Here is a quick summary of Catherine Bracy’s September 2013 TED Talk entitled Why Good Hackers Make Good Citizens.
I believe you will want to watch it a couple of times and share it with lots of others.
- “Hacking” is collaborative, innovative problem solving
- Civic Hacking brings 21st a Century tool set to bear on the problems government and society are facing
- It encourages and empowers effective citizen participation
- It re-energizes citizenship and restores trust in government
- It is a way to create functional apps that serve real people in a user-friendly way
One example towards the end is just sobering.
The Mexico House of Representatives let a 2-year $9.3 million (USD) contract to build a bill-tracking system. Out of frustration and irritation, Mexico City tech-geeks created a contest to create a system in 10 days for a “prize” of $9,300 (USD) (!). They received 173 apps; 5 were presented to the legislature and are still being used; the $9.3 million contract was vacated.