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Next Generation Democracy: What the Open-Source Revolution Means for Power, Politics, and Change [NOOK Book]

Overview

The problems of the 21st century are of unprecedented scale. Climate change, financial instability, the housing crisis, the need for health care: all of these are political issues that could be managed with ease on a much smaller scale. But with an enormous global population, that kind of change is no longer an option. As a result, some of the large bodies we once appointed to manage macroscopic problems--such as the government--have begun to fail us. Never was this more clear than during Hurricane Katrina, when ...

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Next Generation Democracy: What the Open-Source Revolution Means for Power, Politics, and Change

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Overview

The problems of the 21st century are of unprecedented scale. Climate change, financial instability, the housing crisis, the need for health care: all of these are political issues that could be managed with ease on a much smaller scale. But with an enormous global population, that kind of change is no longer an option. As a result, some of the large bodies we once appointed to manage macroscopic problems--such as the government--have begun to fail us. Never was this more clear than during Hurricane Katrina, when individual efforts and decentralized organizations were more efficient, swifter, and better suited to the task than, say, FEMA.


But, according to the hard-charging and ambitious Jared Duval, there is good news. Accompanying the expansion of these social problems has been an explosion in information technology, and we are quickly discovering the power of collaboration. Obama's town hall meetings are just the beginning of something larger--a movement towards what he refers to as "open-source" principles. By sharing information and letting systems grow themselves, we can devise new programs that will tackle these sprawling problems. Kiva's innovative micro-lending principles are making impressive progress with huge, intractable problems like world hunger and poverty.


The Open-Source Society is more than a persuasive argument, though. It is a manifesto, a narrative both personal and reportorial, and an empowering call to arms. Duval's spirit and intelligence are infectious, and his message is important.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Jared Duval has written an inspiring and necessary book, a message that real democracy, and real change, is more possible now than ever. An energetic leader and a fearless thinker, Duval shows us that we have the tools for change at our fingertips. Now it’s time to stand up, stop complaining, and make the world we want.”—Van Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy

“God knows previous generations have left those that are coming of age a world of trouble. Happily, they’re figuring out a world of ways to set them right. Jared Duval’s book offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the next wave of activism, organizing, inspiration, and change. It will give you cause to hope—and cause to go to work.”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and Deep Economy

“We’re seeing a wave of greatly increased civic engagement as people find ways to improve governance via the Internet. Next Generation Democracy tells you what the deal is about the rising millennial generation and our new tools for real democracy.”—Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist

"Some writers are known for telling uplifting stories, others for making compelling arguments. Jared Duval is the rare author who does both. What's more, Duval, grounded by his own experience creating social change, is uniquely able to help us understand how to responsibly and effectively engage in the world." —Judith Freeman, Co-Founder and Executive Director, New Organizing Institute

“Next Generation Democracy is an insightful intellectual tour de force linking the emergence of the Millennial Generation and the power of open source systems to describe a hopeful future for American democracy. In the middle of a cacophony of confused and fearful voices, Jared Duval presents a lucid, calm argument.” —Morley Winograd, Co-author of Millennial Makeover

“Jared Duval has proven himself one of the greatest leaders and thinkers of the Millennial Generation. Next Generation Democracy is a bold, visionary, and empowering exploration of the social and political progress we need in the 21st century. This is the kind of rethinking that happens once a generation – don’t miss it.” —Teryn Norris, Founding Director, Breakthrough Generation.

Kirkus Reviews

Political treatise suggesting that the wired and tolerant under-30 "millennials" must apply open-source principles to the process of governance.

Demos fellow Duval was national director of the Sierra Club's student chapter and received awards for his own organizing efforts. From adolescence, he was intrigued by the notion of tackling difficult social problems in a collaborative fashion, and his early experiences as a Howard Dean volunteer convinced him that the democratic process was ready for innovations. "I was intrigued by the possibilities this new approach held for our politics," he writes, "with the potential for people to become active participants at all levels of our democracy." Later, his experiences as a volunteer in Tanzania dealing with HIV prevention suggested to him that today's challenges are interconnected and thus require solutions reflecting the linkages of wired social media so familiar to millennials. Duval argues that such online, interactive game-changers as Wikipedia demonstrate that collaborative content management "turns out, however improbably, to work remarkably well." The most powerful chapter examines the Coast Guard's improvisational rescue efforts during Hurricane Katrina, and the efforts of residents to rebuild, as examples of collective efforts that benefitted from nontraditional leadership and technologies. His argument reflects the work of, among others, Linus Torvalds, revered for developing the "open-source" Linux/GNU operating system. Torvalds' invitation of widespread user contributions resulted in quicker, more efficient improvements to the OS, and Duval sees this as applicable to politics. He examines projects like SeeClickFix in New Haven, Conn., which allows real-time critiques of urban problems, and President Obama's ultimately successful pursuit of health-care reform. The author's social outlook is ambitious and hopeful, but his prose is neither fiery nor forceful and relies on jargon-heavy repetitions of his basic argument. The book lacks historical context or a cold-blooded sense of the real opposition to progressive movement in contemporary America. Includes a foreword by Tim O'Reilly.

Well-intentioned but repetitive and too hypothetical.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608194841
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 11/14/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • File size: 819 KB

Meet the Author

Jared Duval is the inaugural Fellow and co-founder of the Metis Fellowships, an initiative for young authors at Demos, a New York think tank. He was the National Director of the Sierra Student Coalition, the national student chapter of the Sierra Club and the largest student environmental organization in America. A recipient of the David Brower Youth Award and the Morris K. Udall and Harry S. Truman scholarships, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wheaton College in Massachusetts in 2005. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction i

1 Katrina Revisited 24

2 The Rise of the Open-Source Movement 58

3 Millennials: The Open-Source Generation 90

4 Dispatches From the Front Lines of a Next Generation Democracy 133

5 A Systems Approach to Change 171

6 Realizing Democracy's Promise 188

Afterword 221

Acknowledgments 231

Notes 239

Index 261

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2010

    A Must Read

    This book is a definite must read for anyone who cares about social change, next generation leadership, political transparency, etc. Clearly written, with passion and a great understanding of how power, politics and social change can happen, the book is a great insight into what the next generation of democracy can and should look like, and more importantly - how to gets us there. Duval uses specific examples throughout the book which are helpful to illustrate his key points. He also does a part ...more This book is a definite must read for anyone who cares about social change, next generation leadership, political transparency, etc. Clearly written, with passion and a great understanding of how power, politics and social change can happen, the book is a great insight into what the next generation of democracy can and should look like, and more importantly - how to gets us there. Duval uses specific examples throughout the book which are helpful to illustrate his key points. He also does a particularly good job of describing the Millennial generation (I should know - I am one) and what their role in all of these issues will be. All around a really great read - highly recommend.

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    Posted January 30, 2011

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