Collaborative Democracy in the White House

If you have been following the White House’s groundbreaking Open Government Initiative over the past few weeks, you’ll be aware already that Debategraph has been mapping the proposals emerging from the Open Government Brainstorming sessions on Participation, Transparency and Collaboration.


The Open Government Initiative moved into the third, and most significant, Drafting phase today—and we’re delighted to note that the White House’s Open Government team has entrusted this vital phase to our favourite wiki team at MixedInk (who, if you haven’t discovered them yet, offer a truly innovative and powerful approach to the task of collaborative writing, which is ready to be applied in multiple contexts).

The initial Open Government Brainstorming and Discussion phases have been stimulating and generative, but the real collaborative work, the real collaborative responsibility, and the real collaborative opportunity lie in the next phase of synthesis.

So get writing!

…and, to help you on your way, here’s the combined Debategraph of the redacted proposals from the three brainstorming sessions:

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Mapping the Core Principles for Public Engagement

One of the many delights of April’s eDemocracyCamp in Washington, was the chance to meet Sandy Heierbacher, Director and Co-founder of the inspiring National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation.

Among many virtues, Sandy was one of the main enablers of the Public Engagement Principles (PEP) Project—launched in response to Barack Obama’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government—with the goal of articulating the fundamental components of quality public engagement (as understood by leading practitioners in the field).


The resulting seven principles—developed collaboratively by, among others, members of the NCDD, IAP2 and the Co-Intelligence Institute—have won widespread praise and endorsement, and as others have noted are applicable across many domains.

In conversation with Sandy at the eDemocracyCamp, we thought that it might be fun to create a representation of the principles as an interactive Debategraph, the result of which is shown below:

…and for anyone around in San Francisco this evening, tonight’s IAP2 Symposium on The Future of Public Participation—which features presentations from Moira Deslandes and Tim Bonnemann, and at which the principles will be discussed—is highly recommended.

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