly improve the chances that a strategic decision, such as product selection, will lead to success.” Indeed...Read More

The GovLab and Omidyar Network Explore Open Data's Global Impacts

Last week, the GovLab and Omidyar Network launched Open Data’s Impact a new repository collecting original case studies on open data initiatives from around the world. The case studies were conducted by a team at the GovLab under the leadership of Network coordinator Andrew Young and Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst, and in close collaboration with Laura Bacon of Omidyar Network. In addition, Becky Hogge contributed six case studies focused on the United Kingdom.  > Explore 4 way...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Argues for Net Neutrality at ForEveryone.net Film Premiere

This week,  Sir Tim Berners-Lee discussed net neutrality at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of ForEveryone.net, a documentary that “connects the future of the Web with the little-known story of its birth.” Sir Tim, speaking at the Utah premiere, stated that the fight for net neutrality will “never be done,” and that, “yes, we can have things enshrined in law, but even then it won’t necessarily stop people.” About ForEveryone.net: “The film, which is directed by Jessica Yu, is one part b...Read More

Deborah Estrin for Dædalus: Resembling Our Digital Selves

In the latest issue of Dædalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Network member Deborah Estrin and Ari Juels, both of Cornell Tech, explore the rise and implications of the growing small data ecosystem. The essay is part of the Dædalus Winter issue, which focuses on “The Internet” and is guest edited by David D. Clark and Yochai Benkler. Abstract: Reassembling Our Digital Selves by Deborah Estrin (Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medical College) and Ari Juels (Cornel...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck Discusses the Tinder Approach to Fixing Our Government on The Brian Lehrer Show

Today, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck appeared on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show in a segment called “ The Tinder Approach to Fixing Our Government.” On the show, Noveck discusses her time in the Obama administration as the United States’ first Deputy Chief Technology Officer and her new book Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing. Segment description from WNYC: “Every couple of years, most of us go to the polls and cast a ballot for the peo...Read More

New Paper on Open Innovation Competitions by Karim Lakhani, Michael Menietti and Kevin J. Boudreau

This month, Network member Karim Lakhani, Network post-doc Michael Menietti and Kevin J. Boudreau published a new paper, “Performance responses to competition across skill levels in rank-order tournaments: field evidence and implications for tournament design,” in _The RAND Journal of Economics. _The paper, which is openly accessible online, examines open innovation efforts on the TopCoder platform. Abstract: “Tournaments are widely used in the economy to organize production and innovation....Read More

Beth Simone Noveck and Andrew Young in Governing: The Innovation the Grantmaking Process Needs

This week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck and Network Coordinator Andrew Young wrote in Governing about the way governments give out money to solve public problems. They argue that “the time has come for innovation in grantmaking. Despite its importance, we have a decidedly 20th-century system in place for deciding how we make these billions of dollars of crucial public investments. To make the most of limited funding – and help build confidence in the ability of public investments to make ...Read More

New Pew Report on Americans' Views on Privacy and Information Sharing

Yesterday Network member Lee Rainie and the Pew Research Center released a new report on Americans’ views on privacy and information sharing. The report covers a wide variety of scenarios in which personal information could pass between different parties. The scenarios include: workplace security and tracking; health information, convenience and security; consumer loyalty cards and profiling; auto insurance discounts and monitoring; personal details and advertisements; and home activities, co...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck in the Guardian: Swipe right to fix the world – can Tinder-like tech match solutions to problems?

In a new op-ed for The Guardian, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck explores the potential impacts of leveraging technology to “match people to problems based on what they can do.” Invoking both the rise of match-based dating apps like Tinder and the use of prize-backed challenges to unlock dispersed expertise, Noveck advocates for more experimentation on government’s use of targeted matching based on skills and experience to the end of solving shared problems. “In public institutions, especia...Read More

Henry Farrell Shares Crooked Timber's Seminar on Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century

This week, Henry Farrell published the Crooked Timber Seminar on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century. The seminar, organized by Farrell, Chris Bertram and Ingrid Robeyns, examines Piketty’s bestselling book on income equality from a diversity of angles – with section’s focusing on education, politics, power relations and more. Farrell’s contribution to the seminar focuses particularly on the theoretical underpinning of _Capital in the 21st Century_and how that theory impacts the res...Read More

New from Stefaan Verhulst: Toward WSIS 3.0: Adopting Next-Gen Governance Solutions for Tomorrow's Information Society

Today at CircleID, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst and co-author Lea Kaspar of Global Partners Digital shared a number of practical recommendations for adopting next-gen governance solutions for tomorrow’s information society. The piece is a reaction to the recent United Nations’ ” World Summit on the Information Society” (WSIS) events in Geneva and Tunis and the WSIS+10 document, which “reflects on the progress made over the past decade and outlines a set of recommendations for sh...Read More

U.S. Department of Education Releases 2016 National Education Technology Plan, Advised by Beth Simone Noveck

This month, the United States Department of Education released “Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education.” The National Education Technology Plan (NETP) – which was developed with input from a diversity of expert advisors, like Network chair Beth Simone Noveck – “sets a national vision and plan for learning enabled by technology through building on the work of leading education researchers; district, school, and higher education leaders; classroom teachers; devel...Read More

Henry Farrell in Foreign Affairs: The Transatlantic Data War

In the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, Network member Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman the causes of, repercussions resulting from and potential solutions to the European Court of Justice’s decision to strike down the Safe Harbor agreement. The Safe Harbor agreement is a “15-year-old transatlantic arrangement that permitted U.S. companies to transfer data, such as people’s Google-search histories, outside the EU.” In their exploration of the impetus for the ECJ’s decision, two key factors s...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Describes the Wider World Web for The Economist's World in 2016 Series

As part of The Economist’s “ World in 2016” year-end series looking ahead to how the world will change and evolve in the coming year, Network member Sir Tim Berners-Lee penned a piece on “The Wider World Web.” In the article, Sir Tim explores the growing potential and interest in small data – a core interest of the Research Network – the increasing appetite for greater individual-level control of personal online data, and the opposing forces of reactionary cybercrime legislation and efforts t...Read More

Geoff Mulgan Shares Career-Spanning Guide to His Work in Governance Innovation

This week, Network member and Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan shared a collection of resources – including books, papers and projects – representing decades of work on governance innovation across a number of institutions. From The Art of Public Strategy to his work on i-teams with Bloomberg, the resource distills a wide array of efforts to improve the functioning of governance in institutions around the world. Mulgan’s introduction to the resource: “I’ve worked for a couple of decades on how governme...Read More

Jesper Christiansen and Sarah Schulman: How Do We Create the Mandate for Change?

