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Blogathon 2009 – The Open Planning Project

Blogathon 2009 Vancouver for Vancouver Public Space NetworkThis blog post is part of Blogathon 2009, in which I am blogging for 24 hours straight in order to raise money for the Vancouver Public Space Network, an entirely volunteer-run organization who do advocacy and education on the public realm in my home of Vancouver, British Columbia. Please consider supporting by sponsoring me with a pledge, leaving a comment or contacting me to contribute a guest post.

Definitely way up there on the list of things I was happy to learn about from Participation Camp and my trip to New York was The Open Planning Project, a New York-based services consultancy that convenes and cooks things like:

  • the Streetsblog network for transportation advocacy;
  • CoActivate.org, a suite of tools for social activist projects;
  • open source in government advocates through projects like OpenGeo;
  • shit-disturbers for civic engagement and empowerment through sites like Uncivil Servants, a logging and reporting web application to document abuse of government parking permits in New York State.

I’m going to be uncharacteristically upfront – I could really see myself enjoying working at TOPP or a place quite like it. I like working not entirely with technology, but at the edges where it meets the people that make up a technology’s systemic context. That being said, I’m really quite a n00b when it comes to policy analysis, and still pinning down precisely what it is I’m both good at and get a happy tickle from doing, whether that’s in supporting or nurturing an open source community in some capacity; blogging, or writing in some other kind of capacity; doing some kind of technology-based outreach (strategic partnerships?); or even project management, though the words still put an unearthly fear in me.

It’s been a long time since high school; maybe it’s time to take a career aptitude test one more time…

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