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Power to the People: Using Technology for Government/Citizen Innovation

Dustin Haisler (City of Manor), Paul Pluschkell (Spigit)
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The City of Manor (pop. 5,800) has implemented an innovation platform, Manor Labs, to build engagement of its citizens. The purpose of this platform is to solicit ideas from the city’s residents. and anyone else, interested in participating in the innovation process. Like all government entities, we have a number of issues to tackle, and we know our citizens have great ideas, knowledge and experience. Through our “citizens” innovation platform,” we are seeing ideas that would likely not have had any visibility.

The initiative has received good attention, including a blog post by White House OpenGov Deputy CTO Beth Noveck (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/11/19/open-government-laboratories-democracy). The City of Manor sees this initiative as a way to bring a disengaged citizen base back into the larger discussion of improving government services and infrastructure. The effort also fits President Barack Obama’s call for connecting and empowering all Americans through technology and innovation.

The Manor Labs site asks for citizens’ ideas in eight categories:

  • Administration
  • Development
  • Information Technology
  • Municipal Court
  • Police
  • Public Works
  • Utility Billing
  • Economic Development

Manor Lab’s users are ranked and rewarded for their participation. Users receive a virtual currency called “Innobucks” for providing both ideas and feedbacks on others’ ideas. Given that a citizens’ innovation platform is new for Manor’s residents, we’re providing a tangible reward in addition to gaining greater visibility for one’s ideas. The currency can be invested in other ideas or redeemed for products of interest, such as:

  • Being Mayor for a Day
  • Rideout with the Police Chief
  • Rare custom-framed Texas flag

The effort is early, but thus far, we have received 45 ideas, with Police being the most popular department. We are seeing increasing participation as awareness grows. Several ideas from the site are now being translated into real projects.

During this session, participants will learn:

  • What works, and what doesn’t, in citizens’ innovation platforms
  • Managing ideas into projects
  • Promoting participation and building engagement of citizens

Speaker: Dustin Haisler, CIO at City of Manor, TX

Dustin Haisler is currently the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Municipal Judge for the City of Manor, Texas. Dustin has been an innovator of technology in the City of Manor since his appointment. Dustin’s motto is that government agencies should not always finance the “industry solutions”, instead they should innovate their own.

While at the City of Manor, Dustin and his team have innovated a number of solutions to increase efficiency and cut cost. Dustin’s innovative uses of technology have received international attention and won numerous awards. Dustin was named by Government Technology as one of the 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers of Technology in the nation (2009).

One of Dustin’s most notable projects was the deployment of a Quick Response Codes (QR-code) throughout Manor. QR-codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can be decoded with most newer model camera phones. Residents and tourist that visit Manor can scan the QR-codes placed throughout town with their camera phones to receive real-time information on city projects, historic buildings and much more.

Dustin’s current research and development centers around the areas of location-based services, RFID tagging, government social media use and mobile government applications. Most recently, Dustin helped launch Manor’s open innovation platform called Manor Labs, in conjunction with the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University.

Photo of Dustin Haisler

Dustin Haisler

City of Manor

Dustin is the Chief-Information-Officer (CIO) & Municipal Judge for the City of Manor, Texas. Dustin led the City of Manor through an extensive 3-year network and system infrastructure rebuilding as well as numerous other projects that helped to bring Manor to the forefront of technological innovation. In 2009, Dustin was named as one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers of Technology in the nation by Government Technology Magazine. Many of Dustin’s projects have received international recognition and awards for their innovative application in government operations. Dustin enjoys traveling the country speaking to federal, state and local government agencies about what Gov 2.0 and innovation can do for their agencies. He and his wife Amanda have been married for 5 years and have two sons and one child on-the-way.

Paul Pluschkell

Spigit

Mr. Pluschkell is founder and CEO of spigit, and an officer of Raven Holdings Inc. an emerging technology management fund. Prior to founding spigit Mr. Pluschkell formerly served as President and CEO of HyperFeed Technologies, Inc. from 2003-2006building low latency ticker plants for exchanges and hedge funds. In 1996 Mr. Pluschkell founded MXnet, a financial market extranet and successfully sold it to IXNet/IPC. After the sale Mr. Pluschkell served as an officer of IXNet. After a successfulIPO IXNet was sold to Global Crossing in 1999. Mr. Pluschkell moved to CA to become EVP of Sales, Products and Marketing for Global Center, a subsidiary of Global Crossing. After a successful sale to Exodus communications in 2001, Mr. Pluschkell became President of Broadband at Global Crossing where he served until 2002. Mr. Pluschkell received his B.S. from EasternIl University and completed master’s course work at the University of Dallas.

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