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This app is being constructed in front of a live audience. It is about 50% complete and will be fully functional around November 2017. It's being worked on every day. Follow the progress by registering and testing it at any time. (Your info is not shared with 3rd parties). Comments welcome!

About Engagement Squared

Engagement Squared gives citizens and government unprecedented tools to engage with each other.
  • Citizens collaborate with government to create scorecards to improve every aspect of government.
  • Engagement Squared tools enable quicker implementation of the best citizen suggestions.
  • A for public good app. Open source. Transparent. Free. No charge to government for data and services on the cloud.

How it works

Engagement Squared crowdsources improvement suggestions for every individual government organization in the world. Improvement suggestions are categorized by important concepts such as

  • Interoperability - how parts of government can work together better, especially data
  • Process improvement - includes best practices to make government more efficient
  • Transparency - promotes trust building, openess in government
  • Energy - resource saving ideas
  • and more! improve government and make it more responsive to citizens
FAQ

Engagement Squared presents the crowdsourced suggestions together in an integrated manner so that government views suggestions with a holistic perspective.

This allows solutions to be planned with an enterprise-wide viewpoint. Idea sharing across government boundaries is built into Engagement Squared's core design. Shared services and gov-to-gov collaboration are made easy through the system's apps.

Screen shots

Citzen Menu screenshot Government Menu screenshot #1 Government Menu screenshot #2

Engagement Squared also provides a platform for redesigning government from scratch.

Engagement Squared builds things all government organizations need such as project management apps, but builds them correctly so that they are integrated from the ground up. It also incorporates as many for-public-good features as possible inside the programming code such as interoperability with other services, citizen engagement, and transparency that don't exist yet and are not profitable for private industry but have great public value and improve government efficiency. Inserting for-public-good programming into government infrastructure automatically and continuously drives government improvement. One of Engagement Squared's features is comprehensive public suggestion management described below.

Engagement Squared builds upon crowdsourcing principles to innovate every aspect of government.

  1. Suggestions to improve government from citizens, NGOs, government, and private industry vendors are posted to Engagement Squared.

  2. Each suggestion has clickable "engagement buttons" integrated into it that give the suggestion government-improvement powers. These strategically placed engagement buttons, with capacity to initiate real, multi-party coordinated action, create a whole order of magnitude of increased government collaboration.

  3. Suggestion: Integrate Sacramento and Yolo county water district software systems
    CommentAdd shared services ideaProposal by vendor, gov, or NGO

  4. Vendors, NGOs, and other government organizations can click on one of those buttons to make proposals to government regarding suggestions thereby prioritizing and empowering the best suggestions.

  5. NGOs, citizens, vendors, and government can click on other engagement buttons to create links connecting suggestions to other suggestions or government processes in order to reveal interoperability or consolidation opportunities.

  6. Government can transform the suggestion into a shared services project by just clicking a button, inviting other government partners to share resources, build collaborative projects regarding the suggestion, or make group purchases.

  7. Citizens, NGOs, vendors, and government can post comments regarding suggestions effectively enabling crowdsourcing of government improvement. Features allow multiple interoperability recommendations between any number of organizations, processes, projects, or suggestions that promote integrated solutions.
  8. Citizens are better served by improved government.

The end result is that potential benefits spread much faster throughout government by building connecting and sharing powers into the suggestion management process

There are many ideas that hold no revenue potential for the vendor community, but are valuable to government so government organizations themselves and NGOs can directly adopt citizen ideas for innovation opportunities. These ideas include shared services, data integration, and business process improvement

For both private industry revenue-based, and citizen/gov/NGO non-profit ideas, Engagement Squared is an innovation delivery system that drives government improvement.

Interoperability emphasized in citizen suggestions

Engagement Squared is a government improvement ecosystem that focuses on interoperability. It facilitates the integration of suggestions from different sources across government organizations so that citizen ideas help create an integrated future. In addition, Engagement Squared tools promote interoperable solutions through discovery of existing and planned projects. Special tools for data modelers enable crowdsourcing for the integration of government’s IT back end so that business processes efficiency is maximized internally and externally across government boundaries.

  • Through Engagement Squared, citizens help design cities and other government organizations as systems that are connected, smarter, have both business-process and IT back-end integration, and with agile responsiveness to community needs.

