Month: 2018-03


@null 09:54:00


thebestsophist 08:56:40

Taichung to host 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy | Society | FOCUS TAIWAN - CNA ENGLISH NEWS

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) Taichung City has been chosen to host the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, an annual forum that brings together international experts, activists and government officials to discuss participatory democracy, human rights and other issues.

itsmisscs 15:11:53


rayc 12:40:39
@ray.cha has joined the channel


itsmisscs 03:25:27
^^ CFP until 1 April
patcon 04:49:00
patcon 08:00:11
hey <!here>, when do we want to do our video call on Friday?

Not sure if we did this before, but here's a when2meet for figuring out general friday availabilities (GMT):
dzn 13:26:10
I am usually at Orbital around 12PM on Friday. @lizbarry has been joining around 2.
dzn 13:26:27
I’m up for any time afternoon onwards


devin 06:19:01
I can come by orbital friday afternoon/early evening


lizbarry 00:27:55
Anyone there yet?
katenicholson 01:33:09
Let me know if there’s a good time to video in to say hi / hear what’s up. And also, I’m gonna catch run lola run at the rubin tonight, join up if you like. It’s at 930, probably be grabbing drinks before.

Run Lola Run-Cabaret Cinema: Time | Rubin Museum of Art

1998, Tom Tykwer, Germany, 80 min. German with English subtitles Introduced by neuroscience researcher Rikki Rabinovich “A thrilling post-MTV, roller-coaster ride, Run Lola Run is the internationally acclaimed sensation about two star-crossed lovers who have only minutes to change the…

devin 03:46:04
I wanna see run lola run. Have to go to a bday party first. Don't know if I can get out by 930 but maybe. Birthday boy has a baby.
devin 03:46:20
As for orbital - I could make it around 4
dzn 05:25:38
Hey. What time were you thinking of getting here?
dzn 05:25:48
Orbital is clearing out sadly
dzn 05:25:52
@lizbarry and @itsmisscs just left
dzn 05:26:06
I am leaving soon
dzn 05:26:11
devin 05:26:18
oh woops
devin 05:26:34
I posted on #vnyc 545 but I guess if everyone left then
devin 05:26:40
I wont
dzn 05:27:36
Not to worry. There will be more gatherings.
devin 05:28:01
sure - i gotta walk to the F anyway so if you wanna get a drink or something I'd be down
dzn 15:18:38
just saw this. sorry. I left for yoga soon after
dzn 15:18:50
drinks too another week
katenicholson 04:02:10
Yay cool.
itsmisscs 05:01:49
PDF-18 submission form. They’ve changed the format this year


devin 02:55:01
Lots of interesting links around that author's bio -


Around the world in 200 days for people power

Swiss-Swedish author and journalist Bruno Kaufmann has set off on a world tour to explore the state of democracy.

itsmisscs 05:10:58
that’s soo cool!!! what a dope trip.
Fang 07:19:23
@fang has joined the channel


@null 01:35:04
oh hey! Nesta has a grant-making project (up to $15,000 GBP) that seems essentially tailored to fund vtaiwan-like project in UK! h/t @theobass

Anyone have any leads on UK folks who would be interested?


sylin 01:40:44
Does it fund vtaiwan like project in taiwan? :jump-g0v:
patcon 03:27:47
I don't think its able to be offered to non-uk orgs, but maybe an exchange or networking effort?
itsmisscs 07:51:22
this was posted in general. sharing here in case folks missed it

Daybreak Project

The Daybreak Project - Daybreak Project

The Daybreak Project is an English-language encyclopedia and oral history archive organizing the personal accounts and testimonies of participants in the 2014 Sunflower Movement


patcon 22:13:41
Also, combined session submitted! This is what ended up in the form:

And because I'm feeling recklessly trusting, the edit link:

Please do drop a cursory message if you edit anything (or have suggestions!)

