In the UK government employees have tried to run "barcamps", sponsored Hack the Government days, given away data etc...

These are all fairly tokenistic, and ad hoc but they encourage the IT community.

Real letting go of power and allowing citizens in is a long way away in Britain.

One place where it may start if the Conservative party get in is Kent. The local authority there is doing a lot to simplify and engage.

I live in Scotland - nothing happens here in this field yet.


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I was on a call just a couple of weeks ago with the gentleman doing the work in Vancouver BC Canada. You might find some interesting things here: http://bit.ly/9fmcvG

And I haven't read this article from the Economist yet, but it's on my list. It might be of interest as well. http://bit.ly/bHuUWS

San Francisco has been fairly progressive on this front as well.

They is a merge beginning to happen.
With data being released and things like Londondatastore cropping up there are some interesting hack things being done.

Snook ran the ALISS workshop last week, and perhaps there wasn't alot of space for tech stuff until the very end of the workshop, which was a shame,but motion was being made towards a co-creative approach that some Scottish gov bodies left talking about the words co-design and grassroots.

I always feel like to encourage change, you have to slot yourself somewhere in the middle of the old hierarchical triangle. If noise is made by campaign, it's often not really listened to and viewed as a threat rather than a better opinion or way of doing something. By sitting in the middle, you can speak to both sides (often a role of a designer used to do participatory work) I always find facilitating a new way of seeing something, or doing something in this way is influential.

To really let go of power requires people to see things in a different way and to view things as a better way of doing them. You can't convince people to give up power, in fact, I don't think for a very long time, or if ever, people will give up power but if they can engage with the grassroots approach and meet somewhere in the middle, then you can start to facilitate change...

and we're working Scotland now as Snook, and hoping to engage more developers in work (we have Danyi working on mypolice) so I understand the value of working designers working alongside developers..you guys make stuff happen!!


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