  • Engagement squared helps citizens propose intelligent, connected and integrated infrastructure that makes more efficient use of shared services and better serves citizens.
  • Engaged citizens can prevent ineffective and siloed approaches communities often take when conceiving and implementing projects. Planning for the big picture is smart. Crowdsourcing citizen ideas to help plan is even smarter.

  • Engagement Squared busts down silos making sure that government is not having that one-on-one conversation when there are citizens who should be engaged in the discussion.

Government tools to engage citizens and collaborate with other government organizations

  • Innovation app that enables internal and external collaboration, internal and external crowdsourcing

  • Citizen engagement

  • Shared services app that helps government find shared services partners

  • Project portfolio management

  • Project tracking

  • New project opportunities checklist

  • NGO and private industry crowdsourcing

  • Legacy management app that drives solutions for legacy systems, including opportunity calendar

  • Interoperability management. Includes ability to increase interoperability crowdsourcing scope to government partners, vendor partners, and non-governmental citizens

  • Employee skill matrix

  • Software development methodology

Sharing tools are embedded into the DNA of Engagement Squared

A centralized database of ideas allows for cross referencing of suggestions and enables groups to discover each other so that they can collaborate. There are many tools in Engagement Squared to assist government:

  1. "What-If" feature allows multiple government agencies to count how many other government agencies are tentatively interested in group purchases. It keeps a running total of the lower cost as more agencies get on board.
  2. Any registered user can identify interoperability opportunities. This means that the user can post text about their idea, and also create links to organizations, suggestions, efforts, proposals, projects, or programs. These links that users create help government crowdsource interoperability opportunities across government boundaries.
  3. Project and portfolio management. Free online apps for government to keep track of projects and build process improvement.
  4. Crowdsourcing. Allows government to float ideas for citizen feedback.

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Engagement Squared is the backbone of a government shared-services and citizen engagement platform

  • Government and civic groups collaborate using existing Engagement Squared tools, and can build new tools into it to create better government services for citizens.
  • Good ideas from citizens are implemented faster through both market incentives for private industry, and shared services platforms for for-public-good civic hackers.
  • Engagement Squared is platform for government apps to be shared, integrated, and hosted for free. New features become instantly available to benefit thousands of government organizations without cost.

Connecting ideas to implementers worldwide

Example: A citizen recommends that a mobile app be created to help drivers who are locked out of their car, find the nearest state-licensed locksmith. A commercial vendor viewing that suggestion could create a prototype, propose it on the citizen suggestion database, and the state licensing board could purchase and implement the app thereby improving citizen services.

Because there is sharing potential for the app, government could pay the vendor to build the app with an open source license, and due to the transparency of the suggestion database, other government organizations could participate in paying for and using the app, thereby spreading benefits far beyond silo procurement processes of the past.

Engagement Squared makes much of the discovery and sharing of opportunities automatic.

Engagement Squared brings citizens, private industry, and government into an innovative environment where good ideas are implemented faster through collaboration and market incentives.

Build the government you want to see now

Government organizations, NGOs, and citizens are invited to sponsor apps that improve government.

You can reinvent government yourself by funding any government improvement that you envision. Engagement Squared is like a digital government infrastructure that can be moulded in ways that you want in order to promote better government. Sponsor your improvement idea and it becomes instantly available to all government organizations around the world.

  • Example 1: Let's say that you are a nonprofit organization seeking greater government transparency. Fund features in Engagement Squared's open source accounting system that automatically improve government transparency in that area. This results in all government agencies using that app around the world to instantly and permanently benefit from transparency that you've created.

  • Example 2: Government organizations can pool their money to add enterprise architecture features to Engagement Squared's project management app. Open source license and cloud hosting allow for free, instant availability to all other organizations.
  • Engagement Squared is made of many government services that constitute much of government infrastructure. You can pay for the creation of any government-improvement feature that you want to see, and when complete, have it immediately available to all government organizations, world-wide, at once.

    Government organizations, NGOs, and citizens are invited to sponsor apps that government needs. Your app has sharing economy of scale: There is no need for every government agency to solve the same problem in different places, therefore our platform is multi-tenant so that once a new feature is written, it is instantly available to all on the cloud. Services do not have to be custom built, and each locality is free to focus on non-routine matters. Your investment has tremendous bang for the buck.

