UPDATE: Knight Foundation Open Government News Challenge grant opportunities is live

Gov Loop member Sandy Heierbacher blogged on February 2nd about the Knight Foundation’s Open Government News Challenge that runs from February 12 – March 18.

The foundation wants to fund innovative ideas and initiatives focused on open government. Knight’s definition of “Open government” is broad, and ranges from small projects within existing structures to ambitious attempts to create entirely new ones and is an opportunity to accelerate promising ideas and trends.

They will begin accepting submissions or applications on February 19th. Yesterday (2/20), they kicked-off the “inspirational phase” (which is different from the application process) asking people to submit their suggestions, ideas, and experiences in open government. They have five missions or categories:

  1. Share Success Stories – what’s working? What tools are you using in your community or administration?
  2. Identify Needs – what do people in your community need or want? What’s missing?
  3. Identify Opportunities – What are major areas or groups of opportunity?
  4. Find New Data Sources – What public information do we need access to? What data sources could we use better?
  5. Grow the Network – Who should be engaged in open-government who’s not currently? How do we expand the definition?
  6. Rapid Prototyping – What kinds of ideas could we build and test quickly?
  7. Everything Else – Anything that inspires you that doesn’t fit the above missions

GovLoop founder Steve Ressler was one of the first to submit his inspiration: “Engage Government Employees.” What experiences or “inspirations” can you add to one or more of the above categories? If you add a submission, please comment here with a link to your post so other GovLoop members can read it.

You can hear more from Gov 2.0 Radio (G2R) with an interview with Knight Program Manager Chris Sopher. Throughout the contest, Knight hopes to help extend the spirit of open gov and to catalyze partnerships between hackers, civic innovators, governments, journalists and others. They also seek to drive more open government wins in local communities, particularly beyond big cities. And they want to reinforce the idea that the promise of open government cuts across ideological, demographic and geographic lines.

You can participate in a number of ways by adding your “inspiration” among these seven missions and/or by submitting your application for funding for your initiative. Share your knowledge and ideas and perhaps get funding for them. Good luck.

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Daniel Bevarly

“Inspirational” Posts on Knight’s News Challenge for Open Government

Mission 2: Identify Needs

Inspiration #8 – Public participation calendar: An easy way for citizens to find out when they can have a say.