Personal Democracy Forum 2012
Sometimes, things just work out. This is one such story. First, some background:
According to their website, Personal Democracy Forum (PdF) is “the world’s leading conference exploring and analyzing technology’s impact on politics and government”. The PdF was started back in 2004 by Andrew Rasiej and co-Founder Micah Sifry, and has had quite a history of speakers and ideas. It was really the first, and now is the premier, conference on this topic. This year Todd Park, CTO of the USA, is one of the speakers. I saw him at Transparency Camp this year and he was amazing. It will be a treat to see him again.
How technology, and the internet in particular, impacts government and politics, is, of course, something we are very interested in at BillTrack50. As I’ve said on this blog before, I firmly believe that the country is full of smart people with good ideas. Making information about pending legislation freely available, in an easy to search and use way, will help those good ideas find their way to representatives in government who can do something with them. Thus making bills available to the public to search for free is my way of trying to leverage technology to have a positive impact on politics and government.
All that said, I was still struggling with if I could attend. It’s not cheap, and it’s just a few days before I head to Vegas for RightOnline. Luckily, I was chosen for a Google Fellowship, which is an amazing opportunity. On the application page they describe the fellowship as follows:
“Google and Personal Democracy Forum are teaming up to offer registration fellowships that cover the full forum registration costs and a meal with Googlers for fifteen well-qualified, creative political entrepreneurs to attend this year’s conference on June 11-12 at NYU Skirball Center in New York City.
Fellows will be chosen based on evidence of how you’ve turned ideas into action and into new applications of technology in the political or civic arena.”
So thanks Google and PdF! Of course I can’t miss the opportunity to meet and hang out with 14 other people up to the same sort of thing I am. It’s also very nice to be recognized as someone trying to make a difference. So I’m off to New York City in June to learn and network and get inspired.
I can’t wait to be in the same room with so many creative thinkers. Good things are bound to come of it!
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