Building an Open Government From Laptops and Sidewalks

As you may have a seen a time or two, the team at GOOD HQ is quite inspired by the Open Government movement. So when our friends at the Knight Foundation asked, in their latest iteration of the phenomenal News Challenge, “how might we improve the way citizens and government interact,” our team took to our whiteboards and crafted a pair of responses. But they’re not complete without the input and support of the GOOD community. Visit GOOD’s News Challenge submissions below by March 29th to view, comment on, and “applaud” our ideas—this will help us refine them. You can also create your own.

Liberating OpenGov: From Laptops To Sidewalks

In communities around the country, individuals and organizations work hard to make an impact through both individual efforts and organized programs. But it’s challenging to rally people to action (much less drive sustained engagement) when impact at the community level is difficult to track.

We believe that we can help kickstart a virtuous cycle of results-oriented civic action by creating a platform for robust social experiments at the grassroots level. This platform would be driven by three components working together to create a positive feedback loop for learning and doing: (1) Action Toolkits to help community organizers plan, coordinate, and rally an effort; (2) a Dashboard to provide immediate feedback on the success of the effort; and (3) Storytelling to ensure that successful tactics are shared with other communities for replication and adoption.

Scaling the Movement:

Open Government is an imperative for the GOOD community, and we can leverage our collective energy to build upon the revolutionary Open Government work of the past five years and propel it to scale.

At, GOOD will expand the conversation around Open Government beyond the wonky and technical to become more actionable and accessible for everyday citizens. Our project will combine a vibrant online hub, convening engaged citizens and leaders in the OpenGov space, with a campaign of content and action, including infographics, videos, a community challenge, and a global event series in 50+ cities—all focused on making the OpenGov movement more engaging, appealing, and accessible for all.