GovLoop - Knowledge Network for Government

"Bringing Change to Our Largest Social Network" - by Sean Herron

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Far too often, it seems that Americans have the perception of their
government being a monolithic block, incapable of progress, change, or
efficient functionality. While this may be true in some cases, it's not
something that should be allowed to continue. American government lacks
the trust of its citizens, and the goal of getting it back should be our
top priority.
Our government needs to be for the people. It needs to be open. It needs
accountability. It needs to leverage technologies to enable citizens
to participate and collaborate in the same way they do among their
coworkers, friends, and family. By paving a road of information, ideas,
and community between policymakers and everyday citizens, a new bond of
trust can be formed, and fresh insight into our most troubling problems
can be found. Our government, to an extent, has already begun to work on
this challenge. Efforts such as Data.gov, the Open Government
Directive, and increased citizen financial oversight have placed
previously unavailable tools in the hands of the public. But what's
next? How do the tools made available get used by the average person who
is likely to only use a .gov domain once a year when filing their
taxes? How do the thousands of comments, criticisms, and questions
flooding government inboxes everyday turn in to real, implementable
solutions?
That's the problem I want to work on. I'm fascinated by the intricate
network of our government - the massive flow of information, people, and
ideas that passes through a complex, and sometimes bizarre, system that
runs our nation. It's a network that is social by nature, but in most
circumstances is virtually impossible to gain access to by an ordinary
citizen. I want to work on breaking down the barriers that prevent the
free flow of information to the people and on building the
infrastructure to support their direct involvement in their governance.
I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to sample what a
difficult challenge this is. As a Policy Studies and Economics dual
major at Syracuse University, I've had the chance to spend the last
semester living in Washington, D.C. and working at the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration. Some of my work has tackled these
very issues, and I realize the huge challenges in making such change. As
much as I'd love to jump in and get my hands dirty, I also need to go
back to Syracuse in the fall to finish my degree and, most likely,
obtain a graduate degree before pursuing a real career in the public
sector. The CampusGov and GovLoop scholarship will enable me to continue
my educational pursuits, in the hope that I can use the skills I gain
to help bring positive change to a process that sorely needs it.

Views: 18

Tags: 2, jobs, project management

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Comment by Jacki Romey on September 10, 2010 at 10:44am
I agree with you Sean, social networking could really change the governmental process. Here's my vote for you.
Comment by Sophie Wessell on September 10, 2010 at 4:11am
I vote for #7. Great work Sean!
Comment by Kim McKeown on September 9, 2010 at 5:31pm
Great job, Sean! Good luck!
Comment by Erin D'Loughy on September 9, 2010 at 2:00pm
Intriguing, I can't wait to see how this evolves!
Comment by Donald Cross on September 9, 2010 at 9:07am
Sean, you are on the right track! We need an informed electorate which does not rely on sound bites or the political party's talking points. You have my vote!
Don Cross
Comment by MBodnar on September 9, 2010 at 2:42am
Delicious. Good luck!
Comment by Jake Becker on September 9, 2010 at 2:11am
Brilliant Sean (#7)! Good luck on the scholarship!
Comment by Debbie Wollman on September 9, 2010 at 12:03am
I vote for #7, Sean Herron. He understands how the ordinary citizen feels a bit overwhelmed by big government. He deserves the scholarship and we deserve Sean!
Comment by Doreen Love on September 8, 2010 at 10:33pm
Sean, I hope you get this scholarship. You are so deserving! Good Luck!
Comment by John W Howaqrd on September 8, 2010 at 9:23pm
Sean is very astute in analyzing our sociaql networking with my experience with him in securing donations for the John Dau Foundation. I am voting foer him.

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