The New Transparency

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Mar 10, 2009

I was on the Agenda with Steve Paikin last Friday discussing transparency in government along with Maryantonett Flumian,  a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa, Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Globe and Mail columnist Mathew Ingram (Ingram 2.0).  You can view the replay below.

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What Do They Know? Making Freedom of Information Requests Easy

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Mar 10, 2009

The right to make freedom of information requests is in enshrined in most democratic countries (Wikipedia says 70 countries have such legislation). But how often is that right actually invoked? My guess is that it’s vastly underutilized and that most members of the public would be surprised to know what they could find out  if only they asked. Part of the issue is that few people are aware of the appropriate process for filing a […]

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Civic Robots help assess water quality in real time

Category: Environment & Sustainability | Health, Science & Education
Published on Mar 08, 2009

I love this example of participatory regulation. Marc Bohlen, an “artist-engineer” at the University of Zurich, has designed a floating public robot that makes assessing recreational water quality a transparent and participatory experience. The Glass Bottom Float, as he calls it, cruises along a beach shore, and offers itself as a resting spot in places it deems clean enough for swimming. Over time, writes Bohlen, the GBF maps paths of least contamination and highest relative pleasure for fish […]

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