Sunday, October 16, 2011

Connecting People with Decision Makers

It seems to me that one of the biggest issues today is finding ways to connect decision makers with citizens.  While citizens should take personal responsibility for maintaining their knowledge of and taking action on today's issues, the great majority do not.  This standard of ignorance has begun to shift, one example being the Occupy Wall Street protests and the anti-occupy groups that represent the opposing opinions.  This shift, from a largely apathetic nation to one with increasing public awareness, brings forth a question:  Who is responsible for the continued education of the nation?  Yes, the responsible citizen seeks out an unbiased source of knowledge and will make decisions based on their own opinions.  But precious few seem to take the time to do this.  Americans want easy answers to difficult questions, this is due in part to our evolution into a low context culture.

Is it then, the responsibility of government to present the information?  If so, how can that information be presented in a way that is cost-effective, simple to manage, and easy to access?

There are several issues linked to this problem, the country's failing school systems, for example. If students graduating high school can barely read, how can they process and understand the importance of complex issues?  How many will vote based on advertising alone?  How many will not vote at all?

I don't have all the answers, and I know that there will always be the apathetic, I only hope that it will become an apathetic few.  Fixing the school system, enforcing transparency in government, eliminating corruption, and finding the dynamic, intelligent, and honest few who have the ambition and vision to lead this country is a difficult task.  Keeping those decision makers connected to the people is even more difficult.  Social networking and other technologies are the future of communication.  Design must meet government, and find a way.

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