During yesterday’s launch webinar, I presented the positive effect of putting public feedback at the fingertips of government staff and elected officials with our new version of iLegislate. Based on the quantity and quality of the questions that were asked, it seems government innovators are eager to make mobility and community engagement work together.
For me, Newsom’s book Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government, can be summed up in one word: inspiring. On a professional level, this subject hit really close to home as I’m part of the team working on our citizen engagement tool: CivicIdeasSM. We want to make it easier for the public to get involved with their government and help improve processes — as is noted in this book, ”two-way is the future.”
Innovation is nothing new. Certainly, we create new methods or tools to achieve our goals, but these creations are always based on the tools and materials we already have before us. Real innovation is often simply asking the question, “what if,” and answering how it can happen with spectacular results. Granicus’ most recent innovation came from the question: What if government leaders always understood what their community is thinking?
When creating an online digital government, the tools we select to achieve success are just as important a decision as choosing to start the initiative. In the case of Commerce City, CO, finding the right tools ended up being a five-year process of trial and error.
Loaded with interesting stories ranging from plastic bag bans to manhunts, yesterday’s hugely successful online presentation, Smart Government: the Top Six Ways to Harness Innovation, featured a trio of presenters who laid out what they collaboratively identified as the most important qualities needed for an effective innovation framework. Hidden in the presentation’s awesome body of insight was an understated common thread: Civic engagement tools create a model environment for innovation.
The release of the Sunshine Review’s fourth annual Sunny Awards has revealed a clear pattern: Granicus clients are consistently receiving top honors.
Encouragingly, out of over 1,000 qualifying government sites from across the country, 247 were awarded an “A” grade. That’s a 15.4% increase over the number of “A” grades last year and a 502.4% increase since the first awards in 2010.
As government must grow with sociological changes, so must it grow with technological changes. But keeping up with the times is only a baseline for good government; what government really needs to excel is smart government with an environment for innovation. With innovation being on the forefront of government development, in a couple weeks, there will be a powerhouse webinar presentation on March 27 to discuss how to create that environment to build smart government.