"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Location: International

Website: www.coursera.org/course/technicity

We are part of the 'TechniCity'. The increasing availability of networks, sensors and mobile technologies allows for new approaches to address the challenges that our cities face.
The way we understand cities is undergoing sweeping transformation, right along with the analytical tools we use to design our cities and the communication tools we use to engage people. Absorbing, studying and understanding the role of technology from a critical viewpoint allows us to generate creative ideas for improving our cities.

This course begins by examining how our cities are changing. We then jump into how technology is used to engage with the public to support decision-making.

This course is your salon, a gathering of people under the roof of inspiring hosts (your instructors), held partly to amuse each other and partly to refine our collective taste and increase the knowledge of the course participants through conversation.

We will have lecture videos varying in length of up to 20 minutes. Lecturers will be provided by the instructors.

These lectures contain 1-2 integrated quiz questions per video allowing all participants to gain a foundation of knowledge before diving into conversation.

There will be an active "virtual salon", our discussion forum, to engage participants in this course in conversation. We will also host "live" salons through a mix of google hangouts and onsite salons held at various locations based on where the instructors are located each week. Live tweet events will be held in a number of different languages, using #technicity. We will be using the virtual and live salons to engage in reasoned debate and polite conversation, while offering criticisms of current technology issues facing the world's cities.

We will be using a real-world public engagement platform to build community and sustain engagement. Participants in this course are encouraged to contribute their ideas, give feedback on others ideas and provide support for good ideas. Your hosts (instructors) will provide rewards for the best ideas and most meaningful contributions.

Students will complete assignments that build towards a final peer reviewed project about technology in your own city or region.

Students will be examining tools for analyzing the city. Then we move into exploring the infrastructure that makes the real-time, technologically-enhanced city possible. And rounding out the course is an exploration of entrepreneurial urbanism, looking at how creativity can spawn technological innovation. You'll hear from technological innovators and thought leaders about all of these topics. You can learn more as this course develops on Dr. Evans-Cowley’s blog.

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