Organizing on the Innernets: ChangeCampTO & RefreshEvents

Mark Kuznicki of ChangeCampTO

Torontonians in 2010 have an opportunity to restore our sense of community and use new tools of communication to set the agenda for our politicians.

Mark Kuznicki’s vision is a program of coordinated and community-generated events all across the City to re-engage our civic imaginations.

ChangeCamp is launching a city-wide initiative to help us imagine a new age of public engagement and civic innovation across a vast and complex city.

Mark wants to challenge the Twitterati and digirati of Toronto to get out of the bubble and use their skills to help people in all of Toronto’s wards tell their stories, identify their issues, and propose solutions.

ChangeCamp is an event format, an open community, and a set of tools and ideas designed to give citizens and governments the ability to work collaboratively in new ways to make change and to better address real-world challenges in our communities.

The ChangeCamp community is focused on two goals:

  1. Helping governments become more open, transparent, participatory, innovative, efficient, and effective
  2. Helping citizens become more connected to each other around their civic passions in the place they call home

Justin Kozuch of Refresh Events

Justin Kozuch makes the case that many other Canadian cities, such as Vancouver, Calgary, and Winnipeg, have a great understanding of their digital media industries, while Toronto has little to show for its efforts. He argues that, from an economic development standpoint, this is an ineffective strategy if we are to promote the City of Toronto as a hub for innovation.

With this in mind, Justin has begun working on an initiative that will help everyone understand the digital media industry in a number of ways:

  1. Polling the digital media industry through a web-based reporting system
  2. Publishing the data in an open data format, and making it available to all
  3. Collecting and summarizing the data in a report

Justin is looking to engage Toronto data geeks, librarians, research assistants, and funders to help get this project started.

Refresh Events is a Toronto-based community dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the technology and web industry through affordable, accessible, and relevant programming. They provide digital workers, web designers, and developers with a launching pad for connecting to each other and creating meaningful relationships.