A few months ago, I decided to look for a conference I could attend that would educate and inspire about the effects technology and the Internet have on democracy and governments. I want to continue to use technology to better represent all of you. I want to contribute to conversations about how to best use technology within city hall.
I have a bit of a track record in these issues. From 2000 to 2005, I ran an Internet training business. And, for most of that same time period, I was honoured to get to know many local and regional technologists while sitting on the board of a now defunct Kamloops technology industry association.
I found a conference. And I am excited and nervous about attending. The Personal Democracy Forum seems to be the gold standard of North American tech democracy conferences. The keynote this year is a Pullitzer Prize winning journalist interviewing the CEO of Google. But that may be just glitz and glam. The real meat of the learning will probably take place in the different conference sessions and the 2nd day "unconference" where the attendees take over the event. I have found some really interesting projects run by speakers and attendees - for example, neighborhood web forums enabled by front porch forum and thorough run throughs of important issues of the day through debateopedia.
The conference and unconference will be held in New York City the Friday and Saturday. And, frankly, I am nervous about what people will initially think once they read the words New York City. I think I am spending your money wisely. Here is the rough breakdown of my expenses on this trip:
- Return bus ticket to and from Vancouver: $109
- Return Plane Ticket to NYC: $529.85
- 2 Nights Hotel NYC: $406
- Conference Fee: $364.72
- Meals and Transport in NYC: $150
- Total: $1559.87
Open to any thoughts!