RightCon Combined Submission - HackMD

itsmisscs 00:36:35
thank @patcon for taking the lead on this. i will take a look!
patcon 22:14:49
@darshana @lizbarry does fishbowl then workshop seem like the best prioritization for room layout prefs?
dzn 22:17:38
That works!
dzn 22:17:43
patcon 22:20:52
dzn 22:42:03
patcon 22:15:33
@itsmisscs and whooooaaa CS that's such a great link! thanks for resurfacing in here!
patcon 22:20:07
and in case it's helpful, trying to corral rightscon prep notes and links here -- i was feeling a little scattered :slightly_smiling_face:

(though perhaps I should go digging in|, as i realize we're putting lots of care into keeping that nicely organized :slightly_smiling_face: )


vNetwork: Task Tracker

Trello is the visual collaboration platform that gives teams perspective on projects. Use Trello to collaborate, communicate and coordinate on all of your projects.



@null 01:04:00
@dzn @itsmisscs @lizbarry omw for 1:30 :tada:

dzn 01:28:07
@patcon oh hiii. Didn’t realize you were in town.
dzn 01:28:42
I’m remote but let me know when you all get started and I will join on video
itsmisscs 01:29:05
we will @darshana. @patcon just got here. just waiting for liz
dzn 01:29:14
itsmisscs 01:47:19
@darshana folks are here
dzn 01:48:26

Video conversations with up to 4 people for free - no login, no downloads. Create a video room. Share the link. Appear together. Try it now at <>

itsmisscs 01:48:37
yup! getting tea an stuff
thebestsophist 03:13:53
HELLO FRIENDS, I am starting up a working group on participatory democracy at 18F. I am trying to figure out a few things:
thebestsophist 03:14:55
We want to bring in speakers who are working on this on the ground.
thebestsophist 03:15:21
Including folks from Taiwan, vNYC, and everywhere else where folks are getting traction on this.
thebestsophist 03:17:11
I’m working on trying to figure out the logistics of getting the US federal government working on this from a bunch of different angles (including what regulatory barriers we have rn).
thebestsophist 03:18:30
But I think one of the first big things is getting more visibility on the theory and application of participatory democracy in 18F and our parent group, TTS, as a whole.
thebestsophist 03:19:11
Long story short, if you would be willing to chat with us, or can help me find folks let me know!
lizbarry 03:53:19
Awesome!!!! :heartpulse::herb::sparkler:
dzn 01:23:46
hey!! I am sure willing to chat. This sounds awesome!!
dzn 01:23:58
Can you join our Friday jam session one of these weeks? :slightly_smiling_face:
dzn 01:24:19
we meet at orbital Friday afternoons.
thebestsophist 05:21:00
I might be able to! I’m joining orbital as a 1 day a week member starting in april!
thebestsophist 05:21:34
next week is gonna be funky, i have to go to DC for a project kickoff at NIH but the week after that should be good!
thebestsophist 03:19:11
Long story short, if you would be willing to chat with us, or can help me find folks let me know!


@null 05:37:21
@thebestsphist re: participatory democracy. Yay! If we're thinking that over here, it might start with retuning the public consultation process as it has in taiwan, then I've had some conversations with folks who started the Canadian Digital Services, about barriers here (mainly about views/role of anonymity and privacy in federal public consultations)

@null 05:37:36
Anyhow, happy to connect or relay NY rememberings :)

@null 05:38:01
could also bridge this channel with Civic Tech Ottawa slack, where more CDS people live )




devin 09:40:34
Hi folks. My piece about DSOs just got published:

