[open-government] Formation of a Research Network on Opening governance

Sally Deffor sally.deffor at okfn.org
Wed Mar 5 08:34:43 UTC 2014

Hi all,
Apologies for cross posting.  thought you might be interested in the
announcement below.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance <
info at thegovlab.org>
Date: Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM
Subject: New Research Network to Study and Design Innovative Ways of
Solving Public Problems

New Research Network to Study and Design Innovative Ways of Solving Public

*MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance **formed to
gather evidence and develop new designs for governing*

*NEW YORK, NY, March 4, 2014* *-* The Governance Lab (The
at New York University today announced the formation of a Research Network
on Opening Governance, which will seek to develop blueprints for more
effective and legitimate democratic institutions to help improve people's

Convened and organized by the GovLab, the *MacArthur Foundation Research
Network on Opening
made possible by a three-year grant of $5 million from the John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as well as a gift from Google.org, which
will allow the Network to tap the latest technological advances to further
its work.

Combining empirical research with real-world experiments, the Research
Network will study what happens when governments and institutions open
themselves to diverse participation, pursue collaborative problem-solving,
and seek input and expertise from a range of people. Network members
include twelve experts (see below) in computer science, political science,
policy informatics, social psychology and philosophy, law, and
communications. This core group is supported by an advisory network of
academics, technologists, and current and former government officials.
Together, they will assess existing innovations in governing and experiment
with new practices and how institutions make decisions at the local,
national, and international levels.

Support for the Network from Google.org will be used to build technology
platforms to solve problems more openly and to run agile, real-world,
empirical experiments with institutional partners such as governments and
NGOs to discover what can enhance collaboration and decision-making in the
public interest.

The Network's research will be complemented by theoretical writing and
compelling storytelling designed to articulate and demonstrate clearly and
concretely how governing agencies might work better than they do today. "We
want to arm policymakers and practitioners with evidence of what works and
what does not," says Professor Beth Simone Noveck, Network Chair and author
of *Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy
Stronger and Citi More Powerful*, "which is vital to drive innovation,
re-establish legitimacy and more effectively target scarce resources to
solve today's problems."

"From prize-backed challenges to spur creative thinking to the use of
expert networks to get the smartest people focused on a problem no matter
where they work, this shift from top-down, closed, and professional
government to decentralized, open, and smarter governance may be the major
social innovation of the 21st century," says Noveck. "The MacArthur
Research Network on Opening Governance is the ideal crucible for helping
transition from closed and centralized to open and collaborative
institutions of governance in a way that is scientifically sound and yields
new insights to inform future efforts, always with an eye toward real-world

MacArthur Foundation President Robert Gallucci added, "Recognizing that we
cannot solve today's challenges with yesterday's tools, this
interdisciplinary group will bring fresh thinking to questions about how
our governing institutions operate, and how they can develop better ways to
help address seemingly intractable social problems for the common good."

*About the Governance Lab (GovLab) at New York University *

Founded in 2012, the Governance Lab (The GovLab) strives to improve
people's lives by changing how we govern. The GovLab endeavors to
strengthen the ability of people and institutions to work together to solve
problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves more
effectively and legitimately. The GovLab designs technology, policy and
strategies for fostering these more open approaches to governance and
active conceptions of citizenship and studies what works. More information
is available at

*About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation*

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people
and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and
peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the
Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and
security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is
affecting children and society. More information is available at

*For more information or how to become involved, contact:*

Stefaan Verhulst, Chief Research and Development Officer at the Governance
Lab, sv39 at nyu.edu



The MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance comprises:

*Chair*: Beth Simone Noveck
*Network Coordinator*: Andrew Young
*Chief of Research*: Stefaan Verhulst

*Faculty Members*:

- Sir Tim Berners-Lee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT)/University of Southampton, UK)
- Deborah Estrin (Cornell Tech/Weill Cornell Medical College)
- Erik Johnston (Arizona State University)
- Henry Farrell (George Washington University)
- Sheena S. Iyengar (Columbia Business School/Jerome A. Chazen Institute
of International Business)
- Karim Lakhani (Harvard Business School)
- Anita McGahan (University of Toronto)
- Cosma Shalizi (Carnegie Mellon/Santa Fe Institute)

*Institutional Members*:

- Christian Bason and Jesper Christiansen (MindLab, Denmark)
- Geoff Mulgan (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts -
NESTA, United Kingdom)
- Lee Rainie (Pew Research Center)


*Sally DefforOpen Data & Privacy Project Coordinator | skype:deffor.selase
| @SDeffor | +44 (0)7774 734206 The **Open Knowledge

*Empowering through Open Knowledge**http://www.okfn.org*<http://www.okfn.org/>*
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