“I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives.” (US President Barack Obama)
In January 2013, I will be leaving for Seattle to spend six months as a European Union Fellow at the University of Washington.
I’ll be working closely with the Jackson School of International Studies and the Center for Communication & Civic Engagement. I’m also hoping to connect with the people involved in the University’s prestigious Masters of Communication in Digital Media Program.
What will I be doing?
Apart from drinking coffee, listening to grunge music and trying to stay out of the rain … I will be spending my time in Seattle researching the interplay between digital media and policy-making in Europe and the USA.
I will be looking at ways in which online tools and social media are helping to engage people in policy-making, improve the delivery of public services and provide the basis for more interactive communication.
I’ll be sharing some of our experiences at EU, national and regional level. I’ll also be trying to find out what we can learn from recent developments in the USA including, such as:
- The Federal Government’s Digital Government Strategy
- The programme to reform .gov Federal Websites
- The Open Government Initiative and steps taken to improve access to government data
- The use of social media and online tools by public authorities at Federal, State and Local level (eg the promotion of “digital diplomacy” by the US Department of State)
How can you get involved?
Do you have an interesting story to tell about how online tools and social media are helping to make better policies? What are the most exciting things happening in Europe that I should be sharing with US audiences? What examples of good practice in the USA can we learn from? Who are some of the most interesting people (in Europe and the USA) I should be trying to connect with?
I would love to hear your comments and suggestions!