Wiki Government

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

by Beth Simone Noveck

Number of pages: 224

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

BBB Library: Technology and Globalization, Politics and Public Affairs

ISBN: 9780815705109

About the Author

Noveck is a professor of law and director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School. She was named one of the 100 most creative people in business by FastCompany magazine.


Editorial Review

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

Book Reviews

"You can't ask for a book to do more than that." - Government Technology

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Wisdom to Share

Administrative practices are constructed around the belief that government professionals know best how to translate board legislative mandates into specific regulatory decisions in the public interest.

The problem of relying solely on professionals is compounded by the practice of confidential decision-making.

In a collaborative governance environment, the greatest challenge is one of design: organizing the work most effectively to tap outside expertise.

The primary challenge when engaging in deliberation is to avoid capture and corruption by those who speak with the most influence.

The underlying Internet and telecommunications infrastructure is essential to covering across a distance, but the Internet by itself is not the “killer app.”

Deliberation focuses on citizens discussing their views and opinions about what the state should and should not do.

The ability to create a sense of groupness via the screen has been a key driver to the success of Peer-to-Patent.

Technology can play a significant role in framing and influencing the choices people make about which groups to join and what those groups will accomplish.

Innovation in government will happen, in part, because of forces naturally evolving in technology, culture, and society.

The trend toward online distance work and collaboration across boundaries is making the necessary practices commonplace.

Information must be transparent: accessible, searchable, and usable. These are distinct requirements that demands attention and investment.

The potential for engaging people in government decision-making through technology is about empowering individuals.

Ordinary people come together across distances to debate a proposal and also to decide it. Communities bring collective wisdom to take action.