Be the Change You Want to See
BigDialog.org, a cross-partisan partnership of academics, bloggers, and e-communities invites President-Elect Barack Obama to answer the people's questions. The non-profit eCitizen Foundation along with its partners and supporters, including Bill Mitchell of MIT, Lawrence Lessig of Stanford, and Craig Newmark of craigslist are asking people to pose and prioritize text and video questions for Mr. Obama. The questioners behind the top three questions will be flown to MIT in mid-January, receive a tour of the MIT Media Lab, and engage in a networked event with the Obama transition team, subject to the terms and conditions found on the eCitizen Foundation's website.
The public will be asked to vote on Mr. Obama's replies. They will not be asked if they agree with the answers, only if the responses actually answered the questions, establishing a structural incentive for true dialog. In an age of alleged media bias, it's important that we're able to ask critical questions of our leaders without them questioning those who ask the questions. This is a way to get the people's questions directly to their President.
It is not about the elimination of traditional news media or the implementation of a direct democracy. Expertise is important, and there will always be a need for professional journalists, just as their will always be a need for public servants devoting the entirety of their energies towards government. It is about adding a complementary channel, a new seat at the table. It is about using technology to produce true dialog among a group of thousands. It is about setting a precedent for how the next President interacts with the American people.
You have the power to make this happen. As Mr. Obama has reminded us, "Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change." If you participate, so will he.
Go to www.BigDialog.org. Submit a question. Share it. Vote on your favorites. Help shape the way we interact with the next President.
BigDialog is run by the eCitizen Foundation in partnership with MIT's eCitizen Architecture Program, techPresident.com, Pajamas Media, blip.tv, change.org, voterwatch, Bu Law Democrats, culturekitchen, SmartMobs, zefrank blog, UsefulArts.us, civics.com, and the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution.
BigDialog is currently accepting video and text questions for the President-Elect as well as votes on current entries. They will be accepting questions through early December and hope to see replies from the President-Elect in December.
For more information about the eCitizen Foundation and its BigDialog project, contact foundation president Ray Campbell at 781-249-6983 or rayc at rac3 dot com
For inquries related to the forum host, communityCOUNTS, contact communityCOUNTS founder David Colarusso at 781-519-0232 or press at communitycounts dot com
The BigDialog Partners
BigDialog is run by the non-profit eCitizen Foundation. Participation as a sponsor or partner in no way implies endorsement of their activities or writings, it simply signifies a shared commitment to promote the idea that we should present true bubbleup questions to the President-Elect. We are a diverse group, covering the spectrum of political opinions. However, we are all committed to seeing new technology shrink the distance between the people and their politions. There is no financial relationship between eCitizen and its supporters or partners. BigDialog's partnership with PBS KIDS GO!'s Speak Out is unique in that top questions from both sites will be jointly presented to President-Elect Obama.
If you or your organization would like to be considered for partnership, write a blog posting encouraging people to participate, and direct them to BigDialog.org. Then send a link of this posting to "david at communitycounts dot com" along with a copy of your site's logo. New partners and supporters will be added at the discretion of the eCitizen foundation.