Out side of the box thinking

A rallying cry for revolutionizing democracy in the digital age, Citizenville
reveals how ordinary Americans can reshape their government for the better.
Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California, argues that today’s
government is stuck in the last century while—in both the private sector and our
personal lives—absolutely everything else has changed. The explosion of social
media, the evolution of Internet commerce, the ubiquity of smart phones that can
access all the world’s information; in the face of these extraordinary advances,
our government appears increasingly irrelevant and out of touch.

Drawing on wide-ranging interviews with thinkers and politicians, Newsom’s
Citizenville shows how Americans can transform their government, taking
matters into their own hands to dissolve political gridlock even as they produce
tangible changes in the real world. When local Web designers wanted to prevent
muggings in Chicago and Oakland, they created innovative crime-mapping tools
using public police data. When congressional representatives wanted citizens’
input on new legislation, they used interactive blogging tools to invite public
comments and changes. When a town in Texas needed to drum up civic engagement,
officials invented a local digital “currency” to reward citizens for
participating in government—making small-town politics suddenly as fun and
addictive as online games such as Farmville. Surveying the countless small
advances made by ordinary Americans in reinventing government for the
twenty-first century, Newsom unveils a path for American prosperity and
democratic vitality.

Newsom explains how twenty-first-century problems
are too big and too expensive for the government simply to buy solutions;
instead, Americans must innovate their way out. Just as the post office and the
highway system provide public infrastructure to channel both personal and
private enterprise—a platform upon which citizens can grow—so too could a modern
digital government house the needs, concerns, information, and collaboration of
an enlightened digital citizenry.

A vision for better government that
truly achieves the ancient goal of commonwealth and a triumphant call for
individuals to reinvigorate the country with their own two hands,
Citizenville is a timely road map for restoring American prosperity and
for reinventing citizenship in today’s networked age.


“Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government”

Gavin Newsom

(Author), Lisa Dickey (Author)