My name is Noelle, and I am currently an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. While I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve lived in a variety of cities including Berkeley, Brentwood, and San Diego, to name a few. Needless to say, I am quite happy to be back in beautiful Northern California.
I came aboard the Civinomics Express for a number of reasons. The first, and perhaps most important of these is that I believe in what they are doing. As a student of sociology, I have spent a considerable amount of time delving into the problems that persist in our communities, be it access to clean water, food, housing, education, or something else entirely. While these problems may be deeply embedded within a much larger historical and political context, I believe the key towards implementing pragmatic change is to start locally by drawing from our own community members. One of the benefits of living in a diverse,interconnected society is that we can utilize our different life experiences, knowledge, and skill sets to build something bigger, and ideally, better. Naturally, one of the best ways to start this process is by fostering community dialogue, which is one of Civinomics central principles.
This might all sound a bit idealistic and utopian, which is why I’d encourage you all to take a look at some of the varied ways mass collaboration, or crowdsourcing, is currently being used. Mathew Ingram at GigaOM wrote a great article on the ability of crowdsourcing to inform and create legislation. TED recently launched TheCity2.org, a new site designed to empower citizens by rethinking and reshaping our cities collaboratively. And of course, companies like Netflix, Wikipedia, and crowdSPRING have been using crowdsourcing for a while.
That being said, there are a number of different directions crowdsourcing can take. The most important factor is that our communities are given the opportunity to be included in the first place. This is where Civinomics comes into play. The team here is committed to providing a platform where anyone can contribute towards the betterment of his or her community.
I’m ecstatic to be a part of this process and I look forward to see what’s in store.