Transparency Camp 2012

Boy was TCamp2012 a great time for our network of practice!  A major love bomb to all those at Sunlight who put together an inspiring conference that brought together all the leading thinking internationally working to make our society a more just and transparent space.

The event began with a terrific MeetUp sponsored in MapBox’s awesome space filled with sand games and ping pong tables (see photos below).  We got to catch up with Mikel Maron who has just gotten back from a scoping mission in Nigeria where he is working with the state towards creating security maps.  His work raises important questions surrounding the role of open data when a state is functioning well – how should information about local security be expressed in a way that adds maximum value to citizens without jeopardizing safety and without alienating the government.

Jed Miller, Revenue Watch, and Hollie Russon Gilman, Transparency Policy Project, led a very well received and well attended panel (just check out all the #TABridge) that laid out the vision of TABridge.  This panel assessed the ways in which strategy and tech can come together.  The discussion was very cathartic for individuals to think through how technologists and policy people can feel alienated from one another in the process of thinking through the right tech strategy.  Some active participants including Tom Rees from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Eric Gundersen from MapBox/Development Seed.  The panel discussion ended with a group of 8 core principles that people thought through :

  1. POST: People / Objectives / Strategies / Technology last
  2. Code Camp 101 : networks for the policy people to learn basics like how to code
  3. Funders reflections on the difficulties with tech
  4. Thesaurus: Creating a common language
  5. Toolbox: a reference for different tech tools and how they can be used
  6. Air Traffic for Pilot projects: Pilot projects that are iterative and build upon one another
  7. Putting $ for NGO to learn tactical tech
  8. Open Data 101: Platform Adoption

Eric Gundersen and Alex Barth from Map Box/Development Seed led a riveting panel on open data and the power of maps as a tool for greater transparency and accountability.

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