Gov 2.0: Transparency, Collaboration, and Participation in Practice

Location: Pavilion 1 Level:
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This panel will present views on how to improve civic life, protect democracy and hold politicians accountable using Web 2.0 technology. The panelists will lay out the massive need for programmers to deploy their skills in reimagining government in a way that promotes transparency, collaboration and public participation.

With new leadership in the executive branch that believes in openness and open technologies, the opportunities to create interactivity with government are almost limitless.

Daniel Lathrop will provide an overview of the new meaning of open government and the role of citizen-developers.

Eric Mill will describe the work being done at Sunlight Labs, the premiere developer of open government software. He’ll also talk about their recent Apps for America contest which gave thousands of dollars in prizes to the best users of APIs from the Sunlight Foundation, Labs’ parent company.

Wynn Netherland will present TweetCongress, a Twitter directory developed by Squeejee that allows citizens to find Congressional Congresstweeple and petition non-Tweeting members of Congress to get on Twitter. TweetCongress won a SXSW Web award and, because Squeejee open-sourced it, the software is being used around the world.

For those that want to get their hands dirty, there will be a transparency hack-a-thon BoF the evening of this panel.

Photo of Daniel Lathrop

Daniel Lathrop

The Dallas Morning News

Daniel Lathrop is a national award winning digital journalist specializing in open government and the cutting edge of technology related to journalism. He is an expert in database and data driven journalism techniques, having lectured and taught on these topics at audiences including the Knight Digital Media Center at USC, Medill School of Journalism, the RailsConf web development conference, numerous Investigative Reporters and Editors conferences and the recent Association of Health Care Journalists conference. He has lectured on topic including online journalism, social media and investigative techniquesHe is on the team that taught IRE’s inaugural web database bootcamp. As an early leader of computer assisted reporting, he is often tapped to work with newsrooms and investigative teams transitioning to models of news coverage.

Daniel is one of the nation’s leading practitioners of Computer Assisted Reporting, the application of data analysis and computer technology to journalism. As a member of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s investigative projects team, he contributed to numerous award-winning projects

Daniel’s awards include the 2008 Edgar A. Poe Award from the White House Correspondents Association; the 2009 Award in Criminal Justice Reporting from John Jay College of Criminal Justice; a 2007 finalist for an Investigative Reporters and Editors award, and numerous regional awards. Prior to that, as Database Editor for Center for Public Integrity, he ran one of the largest CAR teams in journalism, garnering several national awards. Daniel is a 1999 graduate of Haverford College. He lives in Seattle with his wife, their two Maine coon cats, and a Pomeranian puppy.

Eric Mill

Sunlight Foundation

Eric Mill is a Ruby developer for Sunlight Labs, the tech arm of the Sunlight Foundation. Along with the rest of the Labs, Eric spends his days building tools for gathering, visualizing, and proliferating government information, and hacking chaotic data into beautiful APIs. Lately, Eric has been really into Vitamin Water.

Photo of Wynn Netherland

Wynn Netherland


Wynn loves the creative side of building software, from brainstorming with clients to designing the solution to executing the idea. The author of two programming books, he has over ten years of web application development experience. With a passion for building great user interfaces, he is a rare programmer that feels equally comfortable in a text editor, a command line shell, or Adobe Photoshop.

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John Lawrence
05/05/2009 8:47am PDT

Thank you for bringing salient challenges to the community

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