In the rush to our launch this coming Wednesday – stay tuned for how to call in to our telephonic press conference – I want to just take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary amount of strategic thinking and planning and real work product that has been undertaken in the 4 months since the Sunlight Foundation was incorporated. What we will be announcing on Wednesday – the awarding of grants to create new databases and our discussions about how to mash information together to make it even more robust, the launching of a Congresspedia, establishing three new blogs, our initial efforts in distributive journalism and on-line tutorials – is work that might have taken another organization a year to put together! Kudos to all of us.
But kudos especially to two key consultants to Sunlight – Micah Sifry and Andrew Rasiej. Micah and I have known each other since my days at Public Campaign where he served as a senior communications fellow. Andrew and I met later, and we always harbored an interest in collaborating in something big down the road. Sunlight is it!
Two years ago Andrew and Micah insisted that I come to the first Personal Democracy Forum conference (their third one will be held on May 15th in NY.) It was literally an eye-opening experience. Andrew founded the Personal Democracy Forum as a venue to explore the intersection of the world of politics and technology. Micah is its co-founder. Read their bios.
They have an extraordinary range of experience and they are, quite simply, extraordinary colleagues. Without them, what we hope will be Sunlight’s cutting edge approach to the uses of technology, would have been a longer time in coming, or perhaps, not even part of our plans.
Micah and Andrew introduced us to the world of the Web 2.0 — a world in which the Wikipedia has replaced the Encyclopedia Britannica, a world in which you trust your users, where collective intelligence rules and where blogging and participation are more important than publishing. We’re trying to take all these lessons to heart here at Sunlight. And we’ve Micah and Andrew to thank for our strategic direction. We couldn’t do what we are trying to do without thir constant guidance and firm hand-holding. They’re simply the best!