EVENT: Open Government & Open Data – A Series of Fortunate Events

In Toronto? Want to know more about this (not-so) new and exciting thing called ‘Open Data’, ‘GOV20, and ‘Open Gov’ that you keep hearing about?

Well look no further. Next Thursday, Nov. 21st, 2013 at MaRS, the GOV2.0YYZ meet up is putting on an event:

Open Government & Open Data – A Series of Fortunate Events”

Here are the details:

DATE: Thursday, November 21, 2013
LOCATION: MaRS Discovery District
TIME: 6:30 – whenever!

Here is more information on the event itself – a survey of how we got to the place we are at now! Register here.

Open Government & Open Data – A Series of Fortunate Events

The Open Government and Open Data movements are transforming the way we interact with our Government…and in a good way.  As a matter of fact, these movements have been impacting many people for many years and are even on the cusp of generating a whole new economy.

This is not a fad;  It is happening right now and it is here to stay.

This event is specifically designed to give people context as to HOW it all came to be.

The evening will loosely follow the premise of a movie story arc.  Designed with an opening that sets the scene and introduces the audience to the main characters; followed by the adversity that comes when facing an uphill battle; and finally, the conclusion which leaves us with that good feeling.

…this is the story of the moments that have led to the growth of Open Government and Open Data.

…this is the story about how the underdogs are revolutionizing a system that needs a healthy dose of “new.”


Seven Minute Lightning Talks Delivered By

1) The Definition of Open Government & Open Data Richard Pietro – CitizenBridge

2) Open Source & Creative Commons Licenses Gabe Sawhney – Urban & Digital

3) Mapping & the legal battle between GeoCoder and Canada Post Morgen Peers – SIMCOE!

4) Portland, Google, & Transit…creating the GTFS Hussain Saleem – Rocketman App

5) Beth Noveck & the U.S. Patent Office Felix Tang – Innovate LLP and Computer Engineer

6) Open Data Portals…the Gateway to your Government Trish Garner – City of Toronto

7) Changing the Culture of Government & the #W2P Community Nick Schonning – Government of Canada

8) The Open Government Partnership Jury Konga – eGov Futures Group

9) Collaborative Tools & Environments Bianca Wylie – SWERHUN

10) Transparency in Budgeting Joshua McDougall – Bitcoinsultants

CitizenBridge workshop at Birchmount Collegiate

Dear Birchmount Collegiate students, welcome!

Today, you will exercise your brains…you will flex your creative muscles…and you will build an idea!

You and your fellow classmates will work together in thinking of an idea for a smartphone application or website based on various data sets you will find below.  It can be ANYTHING that you think would benefit either your community, or society-at-large.


But first, we need you to click here


DATA SETS TO CHOOSE FROM (in alphabetical order)

British Columbia
New York City
New York State Senate
Ontario Ministry of Environment
Peel Region
Saudi Arabia
The World Bank

Then, put together a 1-minute “pitch” to present and choose one person from your team to showcase your idea to the judges and the rest of your class.

The judges will then ask your whole team questions and provide you all with feedback.


-What data set will you be using?
-What impact will this have on the community?
-What level of community does this target? Local, nationwide, world?
-How does this help the community? Who does it help?
-Who can use this? Everyone? A certain group of people?
-Could this be on several different platforms? Computer, mobile … etc.
-If this isn’t based in Canada, could this be adapted to other countries?


If you’re interested in learning more, helping out or if you have suggestions for anything, you can contact either anita@citizenbridge.org or richard@citizenbridge.org, and ofcourse, follow us on twitter of like us on facebook!


Thanks again, be creative, and have fun!



This is just the beginning

By Richard Pietro

After 1.5 years worth of blood, sweat, and tears peppered with one false starts, a couple of redefinitions, and countless meetings, the CitizenBridge Beta site is now up and running.

In that span, the team has grown from three volunteers to ten fully committed team members working during their spare time on a project they all feel will progress our Democracy to levels never before seen in history.

It has been quite a journey for the CitizenBridge team, and much as the title of this post would indicate…this is just the beginning. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in the future for the site:

1) Many more engagement tools, such Online Townhalls between elected representatives and their constituents.
2) A more comprehensive conversation tool on the parliamentary issues.
3) Hyperlinked activity feed to parliamentary Hansards (Hansards are printed scripts of parliamentary debates)
4) Buttons that will show  local, municipal, provincial, and federal support on the various issues.
5) Added information on your representative’s activity feed, including twitter and news media mentions.
6) Invitation request to elected representative to take ownership of their CitizenBridge page.
7) …and ofcourse, the inclusion of municipal and provincial governments onto the platform.

How can you help us? Sign up and tell your friends to do the same. The more we can show that people are hungry for this type of engagement, the more we can make it happen.

Open Government Partnership and Samara Canada

Gov 2.0 Meetup Group Free Event

The internet, technology and social media has helped improve our lives in so many ways already, but imagine if it could help shape your community and how you interact with your government.

We are pleased to announce that Wayne Chu, Research Manager at Samara Canada, and Harvey Low, a Civil Society Representative from the Council on Social Development will be speaking at our very first Meet Up group event.

Wayne Chu is the Research Manager at the charitable organization, Samara Canada, and will be sharing his findings on social media, engagement and technology.

Harvey Low, a Civil Society Representative from the Council on Social Development, was one of a handful of Canadian Delegates at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) meeting in Brazil last April and he will speak on his experience at this watershed moment in Democracy. In addition, Harvey will also present his initial response on the OGP, share lessons learned, and field questions from the audience.

Join us on the evening of May 16, 2012 at the Toronto City Hall Member’s Lounge for what will be undoubtedly very enlightening presentations!