Steve---I think your idea is a good one, and would like to work with you in shaping local "labs" in the Pacific Northwest.
On a related topic, I wanted to announce Knowledge As Power's new project, Open Gov West---a two day regional open government conference hosted by Knowledge As Power and the City of Seattle. Open Gov West is supported by incoming Seattle mayor, Mike McGinn
, the Seattle Department of Information Technology, the Seattle City Council, a growing list of sponsors, and convened by over 25 open government leaders from around the region. Governments, transparency leaders, and technologists from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Idaho, and Montana are attending.
The two-day conference will have two distinct parts. Day one is a government work summit---producing recommendations on shared data standards, policies, and resources for the region. Day two is an unconference in the model of Canadian "Change Camps
," open to a wide set of participants and speakers. Set for January 29th & 30th in Seattle, the convener team is excited to provide a great opportunity for collaborative work and conversations in this critical period of open government decision-making.
You can find us online at http://opengovwest.wordpress.com
. We hope those of you in the region will join us. Tax-deductible conference sponsorships are currently available, please contact me if your company is interested in sponsoring this 500-person conference event.