This week, Network member and MindLab head of research Jesper Christiansen and InWithForward’s Sarah Schulman shared the third part of their blog series on creating impacts through government innovation labs. The first part focused on fostering government innovation through internal vs. external labs, and the second part explored the question of risk in public innovation. The third and final piece asks how a mandate for change can be created within government. Christiansen’s reflection: “In...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck Talks with TechRepublic About Her New Book Smart Citizens, Smarter State

This week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck discussed her new book Smart Citizens, Smarter State and what government can learn from the tech industry with TechRepublic. The conversation touched on the rollout of the U.S. Open Government Initiative, the societal impacts of greater access to data, and the potential for collaboration and targeting opportunities for participation to help solve public problems. Noveck on what government can learn from the tech industry: “Intelligence capital exi...Read More

Deborah Estrin's Work on Android ResearchStack Profiled on New York Times Bits Blog

Yesterday, Steve Lohr of _The New York Times_Bits Blog profiled Network member Deborah Estrin and her work bringing the type of small data research capabilities found in Apple iPhones to the Android ecosystem, through the newly announced ResearchStack initiative [Note: the ResearchStack code is available on GitHub] “Shortly after Apple introduced ResearchKit, Ms. Estrin, who is also a professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College, started trying to bring similar capability to t...Read More

Innovating for Healthy Urbanization, New Book Edited by Anita McGahan and Others

Innovating for Healthy Urbanization, a new book edited by Network member Anita McGahan, Roy Ahn and Thomas F. Burke was officially announced this week by the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management. From the release: “Innovating for Healthy Urbanization is edited by three experts with deep experience in global health issues. The book argues that using the ‘innovations’ lens can provide a unique platform through which solutions for urbanization and health can emerge. ‘Sometime...Read More

Exploring the Role of Data in "The Coming Age of the Internet of Things"

Yesterday, the NYU Tandon School of Engineering hosted Vint Cerf, one of the “fathers of the Internet” and the Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google for a discussion on “ The Coming Age of the Internet of Things.” Cerf’s keynote discussion focused particularly on the need for citizens to gain greater understanding and control of how their personal information is being used as more and more devices – from personal fitness trackers to washing machines – are connected to the I...Read More

Join us at the Internet Governance Forum in Brazil

If you are scheduled to attend the Internet Governance Forum next week in Brazil, please join us at the workshop “NETmundial Solutions Map”, taking place from 16:30 to 18:00 on Monday, November 9 in workshop room 5 jointly organized by The GovLab and Global Partners Digital. The NETmundial Solutions Map is a crowd-sourced Internet governance information-sharing resource launched by the NETmundial Initiative. The platform is meant to act as a tool where information on Internet governance issu...Read More

Geoff Mulgan: Why evidence of ‘what works’ is vital for global education

On the World Economic Forum website, Network member and Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan proposes ways to improve global education in the 21st century based on a greater focus on what works. Mulgan sees such an evidence-based approach as the best way to address “the triple challenge of achieving better education, greater social mobility and higher productivity.” “Evidence; investment; new ways of developing confidence and resilience; smart technologies: many of the elements needed for truly effective ...Read More

Henry Farrell on Edward Snowden's Proposed Anti-Surveillance Treaty

For the Monkey Cage blog at The Washington Post, Network member Henry Farrell examines NSA whisteblower Edward Snowden’s recently proposed anti-surveillance treaty and David Fidler’s response to Snowden’s proposal for the Council for Foreign Relations. Taking a political science rather than an ideological approach to the situation, Farrell finds the potential for the treaty to take hold to be precarious. “[T]he proposed Snowden Treaty starts in a better place than most such movements in that...Read More

What We Learned at the Challenge.gov 5th Anniversary Event

At the the recent “ All Hands on Deck: Solving Complex Problems through Prizes and Challenges,” an event hosted by Georgetown University in collaboration with the White House, Case Foundation and Joyce Foundation to mark the 5th anniversary of Challenge.gov, the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance embarked on a fact-finding mission with the diversity of practitioners of prize-backed contests and grand challenges assembled at the event. The event, which brought toget...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck Discusses Power of Open Data and Open Government at Rich Data Summit

Last week, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck gave one of the keynote talks at the Rich Data Summit, “the world’s leading conference focused on turning big data into rich, meaningful data.” The talk, which closed the event, focused on “The Power of Open Data and Open Government.” The event was summarized by Melissa Bierly at the Mode Blog, highlighting four major data science insights surfaced at the event. “3. Don’t just do well. Do something good. ‘Data by itself isn’t worth anything unless...Read More

Karim Lakhani Shares Insights on Open Innovation for New York Times Piece

In a recent piece in The New York Times on essay contests being used as an alternative to traditional property sales, Network member Karim Lakhani of Harvard Business School is consulted as an expert in the field of open innovation. Although the contest in question – in which an inn in Maine was handed over to the person judged by the former owner to have written the best essay (along with a $125 entry fee) – raised many questions about the legality of the contest’s rules, the potential for b...Read More

Connecting Innovators in the Prizes Community to Mark Challenge.gov’s 5th Anniversary

This week, the U.S. Government celebrated the 5th anniversary of the open innovation platform Challenge.gov with an event hosted by the Obama Administration, Case Foundation, Joyce Foundation, and Georgetown University bringing together practitioners across the prize-backed challenge landscape. To mark the occasion, the Administration also released a new Fact Sheet highlighting new commitments to expand and foster the innovation prize community. The commitments include the deployment of new c...Read More

Deborah Estrin Gives Keynote Talk at Predictive Analytics World Healthcare Conference

This week, Network member Deborah Estrin delivered a keynote talk at the Predictive Analytics World Healthcare Conference in Boston. The conference focused on “real-world examples of deployed predictive analytics,” while assembling “the industry’s leaders to deliver case studies and expertise, revealing how predictive analytics improves patient care, reduces costs and brings greater efficiencies to the healthcare industry.” In an article summarizing the conference at Healthcare Finance News,...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck in Forbes: A City Crowdsources Disaster Response Expertise

In Forbes, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck describes The Governance Lab’s collaboration with the Secretary General for Planning and Open Government of Quito, Ecuador to prepare for the seemingly inevitable, and potentially devastating, eruption of volcano Cotopaxi. “City Officials have to plan for large-scale evacuation. Yet there are those with expertise in behavioral insights — so-called ‘nudges’ — who have proven advice to share about how to communicate to avoid mass panic. Quito has to ...Read More

Geoff Mulgan: Ideas for Global Internet Governance

In anticipation of the Internet Governance Forum meeting later this year in Brazil, Geoff Mulgan shared a new paper at Nesta on lessons to be learned from other fields of global governance that could have an impact on the future of governing the Internet. The paper, “ This is for everyone: how to govern the internet as a global commons,” is also closely related to the other work being driven by the Network on globally distributed Internet governance. Some of Mulgan’s key recommendations for ...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck on Data Collaboratives: Sharing Public Data in Private Hands for Social Good

For Forbes, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck examines the growing prevalence and opportunity for impact of data collaboratives. From the pharmaceutical industry to research science to phone data – private actors are sharing previously withheld data in ways that benefit the public good. While the opportunity for open data to improve people’s lives is increasingly recognized, Noveck argues that data collaboratives are an area that warrants more attention and activity. She notes, “There’s a need...Read More

Research Network on Opening Governance at CASBS Knowledge Summit

On November 5th, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University, in partnership with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), will host the Knowledge Summit. Network chair Beth Simone Noveck and Henry Farrell will both participate. The event will focus on three central questions: How do we produce knowledge? How do we disseminate it? How are we transforming the very nature of knowledge itself? Noveck will be participate in a panel explori...Read More

At the Roots of Collective Intelligence – One-Day Conference Organized by Nesta Around Collective Intelligence and the Challenges of Social Cognition

