I receive many invitations to speak at public events to present Wikicrazia, my book on government in the age of Internet collaboration. The topic is hot, and it is going to stay hot: from my vantage point it seems that Internet-enabled spaces of collaboration between citizens and public authorities are sprouting up all across Italy, and there are trailblazers in most democratic countries. I see my role, at least in part, in helping those people to connect to each other and with the global open government movement. I grew up in a small town, and I know well how empowering it feels to take action on your home turf while feeling a part of some global-scale phenomenon.
I am not in the country; it is much harder than usual for me to attend events in Italy, and I was resigned to stop doing so for several months. Last week, however, I got a really interesting proposal, and I had the idea to ask the organizing team if they would accept someone other than myself to present my book. They accepted with enthusiasm. At this point I published an update on Facebook to probe whether my friends and readers would be up for it; to my great surprise, in a couple of hours I got half a dozen volunteers. Fantastic: a book on collaboration,written collaboratively and now even presented “wiki style” by an open community! This must be a first.
Here’s the deal. Navarra Editore and I are looking for volunteers to present Wikicrazia on my behalf in the coming months, when I can’t make it myself (which will be most of the times). We require:
- being familiar with the book. You need not agree with it: a critical presentation is perfectly acceptable.
- being comfortable with speaking in public
And we offer:
- my gratitude!
- my famous slides (with notes).
- payment of travel and hotel expenses.
- a Skype or phone session to discuss how to set up the presentation (as suggested by one of the volunteers).
- a small gift from the publisher, to show appreciation
Our goal here is to build and “advanced wikicrats” group with members in most Italian regions (and abroad?), people that can contribute in a useful, competent and confident way to the public events that are organized therein. I have a feeling that such a group could be useful to do other things as well.
We are kicking off with an event in Riomaggiore, at Cinque Terre, on 29th, 30th and 31st of July. See how it goes.