Things are worse than Orwell imagined; how Ghanaians use social media; and more.
This is civic tech: The Smart Chicago Collaborative has posted the full 29-day, 174-hour curriculum for its recently concluded Youth-Led Tech mentoring program. The six week program graduated 141 teens from five poor Chicago neighborhoods. The curriculum is available for free download and re-use.
Ethan Zuckerman describes for readers of the Daily Graphic, Ghana’s leading daily newspaper, how Ghanaians using social media are changing how their country is seen by the rest of the world.
Bookmark this one: Jane Wiseman, the head of the Institute for Excellence in Government, has written a long and well-thought-out essay for Harvard’s Data-Smart City Solutions on “Customer-Driven Government.” (h/t Heidi Sieck) As she writes:
Government Yelp pages are more common for agencies that directly serve the public on a one-to-one basis, such as departments of motor vehicles, post offices, libraries, courthouses, fire and police departments. Less common are Yelp pages for agencies without a public face, such as those that repair potholes, maintain public parks, regulate the timing of streetlights, or repair graffiti in public places. This is likely because these agencies typically don’t think of themselves as customer-facing and are less likely to create a venue for online feedback. Wouldn’t it be great if government sought out input on the quality of those services, and sought our input on how to improve them?
Washington DC’s Impact Hub and its managing director Beth Flores get profiled by DCInno’s Eric Hal Schwartz.
Code for DC’s Leah Bannon is moving to San Francisco, where she will keep working for 18F, reports Lalita Clozel for TechnicallyDC. Bannon, who has been a leader of the women-in-tech movement in DC, says, “The Black Lives Matter movement…got under my skin. I’d like to do a lot more with some underprivileged groups. I’m not really sure how yet.”
Today and tomorrow is Buntwani 2015, “a global gathering of actors from the civil society, technology, donor, research, government and policy sectors focusing on the intersection of governance and innovation” taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa. This year’s conference is focusing on innovation for good governance. Follow along via #buntwani. (Buntwani is Swahili for an open air space where communities meet.)
Tech and the presidentials: Lawrence Lessig’s exploratory presidential campaign says he is now more than halfway to his Labor Day fundraising goal of $1 million, which if he hits will cause him to formally throw his hat in the Democratic ring.
Future, Imperfect: The United Nation’s new special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci, didn’t mince words when talking to The Guardian’s Adam Alexander. He says things are “worse” than anything George Orwell foresaw, “Because if you look at CCTV alone, at least Winston [Winston Smith in Orwell’s novel 1984] was able to go out in the countryside and go under a tree and expect there wouldn’t be any screen, as it was called. Whereas today there are many parts of the English countryside where there are more cameras than George Orwell could ever have imagined. So the situation in some cases is far worse already.”
Before you judge all AshleyMadison.com users for “cheating,” read this post by Glenn Greenwald, who shares an email from a married woman who is now awaiting her outing.