Cross-posted from Nesta The conference will bring together a group of extremely distinguished thinkers in cognitive science, philosophy, information science and sociology to analyse the mechanisms which underlie emerging forms of networked collaboration. Collective intelligence is a term that is increasingly being invoked in relation to networked democracy, citizen science, collaborative production, e-health etc. Our aim in this event is to combine different perspectives in Cognitive and S...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst Shares Initial Findings from Open Data Impact Case Studies at ConDatos

At this week’s ConDatos conference in Santiago, Chile, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst shared initial findings from the GovLab’s collaboration with Omidyar Network around a selection of case studies on the impacts of open data. A companion blog post on the GovLab and Omidyar websites shares many of the insights from the presentation:  Ways in which open data impacts lives Broadly, we have identified four main ways in which open data is transforming economic, social, cultural and ...Read More

Karim Lakhani on the Biggest Challenge to the Future of Crowdsourcing in Business

On Medium, the Harvard Business School Digital Initiative has posted a look a detailed look at the use of crowdsourcing to benefit businesses. “The Biggest Challenge to the Future of Crowdsourcing in Business” is built around interviews and panel discussions by Network member and HBS professor Karim Lakhani. Lakhani shares insights on the history of crowdsourcing, the role of the “cognitive surplus,” motivating and sustaining crowds, and challenges to the success of crowdsourcing initiatives....Read More

Erik Johnston and ASU Team Receive NSF Grant to Study Empathy and Collaboration in Water Usage Decisions

Last week, Arizona State University announced that the National Science Foundation awarded $449,000 to a collection of scholars at the university to study empathy’s effects on water usage decisions. The grant was awarded to ASU scholars in the School of Public Affairs, the W. P. Carey School of Business, the School of Social Work and the Decision Center for a Desert City, with Erik Johnston – Network member and director of ASU’s Center for Policy Informatics – acting as the principal investig...Read More

New Funding Raised for Data Analytics Firm Backed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Deb Roy

Infinite Analytics, a data analytics firm based in India and Boston recently raised new founding to explore the application of predictive analytics beyond its existing focus areas of retail and e-commerce. Network members Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Deb Roy are both advisors to and investors in the firm. “The genesis of Infinite Analytics can be traced back to a class in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Akash Bhatia and Purushotham Botla were studying. A project idea was seeded in a ...Read More

Collective Intelligence in Patient Organisations

Cross-Posted from Nesta This report examines patient organisations’ ever more critical role as knowledge brokers in an increasingly complex, data-rich healthcare system. Key findings Patient organisations are important examples of collective intelligence practiced in challenging conditions with the aim of tackling complex problems. With more long term conditions and multimorbidities, more data, more available options in diagnostics, treatments, and care, knowledge is becoming one of th...Read More

Henry Farrell: Facebook wasn’t great at respecting privacy in the first place. It’s gotten much worse.

In his latest post at The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Network member Henry Farrell reflects on a new study released by Jennifer Shore and Jill Steinman, two undergraduate students at Harvard, on changes to Facebook’s privacy policy over the years. Farrell not only agrees with the Shore and Steinman’s analysis that the quality of Facebook’s privacy policy has degraded, but also sees no reason to belief that this decline in quality will change course going forward. “After Facebook iss...Read More

New Paper from Stefaan Verhulst and Robyn Caplan: Open Data: A 21st Century Asset for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

This week, the GovLab released a new paper focused on the ways in which small and medium-sized enterprises and startups can and are using open data as a business asset. Open Data: A 21st Century Asset for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises authored by Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst and Robyn Caplan, “analyzes ten aspects of open data and establishes ten principles for its effective use by SMEs. Taken together, these offer a roadmap for any SME considering greater use or adoption o...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck in Governing: Automatic Benefits: Reducing Red Tape, Improving Lives

In her latest column for Governing, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck reflects on recent proposals for reducing the friction experienced by citizens when working with government to receive benefits. In particular, Noveck points to New York City Councilman Ben Kallos’ recently introduced bill that would enable city residents to “receive all benefits for which they are eligible simply by filing a tax return or applying for one benefit. Re-certifications would be automatic rather than arduous.” ...Read More

Center for Policy Informatics Releases Findings on Virtual Citizen Science

Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics, led by Network member Erik Johnston, recently presented new findings from a study of citizen science initiatives at the National Science Foundation-sponsored workshop, “ Future Technology to Preserve College Student Health and Foster Wellbeing (StudentHealth).” The project team was led by  Justin Longo, a former Research Network and CPI post-doctoral fellow who is now an assistant professor and Cisco Research Chair in the Johnson-Shoya...Read More

Jesper Christiansen: Lab Journeys as Learning Tool for Enabling and Embedding Human-Centered Design in Government

On the MindLab blog, Network member Jesper Christiansen shared some reflections on strategies for bringing human-centered design methodologies into the core functions of government. To help share the learnings gained from MindLab and other public innovation and design labs, MindLab, with support from  Design for Europe, developed a “dialogue tool inspired by service journeys often used to illustrate the concrete interaction between the citizen and the system.” Christiansen shares the steps i...Read More

Academy of Management Annual Meeting on 'Opening Governance' Kicks Off Today

As part of its core mission, the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance seeks to take a broad and evolving look at how institutions and processes of governance are being (and could be) reimagined, from a diversity of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. We are hence delighted to highlight today’s kick off of the 75th Annual Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. AOM’s 2015 program chair, Opening Governance Research Network member  P...Read More

Anita McGahan on Ensuring That Cities Create Opportunities for Healthy Urbanization

In a new blog for BioMed Central, Network member Anita M. McGahan, Roy Ahn and Thomas F. Burke – the editors of a new book on the topic – discuss “the importance of innovations as a strategy toward possible solutions for urbanization and global health.” “In our new book,  Innovating for Healthy Urbanization, we argue that using the ‘innovations’ lens can provide a unique platform through which solutions for urbanization and health can emerge. Sometimes ‘innovations’ can be decidedly high te...Read More

Geoff Mulgan: Is the disappearance of power in the age of networks a truth, or a fairy tale for the gullible?

In his latest post on the Nesta blog, Geoff Mulgan explores the so-called ‘end of power.’ He begins by laying out the tenuousness of arguments that power is being taken from the hands of those who traditionally hold it and dispersed more flatly among the populous, using the strength of government leaders like Angela Merkel and the concentration of wealth and power in the business world as examples opposing the concept. He goes on to examine some of the explanations for why the concept is inc...Read More

New Paper from Karim Lakhani on Innovation Experiments

Karim Lakhani and Kevin J. Boudreau recently posted their paper, “Innovation Experiments: Researching Technical Advance, Knowledge Production and the Design of Supporting Institutions,” openly on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). The paper will also be a part of the forthcoming 16th volume of _Innovation Policy and the Economy_, edited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern. Abstract: “This paper discusses several challenges in designing field experiments to better understand how organiza...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Urges NHS to Open Its Data

While speaking at an event at the Open Data Institute last week, Sir Tim Berners-Lee called for the UK National Health Service to open more of its data. Sir Tim argued that, “masses of clinical data can be ridiculously useful when you’re trying to do medical research.” In particular, he was referencing the potential utility of the care.data project, an effort to better share patient treatment data that is currently on hold due, at least in part, to privacy concerns. “You should see which doc...Read More