    Another strength is that your program will be integrated across all Engagement Squared programs to promote interoperability, which gives your app more capabilities than if it was written as a stand-alone program.

    Government improvement apps that you envision can be integrated into the Engagement Squared platform, building continual improvement into the DNA of government infrastructure for every city, state, county, and country. This gives sponsors incredible leverage to impact thousands of government organizations for the better with a relatively small investment.

    How it works: Contact us and we will work with you to create a vision of how your sponsored government improvement will look, and we will build it. We have a lean and fast programming capacity that can rapidly integrate your idea into government's digital infrastructure.

    The potential is staggering as there is a whole order of magnitude of increased world-wide government improvement from proportionately tiny sponsorship.

    Your app can become part of Engagement Squared

    Developers are invited to add open source components to Engagement Squared to make it serve government and citizens even better. We accept open source apps under the GNU Affero General Public License so that its code can be viewed, inspected, and copied by all. (Proprietary apps are not accepted because they preclude government programmers from writing improved versions or being freely shared with other government organizations.)

    Government, NGOs, and the general public can write apps that work with the Engagement Squared system. For example, coders could write an app that adds business process management tools to Engagement Square.

    Our vision is to continually add more services that integrate and grow government's capacity to serve and engage with citizens.

    Developer partners wanted

    Seeking simple app developer contributions

    Let us know of any already existing, simple, open source app that can be integrated into Engagement Squared that can promote citizen engagement with government, or help government serve citizens better.


    Seeking large development partners

    Anyone can build open source apps that can be integrated into Engagement Squared, but unlike small projects, large apps involve significant complexity to install and have no other means to financially support them except by charging government or through advertising on Engagement Squared.

    An already-existing example is an accounting system that Engagement Squared offers. To install something this complex requires custom adaption, significant resources, and cannot be offered free to government.

    We are looking for both already-existing apps and large new innovations that will drive government improvement. You will receive commissions for maintaining and providing customer support for your app based upon client or advertising fees. Contact us for more details!

    Problems Engagement Squared aims to solve

    The problem we seek to solve is lack of collaboration tools that bridge the gap between citizens, government, private industry, and non-governmental organizations.

    Good ideas are too slow to be discovered, shared, and adopted. Engagement Squared adds market incentives for the best ideas creating a platform for accelerated suggestion implementation.

    A common problem is that are only a few government employees who work on government process improvement within each government organization. Engagement Squared allows ideas to be crowdsourced from vendors, citizens, and non-governmental organizations.

    Additionally, it solves the problem that small government organizations don’t have the funds to implement their own suggestion process. This is solved by the fact that the app is free to government and resides on the cloud allowing for the smallest of agencies or sub departments to have their own suggestions referencing them.

    Because all data will be stored in a centralized database, another problem solved is the lack of cross referencing of suggestions. Lookup features in the database help avoid solutions that are designed in a localized manner when they can instead be federated or centralized across the enterprise. Enterprise-wide thinking is facilitated allowing collaborating disciplines to be brought together to have the ability to see each other's contributions. The process helps insure that solutions bring enterprise wide connectivity, standardization and integration, especially with the help of Engagement Squared's data integration and interoperability tools.

    The ultimate goal is to bring self-awareness to government so that its processes can optimally align to government’s mission. Self-awareness type solutions are ones that integrate data and business processes so that parts of government understand what other parts of the organization are doing in order to act as one.

    What we do that others do not

    There are several features in the citizen engagement app which do not exist elsewhere that make it a significant factor in participatory democracy.

    Unprecedented coverage of government entities that does not leave out a single government agency.

    No other organization has a method for handling all federal/state/city organizations together at the same time. Other apps only handle one organization’s suggestions.

    Every government agency can be part of an integrated database thereby providing citizens, NGOs, vendors, and government employees, a place to make transparency, business process improvement, and other suggestions for any government entity in a central location. Citizen suggesters use the database to look up any government organization and have the tools to engage with that organization.

    Even government organizations that do not participate in idea solicitation can benefit. Engagement Squared can be a place for engaged citizens to meet and collectively discuss ways that they would like improve their government organization.

    Every government agency can have its own free citizen engagement app.

