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Carren

This sounds like a very exciting project. Plus, I for one would love to see a more open government where citizens feel empowered to participate. Looking forward to updates!

Emilia Palaveeva

Let us know if/how we, at Civic IQ, can get involved or help

Griff Wigley

Steven, I'm delighted to know that you and Beth are collaborating on the Governance Lab. For those of us doing participatory governance on the front lines, we need to know the results of your studying the evidence-based distinctions.

One thing that Beth address in her review http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Citizenville-by-Gavin-Newsom-4321331.php of Gavin Newsom's book 'Citizenville' was the issue of incentives. She wrote:

"There are two different challenges to achieving greater self-governance. First, we have to create incentives for people to engage more. Second, we have to create incentives for government to let them do it. Zynga wants players to create their own farms because the company gets rich if they do. Newsom and Dickey suggest that if we make self-government fun, people will sign up. Maybe. But we also need to make enabling self-government a positive for the majority of politicians and civil servants who currently lack the incentive."

The incentives I see (it's the right thing to do and it's the smart thing to do) are generally weak compared to the big disincentives: it's hard work to get a generally passive citizenry engaged and it's often harder to learn to manage them when they do. When you have a monopoly (government), there's generally no consequence for avoiding the whole hassle.

I looked at the agenda for this week's conference http://www.thegovlab.org/events/making-engagement-work/ and I don't see this issue of incentives being addressed.

Matthew

Hi Steven,
We give out your books to many of our clients. Is there ever a way that we could have you sign some copies of the books?
Regards,
Matthew

Ranjeet

your all books is greats.
http://www.educationkranti.com

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I'm a father of three boys, husband of one wife, and author of nine books, host of one television series, and co-founder of three web sites. We split our time between Brooklyn, NY and Marin County, CA. Personal correspondence should go to sbeej68 at gmail dot com. If you're interested in having me speak at an event, drop a line to Wesley Neff at the Leigh Bureau (WesN at Leighbureau dot com.)

My Books

  • Steven Johnson: How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

    Steven Johnson: How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
    A history of innovation accompanied by a 6-part TV series on PBS and the BBC, this was the first of my books to crack the top 5 on the NY Times bestseller list. Appropriately for a book that celebrates diverse networks, this was the most collaborative of any of my books. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • Steven Johnson: Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age

    Steven Johnson: Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age
    My first book-length attempt to organize my writings about emergence and networks into something resembling a political philosophy, which I called Peer Progressivism. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

    Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
    An exploration of environments that lead to breakthrough innovation, in science, technology, business, and the arts. I conceived it as the closing book in a trilogy on innovative thinking, after Ghost Map and Invention. But in a way, it completes an investigation that runs through all the books, and laid the groundwork for How We Got To Now. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : The Invention of Air

    The Invention of Air
    The story of the British radical chemist Joseph Priestley, who ended up having a Zelig-like role in the American Revolution. My version of a founding fathers book, and a reminder that most of the Enlightenment was driven by open source ideals. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : The Ghost Map

    The Ghost Map
    The story of a terrifying outbreak of cholera in 1854 London 1854 that ended up changing the world. An idea book wrapped around a page-turner. I like to think of it as a sequel to Emergence if Emergence had been a disease thriller. You can see a trailer for the book here. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter

    Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
    The title says it all. This one sparked a slightly insane international conversation about the state of pop culture -- and particularly games. There were more than a few dissenters, but the response was more positive than I had expected. And it got me on The Daily Show, which made it all worthwhile. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life

    Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life
    My first best-seller, and the only book I've written in which I appear as a recurring character, subjecting myself to a battery of humiliating brain scans. The last chapter on Freud and the neuroscientific model of the mind is one of my personal favorites. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

    Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
    The story of bottom-up intelligence, from slime mold to Slashdot. Most of my books sold more copies than this one, but Emergence has influenced the most eclectic mix of fields: political campaigns, web business models, urban planning, the war on terror. (Available from IndieBound here.)

  • : Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate

    Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate
    My first. The book I wrote instead of finishing my dissertation, predicting the growing cultural significance of interface and information design. Still relevant, I think. But I haven't read it in a while, so who knows what's in there! (Available from IndieBound here.)

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