Looking Back at the “Data-Driven & Collaborative Solutions” Public Forum on Opening Governance

Last week, the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance, GovLab and Nesta hosted a public forum on data-driven and collaborative solutions to public problems. In addition to giving members of the Research Network – including Beth Simone Noveck, Stefaan Verhulst, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and  Geoff Mulgan – an opportunity to share some of the insights gained over the Network’s first year and a half of inquiry into opening governance, the forum brought together a diverse community...Read More

The Challenge and Importance of Developing Governance Models for Mobilizing Collective Intelligence

Collective intelligence often refers to the process by which large groups of individuals pool their knowledge, data and skills to contribute in solving societal issues. By inputting environmental or clinical data, mapping territories, discussing and voting, coding and writing, citizens can contribute their knowledge and ideas to data collection tasks, analysis, decision making and public debates. Two converging phenomena have brought to the forefront the idea of leveraging collective intelli...Read More

Geoff Mulgan and David Halpern: The case for an international clearing house for what works

In a new blog post at the Alliance for Useful Evidence,  Geoff Mulgan, Network member and CEO of Nesta, and David Halpern, What Works National Advisor, propose the creation of an international clearing house for what works in practice. The idea is premised on the fact that governments around the world are faced with and attempting to address a suite of similar and similarly complex public problems – from improving education to reducing crimes – often with little knowledge-sharing across borde...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the Future of AI at Cannes Lions 2015

At this week’s Cannes Lions Festival, Sir Tim Berners-Lee discussed the future of artificial intelligence. In particular, he focused on the role of AI – especially in the form of algorithmic decision-making – in driving the future of business. “‘If you were selling products 26 years ago, you had to create a web page. But having a website may not be enough, you have to have data out there,’ he said. ‘You need data on product announcements so that Gmail knows when to tell a delivery time to a ...Read More

Announcement: Public Forum on Opening Governance

On Wednesday July 8th at 3:00pm, theMacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governanceand Nestawill hold a public workshop on innovations in governance.The event, Data-Driven & Collaborative Solutions: Current Findings of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance , will focus on lessons learned and remaining questions related to innovations in health and wellbeing, Internet Governance, and economic development, among other areas of public concern. In particu...Read More

Insights Gained from Interdisciplinary Convening Around Opening Governance and Collaborative Problem-Solving

On May 27th and 28th, a group of scholars met under the auspices of the MacArthur Foundation’s Opening Governance Research Network, at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Over the past number of years, researchers and scholars in statistics, computer science, political science, economics and political theory have tried to confront fundamental problems in collective intelligence and problem solving in different ways. These problems are the problem...Read More

Henry Farrell on the Recent Hack of the U.S. Government

In his latest post for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Henry Farrell explores the response to and implications of the recent hacking attack that has potentially uncovered sensitive personal information about a large swath of government employees. Farrell argues that the term of “cyber Pearl Harbor,” popularized by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and others does not fit this attack. “Even if the United States should not treat this as a ‘cyber Pearl Harbor,’ it should treat it as...Read More

Geoff Mulgan in the Guardian: Our Future is urban. Why don't we talk more about our cities?

This week, The Guardian published a new piece on city-level innovation by Network member and Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan. The article, with a particular focus on the need for increased innovation in UK cities, describes the ways in which mayors and cities are driving innovation and new forms of problem-solving around the world. Mulgan argues that the most imaginative cities, rather than simply and exclusively placing sensors throughout the urban landscape, find ways to “link the top down and bott...Read More

Center for Policy Informatics Team Presenting at Next Week's "Policy-Making in the Big Data Era: Opportunities and Challenges" Event

A team from Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics including Network member Erik Johnston and Network post-doc Justin Longo is presenting a new research project entitled “Challenges in Revealing the Bright Shadows of the Digitally Invisible,” at next week’s  Policy-Making in the Big Data Era: Opportunities and Challenges at the University of Cambridge. The project focuses on the communities that, to date, have not been included in the wave of efforts to leverage big data to ...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck Takes Part in Internet As A Failed Utopia Debate at Vanity Fair's Intelligence² Digital Summit

At Vanity Fair’s Intelligence² Digital Summit yesterday, Network Chair Beth Simone Noveck participated in a debate over the proposition that The Internet Is a Failed Utopia. Andrew Keen and Frank Pasquale argued that the Internet is indeed a failed utopia due to its effects on privacy and job creation, while Noveck and  Jamie Bartlett contended that, although there are issues that we as a society need to address to improve the Internet, its capacity for increasing openness and communication, ...Read More

How the Public Views Open Government Initiatives

Government reformers and advocates believe that two contemporary phenomena hold the potential to change how people engage with governments at all levels and how they are served by public agencies. The first is data. There is more of it than ever before and there are more effective tools for sharing it, analyzing it, and organizing it. This creates new service-delivery possibilities for government through use of data that government agencies themselves collect and generate. The second is publi...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Responds to Plan for Increased UK Government Surveillance

Prior to London’s the Web We Want Festival, inventor of the Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee addressed the UK government’s recent moves toward heightened public surveillance. In the recent Queen’s Speech, it was made known that the UK will seek to enable the tracking of web and social media use, as well as the “bulk interception” of communications. Berners-Lee argued that citizens should play an important role in the debate around increased governmental surveillance capabilities: “‘The discussion [i...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck in Governing: The Data That’s Hiding in Plain Sight

In her latest column for Governing, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck describes the need for more open data related to the U.S. nonprofit sector and steps made toward that end. The Cancer Fund Group – which used only a pittance of the money it collected on actual aid to recipients – is just one example of how opening nonprofit financial data can improve governance, particularly as it relates to the transparency and accountability of civil society. Noveck describes what data should be opened a...Read More

Statue of Sir Tim Berners-Lee Unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery

This week, the National Portrait Gallery in London unveiled a new statue of creator of the Web  Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The sculpture was created by Sean Henry. “Henry said: ‘Tim is a very dynamic person to sculpt as he has a very active mind and is active physically, too.’ ‘Above all, what came through was his strong sense of purpose … it felt important to try to capture this in the work.’ The sculpture was commissioned by the gallery to celebrate Berners-Lee’s 60th birthday, was sponsored b...Read More

The Intentional Use of Information to Enable Self-Governance

With David Hondula Lessig, Code 2.0, p.123 For over a decade in our classes we have taught Lawrence Lessig’s framework for thinking about how to regulate behavior in a system when multiple concurrent forces are at work. He illustrates his point by using the simple example of trying to regulate smoking. Market forces suggest that changes in the price of cigarettes should drive changes in use. Legal forces can restrict, punish, or even incentivize smokers for their behavior. Social norm...Read More

Deborah Estrin Gives Keynote Speeches at WWW 2015 and DDD3

Last week, Deborah Estrin gave keynote speeches on the current and potential impacts of small data at two events in Florence, Italy: the 24th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2015) and the 3rd International Conference on Digital Disease Detection (DDD3). Read more about WWW 2015 here, and about DDD here. Read More