    Platforms for solutions are provided whereas other apps do not have anything beyond a vote count.

    The citizen engagement app features pathways for vendors and citizen organizations to make concrete, detailed proposals from original suggestions in the database. The database has the capability to create links to discussion forums where each suggestion can be transparently discussed in detail by all stakeholders and status reports can be updated on the app in a publicly viewable format.

    Unprecedented types and numbers of organizations encouraged to come together via a platform that promotes cross-organizational collaboration.

    Collaboration cannot occur unless everyone can see what they have in common. This is enabled by the centralized database. The citizen engagement app stores all suggestions in a transparent database and features taxonomy capability that promotes discovery of collaborative opportunities across the nation. This can bring any combination of groups together including nonprofits, commercial developers, for-public-good civic hackers, and all types of government entities to work collaboratively on the same project. This is radically different than having a suggestion box where ideas go into a black box, only a few government executives see the suggestions, ideas are handled hierarchically, no one knows the status of the idea, and there is no mechanism for collaboratively discussing it.

    Besides receiving suggestions, government can officially post ideas and meeting topics to the app and request feedback from citizens and groups. Links to forums add significant maturity to the idea discussion process. It simplifies and makes convenient, government crowdsourcing of ideas.

    Business intelligence and data sharing for citizens

    The citizen engagement app allows for suggestions to be transformed into searchable solutions that are ranked by successfulness, which can then be discovered by other organizations. The best ideas can be virally shared nationwide.

    The centralized data base can be used by all in a business intelligence sense, for example, the most popular transparency related ideas, the top ten cost savings ideas for cities, etc.

    Example of a sharable idea

    University of Wisconsin, Green Bay discovered that using Century Gothic font could save as much as 31 percent off inkjet and toner cartridge expenses. Government printing operations could save tens of thousands of dollars simply by changing their default font.

    To summarize this section, enterprise-wide search tools categorize and support discovery of cross-organizational projects. People with common goals can discover each other.

    Finally, Engagement Squared looks at apps from a data modeler perspective. This discipline allows us to view data integration opportunities that exist in the back end. It is sort of an x-ray vision that helps envision the scaffolding for a national blueprint. Many government apps are stand-alone, however data modelers and enterprise architects have tools in Engagement Squared to identify detailed data integration opportunities granularized down to the field and table levels for nationwide interconnectivity.

    Leadership

    Engagement Squared's CEO is Alex Glaros. As an advocate for government data integration, Alex Glaros founded the Center for Government Interoperability whose mission is to create and promote policy to integrate government's information infrastructure and improve government interoperability.

    Engagement Squared principles are guided by the Center for Government Interoperability.

    He also invented a new software development methodology, which he described in an article entitled “Enterprise Focused Development”. It was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Enterprise Architecture in its November 2008 issue. The journal serves scholars and practitioners interested in the advancement of the field of Enterprise Architecture. Enterprise Focused Development can be used as a standard by government and private industry to assure large project success, low cost, and enterprise-wide interoperability.

    Alex is employed as a programmer for California state government and works on Engagement Squared at night and on weekends.

    Ethics and values

    Every aspect of Engagement Squared is guided from the citizen and taxpayer perspective. We strive to accelerate intelligent analysis in government in order to maximize shared services, cost savings, and interoperability.

    Transparency is designed into all Engagement Squared processes. There is a strong public service ethic built into our business model. Our philosophy is to produce tools to improve government data and business processes so that they align with government's mission to serve the public regardless of whether there is significant profit. We fill gaps in areas (a) not served by private industry due to lack of financial incentives, and (b) outside of governmental agency scope, because both of these gaps, which are many, represent critical areas of government improvement. That is our passion.

    Funding

    Currently Engagement Squared is entirely funded by Alex Glaros. It will always be primarily run as a non-profit for the public good, however with increased use of free services, bandwidth and server costs will require charges to vendors who advertise on Engagement Squared.

    Contact us

    Engagement Squared
    Alex Glaros
    500 Main Street
    Winters, CA 95694
    USA

    How is Engagement Squared built?

    The app was written by Alex Glaros using web2py, a python framework, using a Postgres database on https://www.pythonanywhere.com/. The license is GNU Affero General Public License that allows anyone to copy, modify, and use the programming code as an open source application.