Introducing Free Mobile Petitioning With Crowdring

What if people around the world could sign a petition for free using just a regular mobile? This is the simple question that sparked the creation of Crowdring: a tech tool that links petitions to a dedicated local phone number, allowing people to demonstrate their political support by placing missed calls. Traveling around the world, … Continue reading

Innovation Versus Security In Kenya

Kenya is an exciting innovation hub spurring creative projects and pursuing steady progress. How long can this sustain and how will the upcoming elections fare, given the violence of the not-so-distant past? I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Kenya. Aside from seeing old friends, I had the pleasure of meeting with key members … Continue reading

Bin Laden’s Invisible Children

Narrative is a crucial element for any war, whether on Bin Laden in Afghanistan or on Joseph Kony in Uganda. Generally this narrative, to settle public debate and drive broad sentiment towards a single goal, is one-sided and oversimplified. An opposing narrative is difficult to craft because it must either be complex, therefore hard to … Continue reading

Back from Bike Hispaniola

I just returned from biking across the Dominican Republic and Haiti. An epic experience through these beautiful countries. You can check out some of the pics and stories on the blog we kept throughout the journey at bikehispaniola.tumblr.com and find out why I decided to make the trip through my blog post at Digital Democracy. … Continue reading

Going To Bike Hispaniola

Over the new year, I’ll be riding a bicycle from the Dominican Republic to Haiti. Follow the trip on our blog at bikehispaniola.tumblr.com At crossroads in my life, I bike across countries. Nine years ago, I biked across the United States. Today, I find myself at another transition: I am moving on from my role … Continue reading

When Crowdsourcing is Not Democracy

A response to “Democratizing ICT4D with DIY Innovation and Open Data” In the digital era, it’s easier to conflate participation with democracy. This is a dangerous and unfortunate trend as it degrades the very concept of what a democracy can and should be: a transparent, participatory, and accountable means of representative governance. Voting itself doesn’t … Continue reading

A Wired City Versus A Hurricane

My grandma was trapped in mandatory evacuation zone with hurricane Irene fast approaching. As an elderly Russian immigrant, she didn’t have much access to good information about the storm. I rushed to the internet to see what I can find so that I can give her the best advice I can. Flash back to the … Continue reading

Social Media to Prevent Hate Media

Originally published on Huffington Post George Orwell wrote “History is written by the winners” and while this has been the case in many places, it has certainly not held true for Israel. After the war of independence established the state of Israel, it has continued to fight for legitimacy as a state. Media has been … Continue reading

Wikinomics of Leaks

The return on investment from open government data is starting to be shown by projects such as apps for democracy. What about the current WikiLeaks cablegate release of American diplomatic cables? With theĀ Apps for Democracy contest, there were 47 web, iPhone and Facebook apps built on government data, with an economic return of 400%. The … Continue reading

New tactics in Authoritarianism

Dictators are often ruthless, charismatic and extremely intelligent. They also have the resources to Be extremely sophisticated. If not showy. In modern times, it’s hard for dictators to operate in the ways that they used to. Their citizens having mobile phone cameras and an audience of the world, its just not as easy to have … Continue reading