New Pew Report: Americans' Attitudes About Privacy, Security and Surveillance

This week, Mary Madden and Network member Lee Rainie of Pew Research Center released the report “Americans’ Attitudes About Privacy, Security and Surveillance.” The report, which is the product of two Pew surveys, finds that: “While some Americans have taken modest steps to stem the tide of data collection, few have adopted advanced privacy-enhancing measures. However, majorities of Americans expect that a wide array of organizations should have limits on the length of time that they can re...Read More

A Short Guide on Designing Digital Democracy from Geoff Mulgan

In his latest blog post at Nesta, Geoff Mulgan – recently appointed Senior Visiting Scholar at Harvard Kennedy School – looks at the “practical question of how parliaments, assemblies and governments should choose the right methods for greater public engagement in decisions.” He includes a number of requirements for successful digital democracy, including clarity of purpose, clarity on requisite scale, and clarity on identity and anonymity. He concludes: “Crowds can help with many tasks. Bu...Read More

Jesper Christiansen: Redesigning the Culture and Functionality of Government

At Design for Europe, Jesper Christiansen, Network member and Head of Research at MindLab, discusses the opportunities arising from public sector design labs working to reimagine governmental culture and functionality. Christiansen goes on to describe the many approaches that MindLab brings to the table to the end of designing better strategies for addressing public problems. “A significant part of the functioning of government is the culture of decision-making and the professional expertise...Read More

Geoff Mulgan on What Won the UK Election

Geoff Mulgan’s latest post for Nesta explores the factors that influenced the outcomes of this week’s UK general election. Mulgan notes: “This was a fascinating and complex election. But in many respects it was quite simple, and was a surprise mainly because of the recent polls, not because of longer term trends. Although the anti-political mood fuelled the huge success for UKIP and the SNP this ended up for many as a choice between the two main parties, and two potential Prime Ministers, a...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee to Speak at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Sir Tim Berners-Lee will take part in this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The festival, which takes place June 21-27, features over 250 speakers – from Serial host Sarah Koenig to former Vice President Al Gore – who will “offer insights and inspiration from an array of creative disciplines.” “Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the computer scientist responsible for developing the World Wide Web, will take to the stage with PHD’s Worldwide CEO Mike Cooper to look at the next grea...Read More

Looking Ahead to the LabWorks 2015 Global Lab Gathering

On July 9th through 12th, thethe growing international network of labs, units and i-teams innovating governance and public services around the worlds will convene for LabWorks 2015. The fourth-annual conference will be hosted by Nestain association with BloombergPhilanthropiesand with support from partners the GovLab, MindLab, and Mars Solutions Lab LabWorks 2015 comprises three distinct elements aimed at fostering the continued evolution of the labs community and amplifying its impact: G...Read More

Toward a Research Agenda on Opening Governance

Today, the  MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance released its core research agenda,  Toward a Research Agenda on Opening Governance. The agenda describes the Network’s two core focus areas – data-driven governance and collaborative governance – and describes the major questions and actions that the Network and the field at large should consider in order to build a stronger evidence base for open governance. The agenda, collaboratively developed by the members of the Net...Read More

New from Geoff Mulgan: Finance for Impact

This week, Nesta CEO and Network member Geoff Mulgan posted a note on the Nesta titled, “Finance for Impact: the case for transforming public finance to better support evidence, outcomes, engagement and innovation.” In the note, Mulgan describes a number of elements that are currently lacking in public financing systems, including: understanding costs and assets, making budgets transparent, funding innovation and more. From Mulgan’s summary of the note: “I show the strengths and weaknesses ...Read More

Impact Metrics for Open Governance – Questions to Be Asked and Decisions to Be Made

At the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance’s recent meeting at Arizona State University, one particularly area of focus involved designing pathways toward meaningful metrics for open governance initiatives. Although it is unlikely that a universally applicable framework for measuring the impact of implementations of data-driven or collaborative efforts to improve governance can be created, the Network sought to develop the questions that must be addressed toward assess...Read More

Deborah Estrin on Small Data, Wellness, Fulfillment and Good Health

On Sunday, Deborah Estrin, Network member and professor of computer science, took part in the Charter Day Weekend event at Cornell University. Estrin participated in the “Wellness, Fulfillment and Good Health” panel with Dr. Orli R. Etingin, Tanzeem Choudhury and Dr. Mark S. Lachs. “Medically oriented apps on smartphones, Estrin said, ‘are the feedback loops of health. The way we use smartphones and wearable devices and our online behavior are all generating digital traces we call ‘small dat...Read More

Americans’ Views on Open Government Data

###Public Is Somewhat Optimistic about Open Data Initiatives Making Government More Accountable, Yet Few Say Government Effectively Shares Data with the Public Trust in government and partisanship affect people’s views From: The Pew Research Center Media Contact: Dana Page, 202.419.4372, dpage@pewresearch.org April 21, 2015 (Washington) – Majorities hope that more transparency and data sharing by government will help journalists cover government and make officials more accountable, but ve...Read More

Jesper Christiansen Discusses Public Culture at Public 2015 Symposium

Today, MindLab’s Jesper Christiansen took part in the Public 2015 Symposium in Perth, Australia. Christiansen spoke as part of a panel on Public Culture. Joining him in the discussion of “powerful collaborations & blurred boundaries” were Paul Collard, Leo Van Loon, Alison Page, and Fenella Kernebone. Session description: “Increasingly creative crossovers and collaborations across cultures, disciplines and sectors that weave together past and present, heritage and future, are revealing ...Read More

New from Deb Roy on Medium: Our Transparent Future

This week, Network member Deb Roy and Daniel C. Dennett published “Our Transparent Future” on Medium, a piece that argues, “No secret is safe in the digital age. The implications for our institutions are downright Darwinian.” Roy and Dennett believe that transparency is the single concept that best sums up the massive changes in society brought about by media inundation. With this in mind, they argue: “The impact on our organizations and institutions will be profound. Governments, armies, c...Read More

Henry Farrell: Why it's so hard to create norms in cyberspace

In his latest post for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Network member Henry Farrell explores the challenges related to the United States’ “laudable objective” of promoting norms to better secure cyberspace. “In the brief, I argue that the U.S. needs to change its modus operandi if it wants to get serious about building norms in cyberspace. First, it has to internalize the norms that it wants to promote, so that, for example, it doesn’t itself engage in actions that might undermine an...Read More

An Open Letter to the Next UK Prime Minister from Nesta

Last week, Network member Geoff Mulgan and Stian Westlake of Nesta posted an open letter “for whoever turns out to be the UK’s new prime minister.” The letter contains recommendations like: Abolishing the Treasury, and setting up a department for growth and a real PM’s department; Creating superministers for big policy areas like infrastructure or equality, thus making Cabinet a more useful body; and Increasing the centre’s ability to bring on board new ideas, to experiment rigorousl...Read More

Stefaan Verhulst Participates in "A Digital Magna Carta: Internet Governance and the New Social Contract"

Last week, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst participated in the “A Digital Magna Carta: Internet Governance and a New Social Contract” panel at New America NYC. Event Description On the heels of the Congressional decision on net neutrality, the discussion around Internet governance is moving into a decisive phase. It’s clear that modern society should address some fundamental questions on the future development of technology and its impact of society, but many issues remain open a...Read More

