Government in the Digital Age: How Anil Dash's Expert Labs Is Speeding Democracy

There's an episode of 30 Rock in which Jack Donaghy takes a job with Homeland Security and gives a stirring speech to Congress so that his office can get pens. Finally, a large box of pens arrives—but it's filled with only the caps. Government is, by its nature, slow and bureaucratic. But network technology can cut through that, and at the same time amplify our access to elected officials and Washington's entire decision-making process. That is the goal of Expert Labs, an incubator created to fund technologies that bring citizens and the government closer together. This nonprofit, non-partisan project is led by Anil Dash, who gave a stirring presentation at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference on April 21 in New York City (which is presented here in full for everyone who was unable to get a ticket to the sold out event).

Later in the day, Dash put a challenge to another Innovation Uncensored speaker, Nike CEO Mark Parker, during the Q&A. He asked if Nike would be willing to share geographic data about where it sells shoes in order to help researchers fight childhood obesity by strategically placing playgrounds where they are needed most. Parker gave it a tentative thumbs-up—the rest of the audience was simply impressed with the scope of the idea.

To see more video highlights from Innovation Uncensored, visit this page.

Discuss the event and submit questions to the speakers at the Innovation Uncensored Facebook page.

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