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Archive for the ‘Texas Forums Events’ Category

On November 4, twenty-five students, faculty, and administrators at St. Edward’s University (SEU) participated in a deliberative forum on Democracy’s Challenge: Reclaiming the Public’s Role. Organized by the SEU New College, the university’s program for working adults, the goal of the forum was to explore different ways that students can learn and practice their roles as citizens.

During the two and a half hour forum, participants explored the role of higher education in helping students to recognize their own unique contribution to our democracy and discussed ways to inspire them to become engaged citizens. Using a discussion guide prepared by the National Issues Forums Institute, participants considered three perspectives of what it would take to reclaim the public’s role in democracy.

Even though participants agreed the the university needs to provide students with opportunities for citizen engagement, the group recognized various barriers within educational institutions and within society that can prevent people from participating fully.

The lack of trust in government, the disconnect people feel with the process, the inability to talk about tough issues without polarizing around the differences, the loss of our public spaces used for public deliberation – all of these items were explored with a spirit of curiosity and respect. One of the most compelling ideas to come out of the discussion was an awareness that civic engagement in the future might look very different than what it has looked like in the past.

While it wasn’t immediately clear how dialogue and deliberation could be used more fully on campus, there seemed to be agreement that the skills would be important for SEU graduates, and that students could use these skills out in the community as they talk about issues that matter to them. New College is also considering whether or not to use this process in their required mission courses that every student takes upon entering New College. The university has already scheduled a follow up to the forum, which will be a two day Moderator Training on Jan. 8-9 on the St. Edward’s campus.

Following the event, Vicki Totten, who helped organize the event for New College faculty and students, said

I am excited about the potential of using dialogue and deliberation to help students talk about difficult issues in the classroom.

She added that deliberation might be an important foundation for any student, since in order to work on difficult issues, it is important to be able to know how to move a discussion from a debate toward true dialogue.

Another important aspect of the deliberative model is that it emphasizes the need to understand the important role that values play in forming our perspectives, an important hallmark of a St. Edward’s education.

This forum, a project of the LBJ Presidential Library was one of dozens of forums being held by all twelve presidential libraries across the country, and made possible with funding from the National Archives and Records Administration and the National Issues Forums.

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Open Government on the Internet: A New Era In Transparency

JOIN OUR WEBCAST AT:

http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/webcasts/

Former Senator Bill Bradley
White House CIO Vivek Kundra
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs
LBJ School's Gary Chapman
The Hon. Former SenatorBill Bradley

White House CIOVivek Kundra

Texas ComptrollerSusan Combs

LBJ SchoolGary Chapman

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information
Act
, a landmark law that has ever since changed how citizens can learn about their government.

President Barack Obama’s “Day One” action, on January 21, 2009, emphasized his commitment to open and free government information, spelled out in his Freedom of Information Act Memorandum, the very first order the new President issued from the White House.

The one-day conference, “Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of Transparency,” will look at these developments through the eyes of nationally prominent speakers and the participation of the audience. On May 15, 2009, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas at Austin, in co-sponsorship with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will co-host this one-day conference with speakers and panelists interacting simultaneously, through videoconferencing, in Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.

The conference is sold out, but we are offering this opportunity for you to watch the webcast from the comfort of your own home or office!

Watch this video produced by students from the LBJ School of Public Affairs for an overview of the day.

Co-sponsors

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum
LBJ School of Public Affairs
Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas

The topics to be covered will include:

  • Innovations in fiscal transparency online
  • Technologies for monitoring legislation and spending
  • The “right-to-know” agenda for the 21st century
  • Innovation in the states
  • The future of “i-government”
  • Citizen participation online
  • How technologists can help

This event is meant for public sector managers and leaders, elected officials, nonprofit advocates, technologists and developers, and citizens interested in transforming government with new online tools.