NETmundial Solutions Map Released for Public Comment

In the wake of the NETmundial Initiative Council working meeting ( Stanford Communique), the GovLab is pleased to announce the  beta release of the NETmundial Solutions Map for further public comment (from April 1 - May 1, 2015). The release is the culmination of a 6-month engagement and development strategy to ensure that the tool reflects input from a diverse set of global stakeholders. The NETmundial Solutions Map is co-developed by  the GovLaband Second Rise, and is facilitated by the I...Read More

Crafting the Strategy and Curricula for Public Problem-Solving

At the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance’s recent meeting at Arizona State University, one of the four extended sessions focused on developing new strategies for training public problem-solvers. The components of open governance – namely collaborative and data-driven efforts – are likely to play an important role in the current and next generation of strategies for solving public problems. The assembled participants agreed that, although the current field of govern...Read More

Deborah Estrin Discusses Apple ResearchKit at Open mHealth Meetup

Last week, Deborah Estrin gave a talk about her work at Cornell Tech’s Small Data Lab at Open mHealth’s fist ever Meetup event in New York. Specifically, Professor Estrin, one of Open mHealth’s co-founders, focused on the potential for Apple’s ResearchKit to work alongside other platforms that make use of personal health data. From the event announcement: “Hey Open mHealthers, this is Open mHealth’s first ever Meetup event. And we launch it in NYC! Given the recent and exciting news about...Read More

New publication from Karim Lakhani and Kevin Boudreau – “Open” disclosure of innovations, incentives and follow-on reuse

Network member Karim R. Lakhani, Harvard Business School, and Kevin J. Boudreau, London Business School, published a new paper on open and cumulative innovation in the latest edition of the journal Research Policy. The paper, “‘Open’ disclosure of innovations, incentives and follow-on reuse: Theory on processes of cumulative innovation and a field experiment in computational biology,” examines the role of disclosure and openness in society’s systems of innovation. Abstract: “Most of society...Read More

Deborah Estrin Participating in Our Data, Ourselves: A Future Tense Event

Cornell Tech Professor and Open mHealth co-founder Deborah Estrin will participate in a panel called “Whose Data Is It Anyway” at the Our Data Ourselves event held at New America on March 26th. Joining her on the panel are Sara M. Watson, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society; Joel Selanko, assistant professor, Georgetown University and CEO of Magpi and moderator Sherwin Siy, the vice president of legal affairs at Public Knowledge. Event description: “Mobile devices are collecti...Read More

New Pew Report: Americans' Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden

Network member Lee Rainie and Mary Madden today introduced a new report on the American publics’ thoughts on and responses to recently publicized data-collecting intelligence programs.  One of the central takeaways from the survey is that: “Some people have changed their behaviors in response to surveillance Overall, nearly nine-in-ten respondents say they have heard at least a bit about the government surveillance programs to monitor phone use and internet use. Some 31% say they have heard...Read More

Beth Simone Noveck in Governing: Participatory Democracy's Emerging Tools 

In her latest column for Governing, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck explores the way emerging tools are providing better ways for governments to collaborate with citizens, particularly in the areas of agenda-setting and brainstorming, voting, drafting and discussion and Q&A. “As we explore the role of new technologies in changing how government makes policies and delivers services, one form of technology is emerging that has the potential to foster decision-making that’s not only more e...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Participates in Reddit AMA

Yesterday, Sir Tim Berners-Lee answered questions from Reddit users on topics like cybersecurity, privacy, surveillance and even Internet memes. One of the most popular questions asked Sir Tim the best thing to come from the Internet. He responded, “The spirit of global collaboration among all the people working on it.” Read the full AMA here. Read More

Deb Roy Speaking at NECSI Distributed Organizations Salon

On Wednesday March 11, Deb Roy will participate in the Distributed Organizations Salon hosted by the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI). He will be joined by fellow speakers Devin Balkind and Sam Klein. Event description: “When the complexity of collective behavior increases beyond the complexity of an individual, traditional, hierarchical organizations start to break down. Therefore, as complexity rises globally, we need to start working on creating better decentralized social ...Read More

New Book Edited by Erik Johnston: Governance in the Information Era

Erik Johnston, Network member and director of the Arizona State University Center for Policy Informatics, edited a newly available book titled, Governance in the Information Era: Theory and Practice of Policy Informatics, with chapters authored by Kimberly M. Thompson, Anand Desai, David N. Ford and many others. “Policy informatics is addressing governance challenges and their consequences, which span the seeming inability of governments to solve complex problems and the disaffection of peop...Read More

Deborah Estrin Presenting 'When N=ME' at the Brain Fit Club

On Wednesday March 4th, Network member Deborah Estrin will present “When N=ME: Using Small Data to Fuel, Personalize, Sustain and Study Health Behavior” at the Brain Fit Club, an initiative of the Berenson-Allen Center and the Cognitive Neurology Division of the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Read More

Opening Governance – A New Science of Institutional Innovation?

On February 19th and 20th, the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance held its first convening of 2015 on the campus of Arizona State University.  Participants in the meeting included Network members, Network post-docs and guests from the Arizona open governance community (see full list below). The meeting kicked off with a presentation and Q&A with Arizona State University President Michael Crow. President Crow discussed at length the ways in which ASU is reimagin...Read More

Geoff Mulgan: Prediction and learning – why we need more predictions, including wrong ones

On the Nesta blog, Network member Geoff Mulgan previews the upcoming FutureFest event with a post on the value of prediction and learning. In one of his arguments, Mulgan proposes “some algorithms are (sometimes) better predictors than the average professional.” “The spread of predictive algorithms has made prediction more precise. Healthcare has been using algorithms for decades; so have the police and criminal justice systems. Often they have found that the algorithms are better predicto...Read More

Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge on the HBS Digital Initiative

In a new article, HBS Working Knowledge describes the way scholars and students are “unpack[ing] the digital business revolution.” In the article, professors involved in the HBS Digital Initiative, including Network member Karim Lakhani describe the new paradigm the initiative seeks to study. “‘There’s a secular shift in the economy, and from a research perspective, more of the scholars HBS is attracting are studying digital,’ says Associate Professor  Karim R. Lakhani, a member of D/I’sw fa...Read More

Henry Farrell's Response to President Obama's Take on European Privacy Rules and Competition

For the Monkey Cage blog at the Washington Post, Network member Henry Farrell responds to President Obama’s suggestion that Europeans are using privacy rules to protect their firms against U.S. competition. Is he right? “Not really. European businesses are no less willing to use politics to disadvantage their competitors than businesses in other parts of the world. But the new rules have less to do with discrimination against U.S. firms than European discomfort at the e-commerce model that h...Read More

Geoff Mulgan: Inequality and innovation: the end of another trickle down theory?