Gotham Gazette

For Government, It's DSO or Die

City Planning's Planning Labs Private sector innovations in information technologies are transforming virtually every industry, and the rate of change seems to be accelerating. A decade ago, Facebook was a website used almost exclusively by college students to keep in touch with each other; today it’s one of the world’s largest media distributors with the capability of swaying elections simply by tweaking its algorithms; and in ten years it’ll likely be directing a self-driving car to drop you off at your friend’s house. The mindblowing rate of innovation taking place in the private sector is a stark contrast to the glacial pace of innovation in government bureaucracies. Indeed, to many people in the private and public sectors, government agencies appear, at best, frozen in time, and at worst, actually deteriorating before our very eyes. New York City’s beloved subway system is a case in point. It doesn’t have to be this way. Government agencies can leverage new tools, techniques and technologies to improve their effectiveness and even delight their users, but doing so requires more than simply signing a fat contract with a vendor of high-tech wares. It requires government adopting the values of the “open source way”: open exchange, participation, rapid prototyping, meritocracy, and community building. Doing so will change government agencies in significant ways: new roles, new skills, new trainings, new people, and new organizational structures. It’s easy to see why wholesale reform of government agencies isn’t happening: people don’t want to lose their jobs. But piecemeal reform is taking place within government, and patterns are emerging that show how small teams within government that deliver “digital services” to other government units and agencies - things like websites, mapping systems, workflow management solutions and other high-tech products and services - are driving change. The major factor that distinguishes these newly emergent “digital services organizations” (DSOs) from other technology groups within government is that their main job isn’t procuring software from large software companies, but instead to leverage open source software, peer to peer collaboration methodologies, and agile development approaches to build their own products. The origins of the “digital service” concept can be traced back to 2010 when the government of the United Kingdom began a website redesign project that turned into something much more: a rethinking of the very nature of government. Mike Bracken, co-founder of the U.K.’s Government Digital Services (GDS), articulated “government as a platform” in his 2014 PDF talk. GDS has gone on to become a vocal advocate of the open source way in government and is responsible for saving the UK Government over £1 billion a year since its inception in 2013. The United States federal government got serious about starting a GDS-style entity in 2013 when the Obama administration realized that its hallmark legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, could be jeopardized by its inability to successfully launch the <|> website by the time the legislation came into effect. Once it became clear that the project was massively mismanaged, the administration assembled a crack team of technologists from inside and outside government to get the website up and stable. To achieve this goal, the team used many open source and agile development methodologies popular in startup culture. Ultimately they got the site launched, and many of the people involved went on to create and lead high-tech units in the government such as the U.S. Digital Service in the White House, and “18F” within the General Services Administration. 18F “collaborates with other agencies to fix technical problems, build products, and improve how government serves the public through technology.” Its process relies on open source and startup-centric principles of “human centered design, agile methods and open technology.” This approach is very different than the “monolithic procurement” approach that usually happens within government where “large, complex, multi-year contracts” are drawn up between government agencies and large corporations. “According to the Standish Report from 2003-2012, 94 percent of government software projects over $10 million are either over budget, over time, or just don’t work,” via the 18F website. Instead of monolithic procurement, 18F and other DSO advocate for in-house open source development and modular procurement, which is “a strategy that breaks up large, complex procurements into multiple, tightly-scoped projects to implement technology systems in successive, interoperable increments.” By pairing this with open source software development and meticulous documentation, 18F can share the innovations they develop for one agency with others, reducing costs for everyone involved and allowing anyone in the world to use and contribute code to their projects. This approach has been highly successful. In less than four years, 18F has grown to nearly 200 staff and completed hundreds of projects for over 25 federal agencies that range from building public websites (like <|>) to backend infrastructure (like <|>) and a myriad of products that help other government workers build faster, more accessible, and more secure technology products. They’ve been successful to the point where for-profit software industry groups lodged an official complaint that 18F was hurting their businesses because they were saving the federal government too much money. The significance of 18F’s accomplishments, along with the clarity of their message about how to reform government, has gone almost entirely unnoticed by nearly everyone, except for a small but very online group of people who self-identify as “civic technologists.” This community consists mostly of people who work as technologists for private enterprise by day, and try to use their technical skills to more broadly help people by night. Rarely do these people actually work within government, and if they do, it’s rarer still for them to have the freedom and support within government to perform the type of work that 18F does. While there are a number of federal entities that have adopted the DSO model such as Defense Digital Service, which applies 18F-style approaches across the Department of Defense, at the municipal level there are very few: San Francisco has a small digital services team, and the teams managing websites in Boston and Philadelphia have some DSO characteristics, but New York City Department of City Planning’s Planning Labs follows the 18F model most closely. Planning Labs is a nine-month-old, three-person unit within DCP that isn’t shy about borrowing from 18F’s playbook. Its site is built with 18F code, its published principles are nearly identical, and its members’ outspoken support for open source as the path forward for government is just as loud. In its short existence, its already launched a half-dozen products, each of which uses open source approaches to deliver a standardized product. Looking through its portfolio of products - from its zoning tool, facilities directory, tax lot viewer, and statistical mapping tool - it becomes clear that Labs isn’t simply building products, but instead organizing the city’s information in an open, standardized, and future-friendly way that will benefit New Yorkers for generations. It’s not hard to imagine these various systems being weaved together along with other open source solutions such as David Moore’s City Council tracking system Councilmatic to create a comprehensive city information system like SimCity, but real, and in real-time. For Chris Whong, Planning Lab’s founder, NYC Planning Labs “is responding to the need to create more functional and accessible tools for planners, practitioners, and the general public to use and analyze data. With a smaller te…


