Facilitating citizen engagement to improve governance

Code for America is an initiative that was established as a “new non-profit” organization that is a perfect representation of technological participation, where few web developers and technology experts are creating platforms to empower the community. Beyond technological participation, this initiative embodies all participation forms highlighting certain aspects at a time depending on the project. Continue reading

The Boston Marathon Aftermath

April 15th, 2013. What a day? Last year I was standing exactly where the first bomb exploded waiting for my friends to cross the finish line. What a world? Who would think that festive Boston would turn into a crime scene in fragments of a second.

On Patriots Day, late afternoon, a tweet interrupted the Sandbox Summit at MIT. A participant raised his hand to break the news about the explosions nearby the marathon finish line, and instantly everyone was on their smart phones, tablets and laptops checking the updates. Everyone knew someone that could be a potential victim, and everyone who knew us in that room thought we might be hurt. In view of the tragic events, everyone was hungry for information. Continue reading

“We are the people we were waiting for!”

“Everyone leads” and “We are the people we have been waiting for” are the two most compelling and appealing phrases in the book “Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up” that very well reflect its content. The author, Paul Schmitz walks the reader through the process of leadership – that’s right process not the role – and how to make the most out of people connecting their assets, organize communities and create a space for talented individuals willing and able to engage in responsibilities and drive change together.

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Do media dictate our decisions?

Last Saturday, I was planning on going to the MIT career fair. Browsing through my emails as I’m having breakfast a couple of people had already emailed the Fletcher social list and my personal emaiI about the gunman threat on campus. Contemplated for a minute or two and thought it can’t be that serious until my phone rang on my way out: my mother called from Greece and asked me to stay home all day in view of the danger?!

To relief her stress I promised to stay home. I did not even think to ask her how did she even find out about this on the other side of the Atlantic. Evidently, the power of media and technology, even though some scholars argue it makes little or no difference, in fact sometimes dictates our decisions.

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SOTU as captured by the people!

Last Tuesday I did not have a chance to watch the live broadcast of SOTU. Later on that night when I got home I had a look on twitter, then read the Facebook comments of my friends which where complemented by articles from the New York Times to the Onion and Politico. Next morning I watched the speech on YouTube, read individual blogs and visited international news sources mostly from the EU.

Following this online journey…naturally I had a story to tell about the State of the Union as captured by the people!

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