SCI Highlighted in "Five Strategies to Revive Civic Communication"
With the help of a big cup of coffee, I'm starting my day in Chicago, looking forward to an Aspen Institute Roundtable discussion of the just-released paper "Five Strategies for Reviving Civic Communication".
Needless to say, the changing media landscape has a big impact on local civic life. This new paper, as well as the Knight Commission report Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age, frames the issue well. I'm excited to be part of the conversation about what we can do proactively to ensure that ALL citizens have the information they need to participate in civic life. That has been a central part of our work here at SCI over the past nine years. In fact, the role of our Outreach and Technology AmeriCorps team combining smart use of technology with in-person community outreach is highlighted as a model for the first strategy highlighted in the new paper (see page 18 for the box highlighting SCI). This first strategy envisions a major national Civic Communication Corps--dubbed "Geek Corps" in the initial Knight Commission report--through which corps members would play a central role in ensuring citizens have the ability to access and effectively utilize information to participate in civic and economic life.
We are now working with interested parties including Peter Levine, author of the Five Strategies paper, to put the Civic Communication Corps idea into practice. I previously posted an overview of the program concept here. We are just getting started, and welcome other individuals and organizations who would like to work on this initiative. You can comment here or email me: dcrowley AT socialcapitalinc.org if you'd like to explore how you might participate. You can donate to the program start-up fund here; the first $7,000 in donations is being matched by the SCI board.