Vision Matters

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Civic Snow Ball

Doc says that we should not be rolling rocks uphill, but rather snow balls downhill. So just last week in the midst of a serendipitous morning , a subject came up that poses a tremendous opportunityt.
Namely, modernizing civic financial software. During the meeting with Mayor Blum, Councilman Roger Horton, and my fellow Alliance for Creative Commerce Board member, Kevin Barron, the problems of legacy software, government bureaucracy, and applying network techniques to government all came together in a flash of insight that screamed "open source collaborative project" and huge commercial opportunity.
The basic democratic unit in society is the city. The basic market unit in society is the city. Cities need to get more efficient in their operations to make both the democracy and the market that they are work better. They spend huge amounts keeping legacy systems afloat, providing less than great service. Big companies - the ususal suspects- provide multi million dollar packages to convert and 'update' these systems, at precisely the time when such revenues aren't available.
What is called for is something way better. Something that will make the democracy, the market and the communities transparent, belong to everybody, and encourage participation.
Ok open source world, tell me how to do this. What is the model to remake city financial management?