Fascinating discussion here with Beth Noveck at the CeDEM conference in Austria. Beth was the United States deputy chief technology officer for open government and led President Obama’s Open Government Initiative.
She discusses some of the challenges raised by crowdsourced solutions, be they the legal issues faced by Air Bnb or the ethical challenges of getting expertise ‘on the cheap’.
Nevertheless, governments are beginning to utilise crowdsourcing to help solve public problems. The Whitehouse now host hackathons to solicit input from the crowd.
The main lesson to take from it I think is that any crowdsourcing or community engagement has to be done with a clear end point in mind. She cites the popularity of online polling sites around the world, but the lack of any tangible output from this engagement.
If you’re looking to use social media and community engagement in the public sphere, this is a fascinating talk to watch. Tune in below.