The Day’s Program

8:30-8:45: The Hon. Former Senator Bill Bradley

8:45 – 9:30: Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer, White House Office of Management and Budget

9:30-10:15: Susan Combs, Comptroller of Public Accounts, State of Texas

10:15-10:45: Coffee break

10:45-12:00: Panel on Texas and transparency: The Hon. State Senator Kirk Watson (invited); The Hon. State Representative Mark Strama (invited); The Hon. former State Representative Sherri Greenberg, LBJ School of Public Affairs; The Hon. former State Senator Talmadge Heflin, Texas Public Policy Foundation; Fred Zipp, editor, Austin American-Statesman

12:00 to 12:30: Gary Chapman, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

12:30-1:30: Lunch Break

1:30-2:30: Panel discussion technology and transparency in the federal government: Kshmendra Paul, Manager, Federal Enterprise Architecture, Office of Management and Budget; Clay Johnson, Sunlight Labs; John Wonderlich,
Director of Policy, The Sunlight Foundation

2:30-3:15 Panel discussion on transparency and application development: Conor Kenny, OpenCongress/Sunlight Foundation; Damien Brockmann, billhop.com; Eric Gundersen, President of Development Seed

3:15-3:30: Break – Refreshments provided

3:30-4:15: Silona Bonewald, founder and director of the League of Technical Voters

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Date: April 28
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Place: The LBJ
Presidential Library 10th floor Atrium

2313 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78705-5702

Come and meet new and long-time members of Texas Forums and reminisce with your colleagues and Texas Forums co-founder Dr. Betty Sue Flowers about the forums, events, research, receptions, and workshops we have enjoyed over the past six years .

If you are new to Texas Forums, this will be a great opportunity to socialize with our members and to learn more about our work.

Bring your memories and photos. We’ll provide the fun and the food.

Register here to make sure we have enough food!

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Logo

Date: May 15, 2009
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Place: LBJ Presidential Library and Museum
FREE, BUT REGISTRATION REQUIRED

In
1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, a landmark law that profoundly changed how citizens can learn about their government.

On May 15, 2009, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas
at Austin, in co-sponsorship with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will co-host this free, one-day conference with speakers and panelists interacting simultaneously, through videoconferencing, in Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.

The topics to be covered will include:

  • Innovations in fiscal transparency online
  • Technologies for monitoring legislation and spending
  • The “right-to-know” agenda for the 21st century
  • Innovation in the states
  • The future of “i-government”
  • Citizen participation online
  • How technologists can help

This event is meant for public sector managers and leaders, elected officials, nonprofit advocates, technologists and developers, and citizens interested in transforming government with new online tools.

President Barack Obama’s “Day One” action, on January 21, 2009, emphasized his commitment to open and free government information, spelled out in his Freedom of Information Act Memorandum, the very first order the new President issued from the White House.

Already there is an explosion of new tools on the Internet to access government information in innovative ways.

The one-day conference, “Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of
Transparency,” will look at these developments through the eyes of nationally prominent speakers and the participation of the audience.

Featured speakers include

  • Bill Bradley, The Hon. Former Senator
  • Vivek Kundra, White House Chief Information Officer
  • Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller
  • Ellen Miller, Sunlight Foundation Director

For more information and to register…

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I just watched the webcast of Open the Door hosted by Openthegovernment.org. The panelists were:

  • Dan Chenok, a member of President Obama’s “Technology, Innovation and Government Reform” transition team, former branch chief for information policy and technology in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and currently senior vice president and general manager of Pragmatics;
  • Vivek Kundra, newly-appointed federal Chief Information Officer (CIO);
  • Katherine McFate, a Program Officer for Government Performance and Accountability in the Ford Foundation’s Governance Unit; and
  • Beth Noveck, a professor of law and director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and author of Wiki Government (Brookings 2009).

This was the Sunshine Week 2009 National Dialogue sponsore by the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Center for American Progress, League of Women Voters,National Freedom of Information Coalition, OpenTheGovernment.org, Public Citizen, Special Libraries Association, Sunshine Week, and the Sunlight Foundation.

As far as I know, there were no hashtags and I didn’t know if anyone else was twittering, but I posted my share and now I’ve been asked to re-post them for my non-twittering friends, so here they are along with additional notes I took. No offense to host Patrice McDermott, director of OpenTheGovernment.org who did a fabulous job moderating, but I posted a tiny tweetplaint (OMG, now I’m making up tweet words) about her chewing gum.