Geoff Mulgan, Network member, CEO of Nesta and the 50th most connected man in Britain according to GQ UK, explored the relationship between inequality and innovation in a new blog post at Nesta. In describing one of four “main avenues to explore,” Mulgan argues: “[T]here needs to be a more inclusive dialogue about what innovation policy is for. Our research last year showed that the UK population was strongly supportive of new ideas, but that the standard rhetoric of technocratic innovation...Read More

Applications Open for Last Resort Clinic Working Group Organized by Karim Lakhani

Karim Lakhani, Network member and Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and partners at MIT, Harvard, CancerCommons.org and Global Cures organizing the Last Resort Clinic Working Group. The Working Group will explore “ways to treat terminally-ill patients through the use of novel and experimental therapies, drawing on the collaborative work of scientists around the world.” “A ‘last resort clinic’ (LaRC) in which clinicians and bench scientist...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Net Neutrality is Critical for Europe's Future

In a guest blog for the European Commission, Network member and inventor of the Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee argues that net neutrality is “critical for the future of the Web and the future of human rights, innovation and progress in Europe.” “Today…a key element of the openness that underpins the Web and the broader Internet is under threat. I’m talking about ‘net neutrality’ - the principle that each ‘packet’ of data must be treated equally by the network. In practice, this means that there sho...Read More

Center for Policy Informatics Concludes Look at the Role of GitHub in Public Sector Collaboration

In the last in a series of three posts published on the TechTank Blog at the Brookings Institution, Network post-doc Justin Longo and Tanya Kelley, both of Arizona State University’s  Center for Policy Informatics (CPI) and working under the guidance of Network member and CPI Director  Erik Johnston, conclude their examination of GitHub’s capacity for fostering public sector collaboration. “Some will dismiss GitHub as ill-suited to document collaboration, too purpose-built and inflexible, th...Read More

Research Network on Opening Governance at Tech Triangle U 2015

From March 4-8,  Brooklyn Tech Triangle will host its annual  Tech Triangle U conference – “a week-long series of events to connect the tech, creative, and academic communities in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.” This year’s focus is on “Intersections” and the ways in which technology is affecting traditional industries and real world issues. Andrew Young, the GovLab’s associate director of research and MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance network coordinator, will take ...Read More

New from Pew Research and Lee Rainie: Public and Scientists' Views on Science and Society

Today, Pew Research Center and Network member Lee Rainie released the first report in their Science and Society series: “Public and Scientists Views on Science and Society.” Rainie also published a blog post describing the impetus for Pew’s exploration into Americans’ views on science. Findings from the report include: “Science holds an esteemed place among citizens and professionals. Americans recognize the accomplishments of scientists in key fields and, despite considerable dispute about...Read More

New from Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young: Governing Through Prizes and Challenges

The Network’s Chief of Research Stefaan Verhulst and Network Coordinator Andrew Young, both of the Governance Lab @ NYU, published a set of observations, research questions and strategies regarding the use of prize-induced contests and grand challenges to help address public problems by shifting the locus of innovation from institutions to the public. One of the central questions Verhulst and Young pose relates to the need for developing meaningful metrics for assessing the effectiveness of ...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and World Wide Web Foundation Release 2nd Open Data Barometer

The World Wide Web Foundation, founded by Network member and inventor of the Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee released its second Open Data Barometer. The Barometer comprises an in-depth report on the open data initiatives of countries around the world, key findings from that report and rankings for developed, emerging market and developing countries. The introduction to the Barometer describes the current importance of this research: “As the UN leads a conversation on the need for a Data Revolution...Read More

Interview with Sheena Iyengar from Forbes India: Choice liberates. Or does it?

In an Interview with Forbes India, Sheena Iyengar, Network member and S.T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, discussed “how we choose, why choice has its limitations, how different cultures see choice and the implications of her research.” In response to a question on people’s lack of understanding regarding how choice really works, Iyengar argues: “I think that one of the biggest [issues] no matter where you go is that people donʼt know how to choose. We would all be b...Read More

Center for Policy Informatics Continues to Look at the Role of GitHub in Public Sector Collaboration

In the second in a series of three posts published on the TechTank Blog at the Brookings Institution, Network post-doc Justin Longo and Tanya Kelley, both of Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics (CPI) continues their examination of GitHub’s capacity for fostering public sector collaboration. These posts were developed under the guidance of Network member and CPI director Erik Johnston. "”While the Web has transformed many aspects of people’s lives, it has not quite fulfil...Read More

New from Pew Research Center's Fact Tank: What will digital life look like in 2025?

Lee Rainie, Network member and director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, and Janna Anderson shared a collection of key takeaways from the canvassing of Internet experts and scholars centered on “where things would stand by the year 2025 as technology and society kept evolving.” The non-scientific, opt-in survey of experts was conducted by Pew and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center. The first takeaway is that, “The Internet will become ‘like elec...Read More

Henry Farrell: Social Democrats in the Twin-Peaked World

Henry Farrell, Network member and associate professor of political science at George Washington University, posted a new blog at Crooked Timber on challenges to left-wing parties in a society that increasingly sees improvements for the global poor and global rich, with no such improvements for the global working class. In the European context, Farrell argues: “European voters, mainstream European parties and European leaders have increasingly learned how to live without effective participat...Read More

New from Geoff Mulgan: Democracy makes itself at home online

Geoff Mulgan, Network member and chief executive of Nesta, posted a new prediction around how “2015 will see the creation of new political parties organised in radically different ways.” Mulgan predicts that “the aftermath of the UK election will see the first Internet-age parties emerge in the UK, our own versions of Podemos or Democracy OS. My hope is that they will help to engage millions of people currently detached from politics, and to provide them with ways to directly influence ideas...Read More

Innovations in Global Governance: Towards a Distributed Internet Governance Ecosystem

The GovLab and its founders Network Chair Beth Simone Noveck and Chief of Research Stefaan Verhulst published a new paper for the Centre for International Governance Innovation ( CIGI) just released our paper on “Innovations in Global Governance: Towards a Distributed Internet Governance Ecosystem.” It is part of a series of research papers supporting the Global Commission on Internet Governance ( GCIG), on which Professor Noveck is a commissioner. The GCIG was established in January 2014 “to...Read More

New Pew Research Center Internet Project Report: The Future of Privacy

Last week, the Pew Research Internet Project released a new report on The Future of Privacy, co-authored by Lee Rainie, director of the Project and member of the Research Network. The report “is a look into the future of privacy in light of the technological change, ever-growing monetization of digital encounters, and shifting relationship of citizens and their governments that is likely to extend through the next decade. The 2,511 respondents to the survey responded to three central prompt...Read More

Geoff Mulgan Addresses Government Innovation Leaders in Dubai

Last week, Network member and Nesta chief executive Geoff Mulgan took part in The Future of Innovation in Government Work dialogue at the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation in Dubai. In his presentation, Mulgan cited paradigmatic governance innovations from around the world and described the necessary components of governance innovation, including high-level government support. Read more here. Read More

Center for Policy Informatics Provides a Look at the Future of Public Sector Collaboration

This week, Network post-doc Justin Longo and Tanya Kelley, both of Arizona State University’s Center for Policy Informatics, published an examination of GitHub’s capacity for fostering public sector collaboration at Brookings, under the guidance of Network member and director of the Center for Policy Informatics Erik Johnston. “What distinguishes GitHub are its built-in social networking functions, back-end data capture and on-board reporting, and the principles of distributed version contro...Read More

