The GroundSource Vision:
Grassroots Community Building + Open Data =
the future of democracy
Democracy is nothing more than a mechanism for discerning the needs of the people. Where democracy fails, it often does so for lack of valid information about what people need; and also insufficient political power on the part of those in need to see that their problems are solved.
GroundSource takes aim at both of those problems, by building a technology platform that gathers valid, grounded data about the state of communities -- their concerns, unmet needs and unfulfilled dreams; and giving citizens the powers to identify and rally around commonly shared priorities and concerns so that they can pressure politicians to address their needs -- and eventually, organize the resources to solve problems without the help of the government.
GroundSource combines grassroots community-building and data-gathering with the principles and practices of open knowledge and open data to help communities (and those who serve communities) make informed choices, and fulfill their potential with or without the help of politicians.
At present, especially in less digitally switched-on communities, too many decisions are made based on out-of-date, non-representative, or inaccurate data about a community’s conditions and unmet needs. The result? Non-existent or mis-targeted service delivery, businesses forming based on bad data, and -- in the aggregate -- a lag between change in on-the-ground conditions and public understanding.
GroundSource combines low-barrier communications channels with a framework for facilitating citizens to gather rich, ground-level data to generate publicly available feeds of information that politicians, businesses and others can monitor. We charge for premium access to data sets and feeds, and for the ability to directly engage citizens in two-way communications.
Groundsource and its partners envision a world where:
- Communities have the power to make their voices heard and their priorities known
- Where government, media and business are compelled to listen for fear of being made irrelevant
- Where the knowledge of local conditions flows freely to those who can make the most of the data