“President Barack Obama, speaking early Wednesday in Afghanistan at the tail end of a surprise visit there, discussed how the war will end and promised a steady drawdown of U.S. troops.” - CNN, 5/2/12
The title of the post (which was also a tweet) pretty much sums up our experience at TransparencyCamp over the weekend. It was hard not to be energized by a group of people who want to create a better and more open government.
But they aren’t just saying it, they are doing it, which is inspiring.
The weekend gave us a chance to see in person how people from a wide array of backgrounds are pushing the open government and Gov 2.0 movement forward.
We sat in on sessions with those with development expertise like Dan Schneiderman, Jeff Schuler, Waldo Jaquith, Juan-Pablo Velez and Dan Melton; all of whom have worked and are working on amazing projects to give citizens a better glimpse into our government. And they love data.
We sat in on sessions with those who research tirelessly like Evan Mackinder, Kevin McNellis, Tyler Evilsizer, Mike Krejci and Jay Costa. They work to provide the most accurate view into money in politics. It’s an incredibly difficult and tedious job, but a service that is absolutely necessary.
We sat in on sessions with those who help make sense of the whole scene like Alex Howard, Nikki Usher and Matthew Hall. The relationship among all of the moving parts in open government is pivotal in order for it to move forward with continuity and strength.
We sat and listened to Todd Park, the United States Chief Technology Officer, explain the future of open government in a fashion that was contagious with giddiness. To have a leader inside the government like Park only lends more credence to where we are heading as a country in regards to transparency; something everyone is giddy about.
While the individual names making an impact are important and endless (everyone at Tcamp has an awesome story), a better government is more about the collection of individuals than the individuals themselves. There are many roles to fill, and each is vital in reaching success. For us to realize the true potential of our government, we all must embrace this belief. It seems many of the people who took part in TransparencyCamp already get this, which is fantastic.
We hope to be a part of this movement, helping Americans make more informed decisions, engage in the process and have their voices more accurately represented in Washington. We are but one cog in a much larger machine moving our country forward, however. We couldn’t be happier about that.
P.S. The Sunlight Foundation deserves major props for handling such a large crowd with efficiency and care. It was professional all the way, and it is awesome how affordable they made the conference for everyone attending. Oh yeah, and the food trucks rocked!