Anita McGahan on the Sharing Economy and the Public Good

Anita McGahan, Network member and Associate Dean of the Rotman School at the University of Toronto, recently took part in a discussion of the sharing economy, its current impacts and where it will go next for CBC Radio. The discussion, which examines “who wins, who loses and what’s destined to change if a sharing economy is sustainable: business, society or the state,” is a “special 2-part event produced by IDEAS in partnership with  The Munk School of Global Affairs. Featuring economic and ...Read More

Beth Noveck for Sunlight Foundation: Transparency is not just television

Network chair and executive director of the GovLab Beth Simone Noveck today published a post for the Sunlight Foundation focused on the importance of citizen participation to enable true transparency, with a variety of examples and opportunities. “If we pushed for more true transparency, we would likely have much better ways to enable the American people to participate directly in the legislative drafting process. This is not a pipe dream. In Finland,  Open Ministry helps citizens develop pr...Read More

Henry Farrell on the Subtle Damage to the CIA

In the wake of the Senate Select Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation tactics, Network member and George Washington University associate professor Henry Farrell published a piece at the Monkey Cage on subtle and unexpected impacts to the agency as a result of new disclosures. “In short, the CIA relies on relationships with a variety of people and in particular with academics and people with semi-academic skills in a broader ecosystem of information. Many of these relationships are l...Read More

Deborah Estrin Helps Introduce New 'Healthier Life' Master's Degree at Cornell Tech

Deborah Estrin, Network member, professor of computer science at Cornell Tech and professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College, sat on a panel last week hosted at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute to help announce the creation of the Healthier Life master’s concentration, which will “confer dual degrees from Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.” The panel discussion “featured health care industry leaders who examined opportunities for Healthier Life gra...Read More

Sir Tim Berners-Lee to Receive the Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize

This week, it was announced that Network member and inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee will be awarded the 12th Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize. The prize is “awarded at irregular intervals to people who have made outstanding contributions to the well-being of the wider community.” Sir Tim will receive the award at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Ruschlikon/Zurich on April 29, 2015. Read the full announcement here. Read More

Karim Lakhani and Marco Iansiti: Webinar on the Internet of Things

Network member and Harvard Business School professor Karim Lakhani and fellow HBS professor Marco Iansiti recently led a webinar on the implications of the Internet of Things on industry. In the webinar, Lakhani and Iansiti “held a discussion on the impact of the Internet of Things, examining the opportunities as well as the threats this new wave of technology creates. They described how leading companies, like GE, are acting to seize new opportunities, highlighting the challenges and tradeo...Read More

Christian Bason and Philip Colligan: Look to Government – Yes, Government – for New Social Innovations

On the Harvard Business Review blog, Network member and chief executive of the Danish Design Center Christian Bason and deputy chief executive of Nesta Philip Colligan discuss the emerging paradigm of government as the “new hotbed of social innovation” where innovators are “bringing new knowledge and practices to the craft of governing and policy making; drawing on human-centered design, user engagement, open innovation, and cross-sector collaboration; and using data, evidence, and insights i...Read More

Upcoming Event: The Responsive City – A Conversation with Susan Crawford, Stefaan Verhulst and Others

“In God we trust,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg used to say, “everyone else bring data.” How can emerging technologies and data analytics improve life in our cities? How do we enshrine democratic discourse and citizen participation even as urban processes become more automated? What problems can — and can’t — these new tools help us solve? Please join New America NYC and the Program on Profits & Purpose for a conversation with Harvard professors Susan Crawford and Steven Goldsmith to discus...Read More

Design for Policy – New Book Edited by Christian Bason

Edited by  Christian Bason, Network member, Chief Executive of the Danish Design Centre and former head of MindLab, Design for Policy is “the first publication to chart the emergence of collaborative design approaches to innovation in public policy. Drawing on contributions from a range of the world’s leading academics, design practitioners and public managers, it provides a rich, detailed analysis of design as a tool for addressing public problems and capturing opportunities for achieving be...Read More

Beth Noveck Received the Internet and Society Award by the Oxford Internet Institute

Beth Simone Noveck, Network Chair and Executive Director of the GovLab, discussed the honor of receiving an Internet and Society Award from the Oxford Internet Institute on the GovLab Blog: _“More years ago than I care to recall, I studied at  Christ Church College. At that point, I came to the University of Oxford to study allied cultural policy after World War II. I was interested in the ways that each of the different post-war powers used the media of their day, ranging from film to photo...Read More

Beth Noveck in Governing: Measuring the Impact of Public Innovation in the Wild

In her latest column in Governing, Network Chair and Executive Director of the GovLab  Beth Simone Noveck discusses the MacArthur Foundation Research Network’s focus on accelerating the “pace of research so we can learn better and faster when an innovation in governance works – for whom, in which contexts and under what conditions,” and the development and leveraging of “better methods for doing fast-cycle research in collaboration with government – in the wild, not in the lab.” Noveck focus...Read More

Deb Roy: "Imagine a future where everyone could express himself..."

Network member, Chief Media Scientist at Twitter and Director of the Laboratory for Social Machines at MIT Deb Roy discussed the concept of mutual visibility and the ways that social media can help improve public life with The Hindu. Roy: “I think there’s huge amount of work ahead to get towards workable responsive systems for a feedback loop….The kind of social action today that you see enabled by social media, especially real-time and fast and at-scale digital networks, is best characteri...Read More

New Pew Research Center Internet Project Presentation: Knowledge Sharing in the Networked World of the Internet of Things

At the KMWorld Conference on November 6th, Network member and Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project Lee Rainie discussed the rise of embedded and wearable computing.  Rainie presented Pew’s latest findings “about the internet” and put it into “organizational context with the expanding Internet of Things.” You can view the full presentation here. Read More

Deborah Estrin to Give Inaugural Mary Jean Harrold Memorial Lecture

On November 20th, Network member Deborah Estrin, Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech and pioneer in the field of networked sensing, will give the inaugural Mary Jean Harrold Memorial Lecture at the Georgie Tech College of Computing. The lecture, which is in honor of College of Computing professor and researcher Mary Jean Harrold, is a part of the School of Computing Science Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings “lauded educators, researchers, lecturers and industry leaders to t...Read More

Workshopping Opening Governance

The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance was launched in 2014 to study and develop the blueprints for more effective and legitimate democratic institutions to the end of improving people’s lives. It is part of MacArthur’s efforts to establish interdisciplinary research networks – “research institutions without walls” – on topics related primarily to human and community development. On October 24th and 25th, the Network met in Chicago for its Workshopping Opening Gove...Read More

Answering Big Governance Questions Through Data

We are living in an information age. Though data has always been produced, the current era has become characterized by technologies enabling the production, storage, and analysis of more data than ever before. Despite its central role in driving innovation in a number of industries, governing institutions have not yet made the most of the opportunity afforded by data for addressing key governance issues. The leveraging of data – whether through increasing access to relevant data, improving t...Read More

Academy of Management Announces Opening Governance Theme for Annual Meeting

In an effort to accelerate new insights in how organizations gain authority and mandates for action, Prof. Anita McGahan, the Academy of Management’s 2015 Program Chair and member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance announced recently the Academy’s annual meeting will focus on Opening Governance. In particular, the meeting will consider how digital technologies that expand the information and expertise available to organizational leaders improves the effective...Read More