TransparencyCamp 2012: It’s Coming.


Robots and gentlepeople, it is with great pleasure that I announce (and humbly invite you to attend) Sunlight’s fifth TransparencyCamp, coming to the DC area this April 28th – 29th. If you know the drill and you’ve been waiting for the link, head here to register. Otherwise, sit a while and let me tell you some tales.

What is TransparencyCamp?

TransparencyCamp (or TCamp as we like to call it) is an “unconference” focused on government transparency. We interpret that focus pretty broadly, encouraging all manner of folks to attend. At TCamp, you’ll meet government officials, opengov advocates, journalists, bloggers, technologists, information designers, developers, academics, students, hacks, hackers, multimedia producers, activists, council reps and wonks (just to name a few) who have come with the common purpose of learning, teaching, best-practice sharing, next-step taking, and community building for “opengov”.

Although Sunlight has mostly worked on US federal level open government, when we talk about “government” at TCamp, we’re talking about all levels of government — local, state, national — and we’re talking about governments outside the US, too. Last year, 23 transparency advocates from 14 different countries joined the conversations at TCamp, thanks to generous sponsorships by the Omidyar Network and the Open Society Institute. Each international fellow took the lead (or co-lead) of a session at TCamp, not just to share the variety of experiences they’ve had working for transparency in their home countries, but to jointly problem-solve issues with American advocates in fields like citizens engagement, supporting watchdog organizations and connecting with civic hacking communities.

This year, we’re expecting more international Campers and more US Campers, too. If you’re an advocate who would love to share the work you do (or work through the issues you’re up against), but are concerned about the cost of travel, point your mouse here to learn more about our TCamp Scholarship program. If you’d like to help us make it easier for folks outside the Beltway to make it to TransparencyCamp, donate as a Super Camper. Any amount you contribute over $20 will help reduce the cost of TCamp and support our travel stipends for TCamp Scholars.

We’ll be blogging more about the organizing process of TCamp as the event approaches, but I want to end this post with two “TCamp Tid Bits,” if you will:

  1. We’ve opened up an area where folks can brainstorm session ideas and vote for their favorites. (Check it out — and contribute! — here.) So far, my personal favorite is Josh Tauberer’s recommendation for transparency-themed Battledecks. Sounds hilarious. What do you think?
  2. It’s hard not to talk about TCamp Scholars without talking about Tamar Gurchiani. Tamar attended last year’s Camp on a TCamp scholarship and, a year later, is now working on bringing TransparencyCamp to Georgia (the country). If you haven’t seen it already, take a peek at her announcement post while you enjoy your lunch.