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Good government ideas web site

FROM: Tim Jackson

What NEED does this meet?
It\'s funny that many countries around the world have good ways of doing things, yet those good things rarely get transferred around the world. One example: diamond lanes in America, which are privileged lanes that allow cars with two or more passengers to travel at higher speeds through traffic jams than single-passenger commuter cars. A great idea that hasn\'t taken off anywhere else.

Another example: on the Tokyo underground railway, the lost property office has a clever idea for what to do with old umbrellas that nobody has claimed. After six months, it sends them out to the stations. The result is that at the ticket barrier of every underground station in Tokyo is a little rack of umbrellas with a sign saying, \"Please feel free to borrow this umbrella if it\'s raining and return it tomorrow\".

The idea would simply be to put up a web site where people - normal civilians, not think tankers or politicians -- can report good ideas from governments around the world so that they can be shared and copied.

What is the APPROACH?

Create a web site like a blog where people can post good ideas and others can comment on them.

Why distinctive? Well, being unique and new doesn\'t hurt.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
It will create a source of information for governments that\'s a hell of a lot cheaper than funding travel. And perhaps also a source of citizen pressure.

What is the COMPETITION?
None; this is unique as far as I know.

My idea must win out because it is a time-honoured tradition going back to 1338. If you go to the Council Room in Siena\'s city hall, you will find a painting by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in which this idea has been executed in pictorial form.

The picture can be seen at:

October 10, 2003 | Permalink


Tim, is along the same lines as your idea ?
It is a good one, nonetheless, though maybe your site would focus specifically on real(er)-world or already-implemented ideas.

Posted by: Jason Mazuro at Oct 27, 2003 4:26:36 PM

The diamond lanes idea is also used in the UK. In west Leeds we introduced a trial (funded by the EU) about two or three years ago. From what I know it is going really well.

Posted by: Councillor Stuart Bruce at Oct 29, 2003 10:55:55 AM

The Government has just published a discussion paper on innovation in the public sector: in order to address the paucity of literature in this area. Whilst it focuses upon systemic rather than specific innovations (i.e. how you set public sector organisations up to be innovative, and how you can harness creativity more effectively), it would no doubt welcome ideas dealing with civil society more broadly, like the ones Tim gave. A contact address is give on the site.

Also, for interest, has a longer list of 'innovation' sites some of which are closeishly related to the objectives of

Posted by: Richard Sargeant at Oct 30, 2003 10:53:03 AM

recently -ish launched, is a space for this, its got some problems at the moment. it is based on the site and therefore if you don't know about how that works, you won't get lazygov.

but we are working on it.


Posted by: Mark Simpkins at Oct 30, 2003 3:27:42 PM

Good idea. Maybe if you added the ability for people to post comments to improve suggestions (a bit like this site) and also for people to vote on the idea, the
government could see which ideas have strong support.

You may even get companies volunteering their services in support of a popular idea or have ready made solutions at hand. This would reduce the need for taking ideas to tender. More savings for the taxpayer!

Posted by: Louis Roberts at Oct 31, 2003 3:35:01 PM

Yes it needs a method of democratic popular approval,
and to stop foriegners hijacking the site it needs registration before voting,
this would also stop someone voting 100 times for their own idea!
I feel that this would help legitimise the ideas.
When will it happen?

Posted by: steve gumm at Nov 3, 2003 11:08:22 AM is such a site, currently with 900 ideas. Everyone is welcome to submit ideas on any subject or to use any of the ideas posted. There's a $100 monthly award for the most constructive use of a posted idea.

Posted by: Larry Baum at Nov 6, 2003 2:11:37 AM

we've also been doing a similar thing for quite a few years at the Global Ideas Bank. I guess Tim's additional innovation is that this should be directly related to government/public sector ideas. The range covered by ourselves, Half Bakery and the like is much wider...and arguably less well focused.

Posted by: Nick Temple at Dec 19, 2003 4:01:32 PM

I guess Tim's additional innovation is that this should be directly related to government/public sector ideas. The range covered by ourselves, Half Bakery and the like is much wider...and arguably less well focused.

Posted by: オンラインカジノ at May 16, 2004 9:23:12 AM

We need better good government, but not more government.

Posted by: Dave at Jun 2, 2004 6:47:51 PM

Thanks for all, folks!

Posted by: Mark at Jun 18, 2004 5:33:54 PM


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