USA — Government Invites Public to Solve Challenges

WASHINGTON — The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has a lot of prob­lems to solve, and a new web­site it launched this week will give aver­age cit­i­zens a forum to dis­cuss and poten­tial­ly solve those prob­lems while vying for rewards for the best solu­tions.

Bev God­win, direc­tor of the U.S. Gen­er­al Ser­vices Administration’s Cen­ter for New Media and Cit­i­zen Engage­ment; Bran­don Kessler, founder and CEO of Chal­lenge­Post; and Tami Grif­fith, sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy man­ag­er for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Sim­u­la­tion and Train­ing Tech­nol­o­gy Cen­ter, dis­cussed the new site — — dur­ing a “DoD Live” blog­gers round­table yesterday. 

God­win over­sees the site for the gov­ern­ment. Kessler’s com­pa­ny designs and builds “chal­lenge” sites for dif­fer­ent clients. is an exten­sion of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s Strat­e­gy for Amer­i­can Inno­va­tion, which opens gov­ern­ment solu­tions to the gen­er­al public. 

“Chal­lenges and prizes can real­ly change the way gov­ern­ment in our coun­try works, as it allows the gov­ern­ment to bring new play­ers to the table, to look at new ways to solve prob­lems that can lead to new dis­cov­er­ies or new indus­tries,” God­win said. “It also pro­vides the gov­ern­ment a way to only pay for results. It also allows gov­ern­ment a way to set forth a goal and let oth­ers decide how best to reach that goal.” 

Entre­pre­neurs, lead­ing inno­va­tors and cit­i­zen solvers can com­pete for prizes on by pro­vid­ing solu­tions to tough problems. 

“The whole con­cept behind the plat­form is that if you have a cen­tral­ized net­work around chal­lenges, more peo­ple will inter­act with mul­ti­ple chal­lenges,” Kessler said. “We see, in fact, that peo­ple who engage in one chal­lenge tend to engage in mul­ti­ple chal­lenges, because they’re con­nect­ed to a network.” 

The site works pret­ty sim­ply – an agency or office can post a “chal­lenge” to which peo­ple can pro­vide a “solu­tion.” It also allows par­tic­i­pants to blog, inter­act on dis­cus­sion boards, and eas­i­ly share items via dif­fer­ent social media. 

Griffith’s Fed­er­al Vir­tu­al Worlds Chal­lenge, which asks the pub­lic to sub­mit ideas for inno­v­a­tive and inter­ac­tive train­ing and analy­sis solu­tions in vir­tu­al worlds, is an Army ini­tia­tive to bet­ter under­stand dif­fer­ent social envi­ron­ments on the Web. 

“We’re using this chal­lenge as a way to let the pub­lic teach us in the gov­ern­ment how to use these tools bet­ter,” Grif­fith said. 

Chal­lenges have been post­ed so far by gov­ern­ment agen­cies includ­ing NASA; the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency; the Social Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion; and the Defense, Edu­ca­tion, Ener­gy, Trea­sury, Agri­cul­ture, State, Inte­ri­or and Labor departments. 

“I haven’t seen any lag­gards,” God­win said. “Many agen­cies are work­ing on chal­lenges. Some take longer to ramp up than oth­ers, so you’ll see more com­ing out over the next few months.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

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