Communications and Society Program

FOCAS 2012: Towards Open and Innovative Governance

Knight Foundation Logo

The 2012 Forum on Communications and Society (FOCAS) convened August 5-8 in Aspen, Colorado to discuss the movement towards open and innovative governance and develop tangible proposals and recommendations to increase transparency, promote smarter governance and enhance democracy. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation sponsored the Forum. Participants included media and technology experts, government officials, academics, and leading NGO directors.  Notably joining the conversation was President of the Republic of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, White House Digital Strategist Macon Phillips, Ushahidi Executive Director Juliana Rotich and a number of up-and-coming technology innovators with expertise in designing platforms and applications for open governance systems.

FOCAS12 Presentations:

Session Lead-off and Supplemental Presentations
Open and Bounded: Controlled Data Sharing
(Dazza Greenwood, MIT Media Lab)
Beyond Transmedia: Narrative Systems and Population Mobilization
(Jeff Gomez, Starlight Runner Entertainment)

Working Group Proposals
Working Group A: Govern Local: Active government service through smarter data use
Working Group B: Civic Engagement: Creating a Participatory Narrative
Working Group C:
   Presentation 1: Operation: Underthrow - An experiment in innovative governance
   Presentation 2: Request for Awesome: Helping Governments Use Non-Traditional Vendors at Low Dollar Amounts
                             RFA supplemental video
   Presentation 3: Adopt a Data Scientist

FOCAS12 Video Library:

FOCAS12 Video Library - Click to watch clips of FOCAS 2012

FOCAS 2012






For more information about this forum, please contact senior project manager Sarah Eppehimer at (202) 736-5851 or

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