A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to spend five weeks touring Australia and New Zealand to support our Delib Australia team as they were getting setup. I shook a lot of hands and talked in front of many, many rooms of people and all in all it was quite an eye opener. Meeting large swathes of local, central and state government was a great way to understand the differences (and indeed, the similarities) between the work we do in the UK; helping organisations to utilise progressive forms of online participation, and the methods employed down-under.

In April, I’ll be heading over to the US to undertake a similar trip, although this one will be firmly grounded in research as I attempt to understand how citizens are included in decision making stateside and perhaps, even, learn what ‘civic tech’ really means. I’ll be focusing my efforts on the North East, North West and D.C. and I’ve so far arranged: meetings, open coffee mornings, brown bag lunches, tech meet-ups and a few speeches here and there.

I’d like to fill every last minute of the trip, meeting interesting people and sharing Delib’s particular brand of digital democracy, (or should I say civic tech?), so if you’d like to meet or you know someone who might, please do get in touch. The dates and location of the trip are below:

  • New York: Monday 6th to Friday 10th April
  • Boston, MA: Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th April
  • Portland, Oregon: Thursday 16th to Friday 17th April
  • Seattle, WA: Monday 20th to Tuesday 21st April
  • Washington, D.C.: Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th April

I’m also, somehow, shoe-horning in brief trips to Salem OR, Olympia, WA and Buffalo & Albany, NY.

I’ve got plenty to share about our work with: online budgeting, community dialogues, policy consultations, the Open Policy Making agenda, the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy and the wider field of change makers, culture hackers and tech pioneers.

If you’d like to meetup you can get hold of me on Twitter or good old fashioned electronic mail – ben.fowkes@delib.net