Government // Open Government
10:46 AM
Don't Miss The All Analytics Academy: Analytics for All - A Right Start
Jun 07, 2016
Whether your organization is considering the use of big data and analytics, or has taken its first ...Read More>>

Ideation Nation Crowdsources Ideas For Local Govt.

Code for America, MindMixer launch Ideation Nation, an initiative that encourages citizens and local governments to work together using technology.

Top 10 Government IT Innovators Of 2013
Top 10 Government IT Innovators Of 2013
(click image for larger view)
Civic-minded hackers and the public at large are being asked to share their ideas about how technology could improve local governments. The initiative is part of a five-week civic engagement project called Ideation Nation, launched this week by Code for America, a nonprofit group, and Web-based platform MindMixer.

Ideation Nation is intended to not only generate fresh ideas, but also help citizens and governments work together, according to Abhi Nemani, Code for America's chief of staff. The idea, he explained, is to change the conversation from one of frustration or apathy to one of collaboration and action. In an email, Nemani said that he hopes that Ideation Nation will galvanize a national network of passionate citizens ready to help their cities work better with ideas and tools that can benefit governments of all levels.

Ideation Nation also aims to give government leaders insight they wouldn't get elsewhere. "It's the first national conversation of its kind, helping citizens become empowered and helping governments hear those ideas," MindMixer CEO Nick Bowden said in an e-mail. In a time of budget cuts and growing demands, it's an opportunity for local governments to involve citizens and support innovation.

[ Looks like more belt-tightening is on the way. Read Sequestration II: Expect Budget Rollercoaster In 2014. ]

Americans are encouraged to join the Ideation Nation online by submitting their concepts. Out of 25 finalists chosen at the end of October, one will win a free MindMixer site -- to virtually engage communities -- and $5,000 to develop and implement his or her idea in 2014. Additionally, the winner will receive guidance from experts at MindMixer and Code for America. The other 24 concepts will remain public for anyone interested in turning them into action.

Some early ideas posted on include an app to help people find parking in busy cities, an app that alerts commuters when their bus or train is running late, and cell-phone charging stations embedded in benches and street lamps to encourage people to spend more time outdoors.

Participants as young as 14 years old can create an account to share their ideas. MindMixer and Code for America are also taking the effort to social media, asking participants to generate support on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #IdeationNation.

Code for America has a history of helping the U.S. government put technology to use. The idea behind the nonprofit -- backed by high-profile tech companies -- is to bring together top talent to enable city governments to modernize their services through IT.

Code for America has worked with dozens of citizens and thousands of technologists over the past few years, building tools like OpenCounter, which makes it easy for entrepreneurs to register their new businesses online; DiscoverBPS, which lets parents choose schools for their kids; textizen, a simple SMS-based feedback platform; and Honolulu Answers, a fresh take on city websites that allows citizens to write plain-language content.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email Strategy
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email Strategy
Cost, time, and risk. It's the demand trifecta vying for the attention of both technology professionals and attorneys charged with balancing the expectations of their clients and business units with the hard reality of the current financial and regulatory climate. Sometimes, organizations assume high levels of risk as a result of their inability to meet the costs involved in data protection. In other instances, it's time that's of the essence, as with a data breach.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2016 InformationWeek Elite 100
Our 28th annual ranking of the leading US users of business technology.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.