What Role Will Connected Citizens Play In the Future of Governance?

This is a question asked by Institute for the Future last month in a game called the Future of Governance where people connect from all over the world to share and develop ideas on how to better society in innovative ways.

There website states that, “Over 26 hours, 516 players contributed 6,762 microforecasts about the future of governance in the Connected Citizens Foresight Engine game.”


The central question they explored was:

What if, together, we could imagine hundreds of civic innovations to improve our communities between 2013 and 2023?


Fastcoexist.com describes  “Foresight Engine“, the IFTF’s collaborative forecasting platform as:

Players gather at a web site, watch a short video, then submit ideas, and respond to them. You get one “card” to start with–positive or negative, depending on your idea–then as many response cards as you like (there are five types). Players attracting the most responses win–though the spirit is (mostly) collaborative rather than competitive.

An Introduction to the Governance Futures Lab:

I found that the civic collaboration apps are extremely thought provoking and opportunities for their use seem to spring up everywhere.

Fixing infrastructure and saving lives without the aid of any external parties but the citizens themselves is truly amazing. It’s encouraging to see what what responsible and organized citizens can do within a community.


This smart new way of crowd sourcing societal solutions may help to greatly enhance the idea generation process, but what of implementation? Countless think tanks, non-profits and other NGOs offer up proposals to the government all the time and yet very few make it through the complex political system.


I guess the question I’m trying to ask is: What has to change first?


The IFTF and the Governance Futures Lab are partnering with the City of Palo Alto to host a CivicMeet—April 27, 2013 to challenge citizens to innovate the civic experience in the heart of Silicon Valley.

This is will be an interesting event to observe what can come of organizations, government, and citizens all working together in a way that can actually be put in motion once the dust settle from extreme brainstorming.


I count these events down as more wins for the future of connected citizens taking part governance.

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