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These are working notes for a lunch talk I am giving at the City of Toronto web 2.0 summit in late November. Help wanted. Please comment on my blog w/ ideas.

city of toronto web 2.0 talk

title: a city that thinks like the web

  • main point: openess and participation created a better internet. they can also create a better city.

part 1 - making a better web

<steal a bunch from belztner changing the world talk>

  • <mozilla logo>
  • a public benefit org by and for people who think the (open) web matters
  • <firefox logo>
  • 1997: the web is in danger
  • changed the way we thought -->
    • open sourced the browser
    • invited people to help make the web better
  • and they did (ny times ad)
  • recent stats: dev team, staff, contributors, evangelists (download day), users
  • market share graph
  • how: an open, transparent and participatory development model
  • this way of working is powerful
    • it can move mountains
  • future we're building:
    • everyone participating with open technologies to build things that solve problems.

part 2 - making a better city

  • question: can we use the web + openness + participation to make our city better?
  • yes, and people are already doing it (examples -->)

<not sure which examples to use yet ... and want some more>

  • local web-2.0-istas self organize own industry networks
    • local economic development
  • bar camp etc. (toronto)
  • inviting citizens to innovate reaps great ideas
  • all this goodness happens outside the city hall firewall
  • (really amazing. look at the entries)
  • what do all these things have in common?
  • openess, participation ... and city hall didn't do the heavy lifting
  • if the people in this room (who work for the city) build it, it's not web 2.0

part 3 - s challenges to City Hall (that's you!)

  • i think we can do this in toronto. i have three chalenges for you ...

<develop into specific challenges they can act on immediately> <side comment about re: City Hall should use firefox and dump their commercial CMS?>

  1. open up (y)our data (like portland transit)
  2. crowd source city info gathering (like
  3. listen to your citizens (policy, yes ...but also on customer service)

how? ask the citizens of toronto to help, just like DC has:


  • recently i read a radical call to arms, encouraging us to ...
  • "... use cutting-edge technologies to create a new level of transparency, accountability, and participation for citizens."
  • who said this? activists? bloggers? tech ceos?
    • no, it was barack obama
  • things are changing. gov't 2.0 is happening. it's about to be the mainstream.
  • toronto needs to be a part of it.