My Chicken Scratch:
More important than ever to get data into hands because of huge expenses going out the door for recovery and stimulus.
Have to look at this as an ecosystem. When data is democratized, we can hold officials  and ourselves accountable.

Vivek (Obama CIO) pointed to two examples of how transparency and open source have been effective tools for the federal government:

1) The NIH Human Genome project. They opened up the data to anyone, led to massive explosion in the number of people working on the Genome project. For a quick history and to see some of the amazing results of this open source research, check out this two-page fact sheet from the NIH: www.nih.gov/about/researchresultsforthepublic/HumanGenomeProject.pdf
2) DOD and satellites when they released coordinates, led to geospatial data.

But we have to remember that it is not just technology for technology’s sake. We have to be focused on what the technology will enable us to do.

Connect people to services rather than to government agencies. Each agency has a separate web site. The services are organized according to the bureaucracy not according to the services that people need and not in a way that can be easily accessed.

Technology is just one element of transparency. It’s not the solution. It has to be embedded in the C.I.O.’s DNA. They have to come to favor solutions that make it easier for citizens to access and understand how their government works.

Driven by three values outlined in Obama’s memorandum

  • Transparency
  • Participation
  • Collaboration

When people understand the basis for a decision and are able to participate in the decision-making process they are more ready to live with the decision even if they don’t agree.
Accountable Recovery Resources:

What can you do to monitor the Recovery money? Do it at your state level.
Look at what states and localities are doing. Do they have web sites? What is on them? Is it helpful? If they aren’t good, tell them, write op-eds. Check out resources at http://accountablerecovery.net/ and tell accountable Recovery if you find good things that are working!

This is a special moment to reshape the way democracy works. We have a president committed to hearing what people have to say.
This is our moment to change the structures so that everyone can be engaged. This is about reinvigorating democracy.

Models from other countries: Singapore has a very open electronic gov’t platform. UK has a government gateway that they run transactions through. There is a huge e-government movement internationally.

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[update: Kevin Koym link repaired. Who knew you needed that pesky little http:// thingy?]

We are mid-way through South by Southwest film, interactive and music conference and festival here in Austin. I personally just survived five days of SXSW Interactive also attended by several Texas Forums friends like Charles Knickerbocker, Bijoy Goswami, Kevin Koym, David Swedlow, Silona Bonewald, Sunni Brown, Terry Crain, and Jon Lebkowsky. You have two more days to catch the SXSW film festival, but if your budget is a bit strapped, here’s another FREE alternative at the LBJ Library:

Who: Public is invited to a Science Fiction Film Festival featuring the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow – Free admission and free Amy’s Ice Creams*

What: Bring your dinner and a blanket, and enjoy music and a family-friendly classic drive-in style movie under the stars.**

Where: LBJ Library
2313 Red River
Free Parking

When: Friday, March 27th
5 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
– Tour the LBJ Library exhibit, To the Moon: The American Space Program in the 1960s, and receive a ticket for Amy’s Ice Creams – 4th floor, LBJ Library
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Enjoy music by the Rockit Scientists – real rocket scientists from the Johnson Space Center – LBJ Library Lawn
8 p.m. – Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Road Show presents “The War of the Worlds” (1953 version) – LBJ Library Lawn

Saturday, March 28th – Triple Feature Sci Fi Saturday
Inside LBJ Library – Third Floor Theater
10 a.m. – Alamo Drafthouse presents “Forbidden Planet”
1 p.m. – Alamo Drafthouse presents “When Worlds Collide”
3 p.m. – Alamo Drafthouse presents “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers”

Contact: Anne Wheeler
721-0216 or anne.wheeler@nara.gov

Websites: www.lbjlibrary.utexas.edu
www.originalalamo.com

(Austin) – The LBJ Library and Alamo Drafthouse are partnering to present music and a movie under the stars and a weekend of Sci-Fi movie adventures. All events are free and open to the public.

Enjoy the Library’s current exhibit, To the Moon: The American Space Program in the 1960s and an art show, Alan Bean: First Artist to Visit Another World.

*Advance tickets are available beginning March 18th at the LBJ Library from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.
**No alcoholic beverages

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