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Webcitizen is an innovative company that stimulates civic engagement and brings citizens closer together and to their governments and the private sector. We focus on the use of digital technology to create channels of participation, bringing more transparency, accessibility and democracy to public and private administration, promoting a collaborative dialogue, a meaningful sense of community and in a final analysis, helping to create a better world.

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Retrospectiva Votenaweb

May 3rd, 2011

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Washington and the sunlight

When the United States was stuck in the mud of the terrible economic crisis of 1929, a judge inspired the country to adopt a series of reforms that would leave both the state and the economy more transparent and would also be fundamental to their recovery. His name was Louis Brandeis and his most famous saying was: “They say sunlight is the best disinfectant and electric light is the best policeman.”

It is from this phrase that the name of the Sunlight Foundation originated, perhaps the most important institution in the world to deal with transparency in politics and a strong inspiration for us at Webcitizen.

I spent the last four days in Washington participating in the Transparency Camp, a grand event organized by Sunlight to discuss transparency, open government, civic engagement, webdemocracy, government 2.0 and other issues changing the world. The Transparency Camp holds the event for three years now, but 2011 was the first with an international claim. Besides Americans, there were participants from Hungary, Argentina, Chile, Jamaica, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Mexico, Albania, India … and four representatives from the brave land of samba and tambourine.

tranpareny_camp_01

We presented Votenaweb, which was very well received. And we enjoyed the opportunity to discuss Movimento Minas, a project that we recently launched in partnership with the government of Minas Gerais. The idea of taking on a project at its initial stage proved to be excellent. Instead of saying “look how great this is that we achieved”, our attitude was: “This is what we think, now how do you think we can make it better?” The debate session on the MeM was sensational, full of insights and ideas from people all around the world. I left Washington convinced that we are on the right track, creating things parallel to the most innovative projects in the world. I also left recharged with inspiration and contacts from the international community of transparency and open government.

I write this post sitting in a plane, a flight equipped with Wi Fi. In this day and age we are becoming increasingly connected. Meanwhile, Brazil is preparing to finally approve a law tomorrow that regulates the right to public information – Brazil was one of very few democracies in the world who didn’t have one. The world is changing, and fast. I’m excited. It seems that the sun is finally starting to shine on Brazilian politics.

One Response to “Washington and the sunlight”

  1. Denis,
    estou interessado em saber mais sobre esta lei que seria votada no Brasil sobre informação pública. A votação foi dia 4 de Maio de 2011?

    Muito obrigado,
    Marcello Bressan Emidio.

    Marcello Bressan Emidio May 11, 2011 at 11:45:00 AM

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