patcon 04:33:48
@lizbarry @itsmisscs @darshana OK, I may have missed most of today while doing other CivicTechTO work, but I am coming to OrbitalHQ now regardless! :tada:
patcon 04:33:52
worst case, i just get to wander out the door and into the street with y'all, which is still pretty great :slightly_smiling_face:
dzn 04:34:04
ok (this is liz)
thebestsophist 04:35:00
(ack, so sorry to miss y’all for new member day)
patcon 05:10:31
this is my first one -- it's nice!
patcon 05:13:43
@thebestsophist did you make a video?? if not, there's still time! (we are getting drinks before they play them :slightly_smiling_face: )
katenicholson 03:44:22
What were you guys up to yesterday?
lizbarry 07:35:22
We chose dates for the facilitator training Friday May 11 Saturday 12; we updated and submitted the AwesomeFoundation NYC application for support for this event; drank beverages; missed you
devin 03:00:40
Can you tell us a bit more about the training? When/where/how long/content/size?
katenicholson 03:28:56
Yah Im curious too! Do you guys have a facilitation framework you’re working on for training? Or is it all set?
itsmisscs 05:12:33
it’s all based on the training Taiwan is successfully using for their participation officers. speaking for the team, i’d say our goals are a) learn from the great success of taiwan’s training methods; b) record the first english language version of their training and release for (western) audience
devin 05:13:47
Nice how many spots will you have?
itsmisscs 05:13:58
we are planning for 20-30
itsmisscs 05:14:05
you should sponsor and/or get a ticket :stuck_out_tongue:
devin 05:20:00
What does sponsor mean? Costs?
itsmisscs 05:20:14
give us this week to get you a prospectus :slightly_smiling_face:
devin 05:20:27
thebestsophist 05:48:34
(I’m slowly trying to convince a few 18F folks to come to this)
itsmisscs 05:49:59
@thebestsophist would it be worth it to send 18F boss-decision makers our prospectus?
itsmisscs 05:50:36
our ticket costs should be reasonable but there will be sponsorship perks…not sure what US gov can rightfully sponsor though. at any rate, group rates will be a thing
thebestsophist 05:52:17
Sponsorship through GSA (which is what 18f sponsorship would mean) puts a *lot* of rules on what can be funded, so I’m hesitant to do that. but a prospectus to help see if we can fund our tickets through our professional training budget could be useful.
thebestsophist 05:52:40
(and a lot faster)
thebestsophist 05:53:53
(event location, food rules, accounting, &amp;c suddenly get a lot harder)
patcon 12:38:51
> i’d say our goals are a) learn from taiwan training b) record english

yah! yah! and wondering what folks here think about consistently emphasizing that goal around "building a community of neutral citizen facilitators"? Wondering if that might be a part of the special sauce that let's us interact in the most amicable way with existing communities of consultation/faciltiation professionals :slightly_smiling_face: