[Air-l] E-Democracy.Org needs your advice in DC on Mar. 6

Steven Clift slc at publicus.net
Fri Feb 17 06:46:15 PST 2006

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E-Democracy.Org Seeking Advice - Monday, March 6 at 5 p.m. in 
Washington, DC

E-Democracy.Org is at a crossroads. We need to grow now or implode 
based a rapid string of successes over the last 18 months. In our 
first decade, we've focused on low cost sustainability. Now that 
we've achieved that, we need to work on scalability.

I'll have some open time in Washington, DC on March 6 and 7th before
flying to Bristol in the UK for an online advocacy conference.

So on Monday, March 6, at 5 p.m. for about an hour supplemented with
pizza, I invite you to the first informal E-Democracy.Org Advisory Council
meeting. We will adjourn to a local establishment after the meeting.

For the secret location coordinates just blocks from the White House,
please RSVP by Thursday, March 2nd to:

   clift at publicus.net

After a 30 minute presentation, we will open for discussion. We need
practical advice on how to essentially move from an all volunteer- based
organization with local forums mostly in one state to a staff- led,
volunteer-rich chapter-based organization with local forums in many

The presentation will highlight:

1. The very successful Local Issues Forum expansion in the UK funded by
the UK Local E-Democracy National Project of the Office of Deputy Prime
Minister. Outputs included a 60 page guidebook, multimedia presentation, a
new online groups software platform, and various articles. Our current
forums in Brighton & Hove and Newham are humming along and were evaluated
by Prof. Stephen Coleman then with the Oxford Internet Institute. Last
year Issues Forums were given an honorable mention by the prestigious Prix
Ars Electronica and named as a top 20 finalist for the Top 10 Who are
Changing the World of Internet and Politics 2005.

2. Use and future development of the new GPL open source "killer ap" for
integrated e-mail lists/web forums called GroupServer. This included
moving the Minneapolis and St. Paul Issues Forums to the new platform in
the second part of 2005. We also want to explore using MySociety's Gaze
service with GroupServer for a meetup-like "I want a local issues forum in
my town" recruitment and forum development application.

3. Ideas for use of the new E-Democracy.Org wiki for our U.S. 
election 2008 directory efforts and a campaign to "tag p2008" across the

4. Creation of the first official E-Democracy.Org "chapter" in St. 
Paul and extension of the local concept with a planning grant 
received to explore Neighborhood Forums in Minneapolis. We humbly 
believe we can be the Rotary or Lions clubs of the 21st Century where
thousands of citizen groups build Issues Forums for their communities.
Some will be part of our official chapter network and hopefully many more
will take our model and adapt for their own independent activities.

5. Our pending Board reconfiguration, possible staff requirements, 
grant writing needs, member donation possibilities, and requests for help
starting more local issues forums in the U.S., Canada, the UK and from
places as far flung as New Zealand.

In short, we'd like to tell you what we've been up to and invite you to
offer you advice, contacts, and energy. We've become too popular for our
own good and need your help to keep us moving forward without tripping up.

So join us on Monday, March 6. If you can't make it, consider joining our
new E-Democracy.Org Advisory Council online group. We only ask that you
agree to donate something tangible to our efforts as a condition of
membership: http://forums.e-democracy.org/factory/groups/advisors

See you in Washington, DC.

Steven Clift
Board Chair

P.S. This post has lots of embedded links at:
^               ^               ^                ^
Steven L. Clift    -   -  -  W: http://publicus.net
Minneapolis    -   -   -  -   E: clift at publicus.net
Minnesota  -   -   -   -   -   - T: +1.612.822.8667
USA    -   -   -   -     Skype/MSN/Y!/AIM: netclift

Join Democracies Online: http://dowire.org
Start an Issues Forum: http://e-democracy.org/if

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Steven Clift - clift at publicus.net 

   Web:  http://publicus.net
  Blog:  http://dowire.org/notes
   NGO:  http://e-democracy.org 

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